It was raining so we couldn’t go out…never mind, we stayed in at the Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum and learnt how to draw a plant accurately. First choose your plant (I’d been out earlier collecting some of the more plentiful local ones). Back to your seats – paper and pencil at the ready…GO.
And so we worked on getting the size right for the whole plant (harder than you think when you are eight because for some reason everything is drawn in miniature at that age) and the flowers and the leaves. When the size was right we worked on the detail of the leaves and the flower.
The rain eased for lunchtime and we enjoyed a game of Splat! That is to say most of us enjoyed ourselves and obviously just because I was rubbish at it doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it because that would be sad and bitter but I’m just putting it out there that I think children must practice it ALL the time and there ought to be a special rules for people who are beginners and taller than everyone else.
Back in to transfer our rough drawings onto watercolour paper and colour them in which is actually a complicated process, even for the adults helping, who were persuaded to join in. In fact the end results were very good – with a lot of the sizes, detail and colour matching being very good – like anything else though it takes a lot of practice to become expert and we all seem to expect to be perfect instantly when we try something new. Why is that?
As a postscript…drawing works. Two weeks later one of the children, whose concentration was sometimes a bit erratic, recognised his plant immediately. “That’s a Vampire Plant*!” and it was indeed.
*Yellow-rattle. It is semi-parasitic on grass, hitching its roots into those of a nearby grass plant and slowly sucking the life out of it…stunting it, but not letting it die.