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Observational Drawing for Kids

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observational drawing collage

Are you wondering how to help your kids get started with observational drawing? I’ve done this with toddlers through tweens and wanted to share some tips here.

But first, what is observational drawing?

Check out this video that shows Observational Drawing in Action! And then keep scrolling to find out more about it.

Observational Drawing for Kids - How to Get Started

Observational drawing is drawing what you see. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.

It can be a flower, a person, a still life, a landscape, whatever. But it’s drawing what you see in front of you as realistically and as true to life as possible.

Observational Drawing for Kids - Learning How to See

Observational drawing is a great exercise in seeing.

When we look at something with the intent of drawing it, we tend to look more carefully than usual. We see, truly see, the shapes, the patterns, the perspective, the colors, the shadows, the contours, and how all of the details interact.

Observational Drawing for Kids

26 Comments

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    Francie
    May 8, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Thanks for these ideas . It is so true that you look more carefully if you are reproducing a likeness than when just looking. I sometimes add a frame around the object to be drawn to give an idea about scale with respect to the paper.

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      Jean Van't Hul
      May 9, 2016 at 1:16 pm

      That’s a good idea about the frame, Francie! Do you use a real picture frame?

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    Yvonne | The Prudent Homeschooler
    May 9, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Jean, what a great outline for observational drawing! We’ve just begun to do this at home with our five and three-year-old, and it is phenomenal what they are able to observe and create simply by ‘seeing.’ Some days I am amazed at the detail our five-year-old can depict through his drawings. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

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      Jean Van't Hul
      May 10, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Isn’t it amazing what these kids are capable of, Yvonne? And what they see is not always what I would see. I love seeing this process in action!

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    Mohammad Asir Ali
    July 5, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    Good

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    Divya
    December 2, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    Wow! That’s nice! I have learnt something new today and am going to teach this to my children as well as my students. Thanks a lot!

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    gertie (gertrude for long)
    December 3, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    hey guys!!!
    yip this is jis so awes will defo be usin it for even just ya no i mean we all shld no this but srsly dont be disheartened you will always do grt no matter what and this brings me to another point i luv this stuff so much i dream about it in my sleep so gd luk w all the preps 4 the wedding member the pink shoes and bags and dont forget the signiture blue ring also the REALLY plain dress and dont you dare wear you name tag 😉😉😉😉😉
    luv yas all

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    Kashizo
    December 3, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    hey y’all!!!!

    suuuuup?? literally i am jus sooooo excited to be doin this with y’all!!!! you hav absolutely noooo idear how much i luv y’all coz u’s are all such GREAT drawers literally u jus amazeing!!!!
    aw man i jus canet waaaaiiitttt to git started coz i hav always wanted to be incredible at drawing like i mean i already am but u no…a good artist always aknowleges eny noo tips coz ya know ya learn sumthin noo everyday!!!!😏😏😏😏

    Enyywayyyz!!!! luv ya’ll an post agin soon😘🤗😇😍😘😂🤗😝

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    kashizo
    December 3, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    hurry up Gertie….😒🙄😖😌

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    gertie (gertrude for long)
    December 3, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    srsly i mean jis copy GERTIE (GERTRUDE FOR LONG) next time
    jis such a copycatterera

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    kashizo
    December 3, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    ferrggzzz Gert u r queer🙄🙄🙄🙄

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      margaret
      December 3, 2018 at 8:12 pm

      now now girls you rly shldn’t be fighting!!!
      i rly dont agree w it

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    kashizo
    December 3, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    laiikke srsly

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    penelope
    December 3, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    yes yes margaret i rly agree wuth u so tru just farting and farting all the tarm an we get ebsolutely no peace and quart!!!

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    Rosa Bonheur
    December 3, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    WOW!!
    It’s just so awesome for the kids to be able to get onto websites like these!! I can’t wait to try this with my kids…. I’m a world famous artist myself and would love for my children to be, too. I want to say thank you so much for this website. I am really grateful😘
    Also I would like to say that Kashizo and Gertrude have been very rude and disrespectful to the founders of this inspiring website. Very disappointing

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    Maisie
    December 3, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    WOW!!
    I can’t believe that Rosa Bonheur really said something on this website!!!!
    Mrs Bonheur, I’m a HUGE fan!!!!😘

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    Rosa Bonheur
    December 3, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    Aw thank you Maisie! That’s really sweet!! 😘If you let me know where you live I could maybe arrange to meet up with you sometime?

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    isabella
    December 3, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    thankyou thankyou thankyou rosa
    at least someone cs my point of view
    luv me
    p.s. i am ur biggest fan and i hope i will see u one day but also would never want to miss an opo to see u but sure hope u can come c me 1 day at my new house

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    Maisie
    December 3, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    Aw I would love that!!!!
    I live in Ballarat, Vic 3350
    Aw my goodness I am soo excited!!!! I really hope you can come….

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    Rosa Bonheur
    December 3, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    OK I will see what I can do

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    Rosa Bonheur
    December 3, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Oh Isabella! I didn’t see your comment! Of course we could meet up sometime! Maybe not at the moment as I am working on a massive masterpiece but I’m sure a meeting could be arranged. See you!

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    Tina W
    December 4, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    This website is fabulous!! The above comments were very interesting….🤣was that the real Rosa Bonheur?
    I cannot wait to try this with my kids!! I’ve always loved art…!!

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    Sabrina
    December 4, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    I’m s’posed to be doin my work but i jis decided to drop in n say hey ur website is awes!!!!

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    Jean Van't Hul
    December 4, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    i am very disappointed at how people are abusing this website. i can’t believe that Rosa Bonheur has really messaged on the website i wish you the very best with all your recent projects.

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