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Habit of Being: Observation

OBSERVE_Sara4The habit of observing is habit worth developing—a Habit of Being. Observation of simple objects is best when you begin your Observation Journal—a spoon, a clock, a marshmallow, an apple.Getting started is easy as 1, 2, 3…


Trace the edges with your pencil follow along with your eyes.


Begin your sketch, following the outline edges (very  s l o w l y). Let your hand “see” all the curves and bumps that your eye sees as you look back and forth from your drawing to the apple. Don’t rush. Making a connection between the eyes and the hand is a slow motion exercise.


Simple observational drawings can be embellished with a wash of watercolor.  Add a wash of color. And always paint from a puddle, never directly from the pigment tiles.

OBSERVE_Sara5When creating a wash of color for a red apple Sara reminds us that the red is not the red directly from the tile. “Red in nature is complex. Make a puddle of red and add a tiny drop of green.” It’s the same process for a pumpkin, add drops of the complimentary color into the prominent color of the object to achieve the natural complexity of the object’s color.

OBSERVE_SaraOnce your observational drawing is complete, do some research on the object you observed, date the entry and add it to the Observation journal.


As you complete the Observation, putting away materials and washing brushes and paint trays, reflect on what was gleaned. It’s likely that what was gained is far more than art far more than science. Developing the skill of observing is a habit of being that invites us to imagine possibility.


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