We were privileged to have free passes to the South East Asia Aquarium given by a generous friend. All i can say is God takes note of even the most ‘mundane’ heart’s desires and wishes! I had hoped to visit the aquarium one day together with the kids so that they could experience drawing from first hand observation of the living creatures! How thrilled i was to be granted this heart’s desire even though it may not seem to be important or even necessary. Just so touched by the Lord’s goodness.
It is my firm belief that drawing from studying the real thing would be the best skills to acquire if one were to seek to draw realistically. Often, we take shortcuts to first hand observation drawing by taking photos or just copying from other drawings instead of making the effort to take time to observe the real subject matters ourselves in our bid to draw well. (i am not belittling those methods of learning, there is a place for that if the situation doesn’t allow for the ideal first hand observational studies) Just that as an Art teacher, i would strive to help my children and students (if time permits) develop this skill whenever they have the opportunity. For now, it doesn’t matter whether their drawings resemble the live creatures or objects. What matters is the exercise of drawing itself that requires concentration which increases one’s observation skills. I would also help them in their observation by guiding them with questions to notice distinctive aspects of the subject matter at times. Doing so, instills an appreciation of the creation and the wonderful creator of these living things.
A friend wondered if my youngest (2yr old) was bored by the activities since she still doesn’t know how to draw. My reply was simple. She was happy just doodling and asking me to see what she has done. (basically just marks on her paper). The product wasn’t as important as the process of getting her to observe the sea creatures. I asked guiding questions like ” what are the colours of this fish?”, ” what do they use to swim with, hands or fins?” and compare how she would be different from the fish. Whatever she doesn’t know, i just supply the answers to convey the facts and get her to enjoy the beauty of the living things around her. She then chooses the colour that we have discussed and try to ‘draw’ the fish. She may not be able to draw, but she would have learnt a lot of live lessons on the sea creatures. Now with this experience, we can discuss more accurately the sea creatures and their attributes etc when we read stories on the ocean or the like.
We really enjoyed ourselves and left the place filled with Ocean Awe.