Iris Study

Materials: Flowers in bloom (yay, spring!); clipboards; decent-weight drawing paper (I’ve been really happy with this in the 160gsm weight); media of your choice–we used, amongst us, sketching pencils, colored pencils, chalk pastels, and gouache

These beauties are in bloom right now.

We’ve been watching them get taller and taller, we watched the buds emerge, and yesterday when we went outside, there were a couple of blooms. Today, a riot.

So I cut some of our drawing paper in half so it would fit on a clipboard, and we brought a bunch of art supplies outside. V wanted some sort of paint that was thicker than liquid watercolors but not quite tempera. I’d been thinking the same thing, so I brought out the gouache. According to DickBlick, gouache is an opaque watercolor. I like it quite a bit. But, having never worked with watercolors in a tube before, V needed some instruction (not something he enjoys) and some practice. It’s hard to get the hang of a new material.

I love that picture! Kids outside, making art. G joined in, looking at the flowers and trying out all the materials. N decided to go up the hill to another patch of irises–less crowded if we spread out.

(The cape, by the way, is from his teacher. It’s a multi-age classroom. Last year she made all the kids crowns for their birthdays, and this year, capes. So by the time you’ve gone through both years with her, you have a set. N just received his cape on Friday since his birthday is this weekend, and he’s been wearing it constantly. He has a wonderful teacher!)

N liked the chalk pastels quite a bit.

V worked with the pencil and gouache. He was initially very frustrated with mixing the colors and getting the right amount of water, but he ended up with some beautiful purples.

This is what I managed in fits & starts–under some duress, I might add.

(I was using the back of my car to lay out the finished work so it wouldn’t blow away. Mine is resting on our traveling art box.) I haven’t used gouache in a while either, so I was reacquainting myself with its characteristics.

What’s in bloom where you live? What can you get outside to draw or paint?

7 thoughts on “Iris Study

  1. Michelle

    Beautiful flowers AND pictures. Oh, I just love flowers in pastels. As an adult, the chalk on my hands drives me bananas (sensory thing, I guess), but I loved using them as a kid.

    (AWESOME birthday cape, by the way!)

  2. Rachelle

    Seriously, a teacher who makes capes for her students!?! That’s just awesome. The flowers are beautiful, and I can see why you’re outside painting them. Hope you’re holding up with the recent bout of icky weather.

  3. jen | paintcutpaste.com

    very cool post! we love painting botanicals over here, too. i just found your blog through a comment you made on the artful parent’s blog — one of my favs, as well. i’m going to add your blog to my inspiration list on my blog & fb page – stop by to see us sometime: http://paintcutpaste.com (oooh, i see rachelle commented up there – she’s my neighbor and fellow artsy mom blog friend, too.) blessings and paintmesses to you – happy summer! jen

  4. Pingback: Favorite Projects of 2011 | kids in the studio

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