Observational drawing is when someone sits down and draws exactly what they see right in front of them. Plain and simple. It is a great way to get your child to focus on their surroundings and dip into their creativity at the same time.
As you know, we love to draw here in my house and I constantly post blogs about this very subject in hopes that you will introduce this hobby to your kids.
Recently, I highlighted tips on how to draw a dog, how to draw Baby Yoda, and even gave you a 30 Day Drawing Challenge. Want more? Here you go!
- How To Draw A Giraffe
- How To Draw Disney’s Villains
- Nature Drawing For Kids – 10 Easy Tutorials To Get Them Started
- How To Draw Disney Characters
- Ridiculously Easy Things To Draw With Chalk
A Note From An Art Teacher
Before I offer up 50 ideas to attempt during your observational drawing, I wanted you to hear some tips from a teacher I found online. Amazing tips, indeed!
My personal favorite? Draw what you see and not what you know – the information in your head is wrong! Just draw what is in front of you. Don’t draw what you think you know about the product.
Also, don’t forget to draw lightly. This was a big one that I personally needed to hear. I always press so hardly when I am drawing and then it’s hard to correct mistakes. I have to remember this great tip.
Honestly, I watched this man’s entire video and every single point is KEY! This is an entire semester’s worth of value in under ten minutes. This is why YouTube was created. Please take a second to watch this video if you are interested in becoming a better artist.
Observational Drawing For Kids – 50 Ideas To Get You Started
Onto the observational drawing ideas for kids! If you don’t know what to tell your children to draw, here are 50 ideas to get them started:
- Their bedroom
- Favorite toy
- Garbage bag
- Open closet
- Picture frame
- Living room
- Family pet
- Family car
- Street sign
- Garbage can
- Local park
- Neighbor’s house
- Soda bottle
- Ketchup bottle
- Bushes and weeds
- Stuffed animal
- Power lines
If you want to see someone doing an observational drawing on video, I found someone drawing a banana. She also opens up about her thought process. This might be great to watch with your children.
Why is observational drawing important?
Observational drawing is important because it gets kids to stop drawing from memory and, instead, gets them to use their senses. It teaches them to use the resources they have on hand.
A lot of people don’t feel like they can succeed because they don’t have the Statue of Liberty or the Eiffel Tower in front of them to practice on. Nothing amazing or beautiful or outstanding! Well, guess what?! To practice drawing… you don’t need anything grand. You just need… a remote control or a shoe or a leaf. Use what you have and hone in on your skills.
What does observation mean in art?
Observational art is defined as drawing or painting from life. You could start with fruit or people or landscapes. Anything from this exact moment in time. Look around! What do you see?
You cannot use a photograph though. That’s the secret! It must be REAL.
Are you ready to give observational drawing a chance? I hope you do!