Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Zoo sketching with Sophie & Maggie

[Mike Daikubara in Boston] Last week I went sketching with Sophie and Maggie, identical twin daughters of our good friends and they have been interested in drawing. I had promised to go sketching with them for a while now and finally made an opportunity to go sketching together.
It was their first time sketching at a zoo so I went a little early to Stone Zoo to do some research and do a few practice sketches to see what would be easy to sketch.

My 1st choice: Flamingos. They were really loud and seemed to move a lot but in reality they didn't move very much. Even if they moved, there was another flamingo standing right next to the first flamingo in a similar pose. I thought this would be good.

2nd choice: Black-Necked Crane. Another one that didn't move very much which was good - but since there was only 1 crane, when he got up and walked away, you had to stop sketching.

The girls arrived so I took them to the Flamingo area.

They hated it!!

They couldn't stand the noise and especially the smell (which indeed did smell pretty bad)

So we started walking around and came across the alligator area.
He was all the way near the front glass and didn't move - most of all he didn't smell which was important to the twins :)
I started sketching, then the girls just followed along without any intimidation.
While we were sketching, there were lots of spectators, little children coming real close to see what the girls were drawing, yet the two just continued to sketch without being distracted - I was very impressed.
The alligator didn't move but the foreshortening perspective and the details of the reptile made it a very hard subject but they seemed to have enjoyed it and successfully captured the shapes/colors too.

Lots of other children were inspired by Sophie and Maggie sketching and they asked their parents if they could sketch too - that was great to hear. I also loved this one conversation:

(3yr old girl asking her dad): Can you draw the alligator?
(Dad): Mommy and Daddy aren't good at drawing...
(Girl): But I'm good at drawing!

What kept going through my head was Picasso's famous quote "All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up" - I wish the little girl can keep it up.

Next we walked around and saw 2 bears.
I immediately pulled out my sketchbook to see if the bear was even possible to capture since he just kept on walking around. The girls saw me do this and starting sketching while standing on their own too. I never thought they could sketch while standing so I was impressed. They also jumped right into using the felt tip pens I gave them that day.

We also spread a blanket on the floor to continue sketching the details and to add color. A while ago my wife and I gave them watercolor pencils and a water brush which they have been using really well. The youngest sister Ellie even started drawing with her crayons too!

I drew the 3 girls.
They loved the bear poop which I also added into the sketch :)

What a fun relaxing day!
Hope to do more sketching with them in the future!

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