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Objectives: Draw something from observation and use this as a basis for developing abstractions. Draw tropical plants, flowers and grasses. Use various examples to gather lines and shapes. Have a closer look at the anatomy of plants such as their stems and leaves, margin, buds, shoot, nodes, veins, and mid veins.

Focus on the subject and follow the edges, shapes and lines. Choose areas that have some open spaces around it.

Aims: Learn how to create a basic composition by using your interpretation and observation skills.

Working with complementary/contrasting colours.


Charcoals, newsprint, pastels, window aperture

Steps: 1.Take a simple black and white photo to find sections for abstractions. 2. Using photograph in grey scale, cut the photograph apart. 3. Look for sections have clear shapes. Focus on only shapes and lines. 4. Colour the whole a4 size page with any colour of your choice in watercolour. 5. Sketch a square or rectangle on your paper. Draw the main shapes with pastels. 6. Pay extra attention to lights and darks of your composition. 6. You can add one or two colours to this sketches. Try to choose complementary colours.



Interesting facts: Baobab trees grow in 32 African countries. They can live for up to 5,000 years, reach up to 30 metres high and up to an enormous 50 metres in circumference. Baobab trees can provide shelter, food and water for animals and humans. The striking silhouette of a baobab tree at sunset is a familiar site to anyone who has spent time in rural Africa - but it is also well known all across the world thanks to its starring roles in Disney’s Lion King (it is Rafiki the monkey’s tree), Avatar (The Tree of Souls), Madagascar and the famous children's novel, The Little Prince.

While many people know of the baobab tree, not many people know that it has a fruit - and even less know that this fruit is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world.

In fact, every part of the baobab tree is valuable - the bark can be turned into rope and clothing, the seeds can be used to make cosmetic oils, the leaves are edible, the trunks can store water and the fruit is extraordinarily rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Women in Africa have turned to the baobab fruit as a natural source of health and beauty for centuries.

While many people know of the baobab tree, not many people know that it has a fruit - and even less know that this fruit is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world.

Using a window aperture enable us to isolate or focus on an area of interest. We use this approach to form a frame to look through when we paint. By eliminating other information we can really see our subject and focus on the colours within it more intensely.

We will isolate an area in a photograph, determine the proportions of colour and follow a series of exercises using coloured pencil and cut magazine papers to translate this information.

Subject: The Monkeys in the Jungle, by Henri Rousseau in 1909.

Genre: Wildlife painting and sculpture Year: 1909 Tags:Tags: #wild_animals, #monkeys, #jungles, #tropicals #gorilla, #elephant #tocan #birds #rainforest #wildlife

One of my favourite artists is Henri Rousseau, he was a French post-impressionist painter in the Naïve or Primitive manner.Henri Rousseau was a post-impressionist. Rousseau was inspired by the jungle, but he never was there. His sources of imagination were illustrated books and visits to the Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Paris.

I'll use one of Henri Rousseau's images to begin with. We have three templates to work with to translate the colour information.


1.A photograph has 8- 10 different colours, including lighter and darker versions of one colour and neutrals like brown, beige, and perhap black.

2. Coloured pencils.

3. The templates

4. Magazines to cut up (interior, gerdenning, or style magazines)

5. Thin card 12.5 cm x18 cm

6. Paper scissors

7. Cutting board, craft knife

8. Glue stick


1. Using a scissors cut the templates from the card with 2.5 cm, 5 cm, 7.5 cm square apertures as shown below;

By analyzing a section of interest of your reference and being able to see more colours you will also start looking at shpe and textures as well.

Think about using a collage of mixed media as a source of reference instead, or perhaps matching up your colour selection with rectangles of collage.

2. Choose a window depending on the size and select an area. Think about colour for interest.

3. Carefully select 8 -10 different coloured pencils to match the colours in the picture. Think about proportions of colour.

Result in engaging and pleasing experience for the viewer.

Focal point or focal points are there to grab viewer's attention. In every piece we create we should eat least one focal point and maybe one or two supporting focal points as well.

1. The viewer is drawn into the artwork,

2. The viewer is guided to the focal point,

3. The viewer is guided to the supporting elements,

4. The viewer is guided out of artwork or back to the focal point.

We can create a focal point within a scene using 5 different techniques. By,

1. By Contrast: (Contrast deals with difference, this could be any kind of difference, such as hue, textural, value difference). Contrast provides focal point.

Let's look at the image on the left. In this picture, contrast created by clear vision of a drop.

Where does your eye go first? The difference is used here was clear /blurry visual contrast.

2. By the Unusual (or isolation)

In this image, the star shaped Asteroidea (star fish) is unusual and isolated by others.

It naturally draws attention to the shape of the star.

3. By Placement on the picture plane.

Placement of the paper is another way of creating a focal point in the picture plane. We naturally drawn on the centre of any specific form. But finding a off centre point will create better composition.

If we keep the picture on the centre point we create a static composition.

Third of rule:

4. By Convergence: Convergence deals with the use of actual lines and shapes within the scene. those guidelines help viewer's attention to a focal point.

The picture on the side shows Convergence, because all the lines of the building's point straight to the opening/center of the airplane (also known as a focal point.) This aspect of emphasis is created when the artwork point to the main focus of the piece.


Unity & Harmony

We can create harmony and unity in our composition. There are ways several ways to create harmony and unity in our composition by;

1. Using the medium in a consistent manner.

2. Simplifying, shapes, subjects, colours, etc.

3. Using a consistent style.

4. Making sure the artwork appears finished.

5. Ensuring that each part works and makes sense with the others.


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