Paint a Pumpkin, a fun observational drawing activity for kids!

October is here and I've been thinking about festive art projects we could do in our first grade pod. Observational drawing is one of the building blocks to being a great artist and I've been wanting to incorporate more of it into our days. Today I set out one huge pumpkin and had the kids paint it, and I've never seen them more focused!

The best part of observational drawing is it requires very little in terms of supplies and set up. As long as you have paint, brushes and paper you can basically put anything simple in front of children and ask them to draw it. Pumpkins are a simple, fairly easy object for kids of any age to draw.

Drawing from observation helps artists to see and study shapes and color. It helps to train our brains to be able to take in 3-dimensional information, process it and send it back out again onto a 2-dimensional surface. As a teacher there are lots of things you can teach a child through observational drawing. First you can teach them to see the outline or shape of an object (draw it). Then you can teach them to see details (more drawing). And the most fun part, is teaching them to mix their colors adding light and shadow to the form (painting).

Materials: Lawn easels (optional), a pumpkin, red, blue, yellow and white paint