Fourth Grade drawing of a vacuum cleaner.

Observation drawing is about translating what students observe about a three-dimensional object into lines and shapes on a flat piece of paper. As students get older and become more competent at drawing, they move from generalized representations to more specific responses in their drawings, and they learn to incorporate surface textures and varying line qualities. By fifth grade, most students begin to explore ways to represent three-dimensional space. The challenge for students is to figure out their own strategies for representing the subject matter.

Books and Catalogues

Smith, Nancy R. and the Drawing Study Group, Observation Drawing with Children: A Framework for Teachers, Teachers College Press, 1997