|Nick R works on capturing the details from the plant specimens.|
I have always been fascinated by a category of plants known as "succulents." These plants are great at storing water in their leaves and because of this, the shapes of the leaves are usually plump, thick and round. These simple shapes provide excellent subject matter for student artists. The forms are simplified, but when combined in groups, the resulting compositions can be very intriguing!
Many of these plants are popular and easy to find in local nurseries and home improvement stores. You may even have some of them in your home or garden. Some common succulents include aloe plants, sedum and various cacti. ( Yes, the plural of cactus is cacti!)
I purchased ten different succulent plants that became the "models'" for our observational drawings. I also gathered several books about succulents and printed color photos of container gardens. The students explored these resources and each person handed in an index card with five facts that they learned about the plants.
After deciding which plants they wanted to draw, they carefully observed the specimens and drew two or more plants in a container of their own design. It was important that each container have an ellipse. An ellipse is a shape that looks like a skinny oval, and it works well to represent the opening of a pot. Keep an eye out for ellipses as this lesson progresses. I will post pictures of these beautiful drawings soon!