crazy for cacti

These watercolor cactus paintings have turned out so beautifully, I’m so proud of my kids! Still life assignments have acquired a reputation for being too “boring,” but I find that painting and drawing from direct observation is the best way to see and interpret the colors, textures, and forms up close and personal.

For this assignment, each table had a potted cactus plant. The students were asked to sketch 3 different viewpoints of the same cactus plant. This meant that they could move around their table to get different angles, or they could zoom in closely to get a more detailed drawing of the cactus’s parts. When they completed their 3 drawings, they were asked to pick out their best one and draw it again onto a larger piece of paper and then watercolor it. Some students even experimented with watercolor pencils to create fine details in the needles. I really love the way the students experimented with the different color combinations.

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