Be Curious - Draw a Leaf or Flower

"I didn't know what to think about the painting (from the 'Art Appreciation' activity) when I first saw it. But hearing the expert, listening to others and trying to come up with my own thoughts about it has given me the confidence to have my own opinions."

What is a viewfinder?




A viewfinder helps you to choose which part of the subject you’re going to draw; it can also be used for isolating a small section from a larger object. Its border blocks out the area surrounding your viewpoint, making it easier to focus on the view.


About this activity:

  • If you've done the previous exercise ’Draw a Scene' you'll have walked round a park or garden and looked at the scenery. For this activity you’ll look at details that you may not have noticed on your first visit for example, the shape of a leaf, the centre of a flower, the textures and colours of tree bark


  • If you haven't already done this exercise, you may like to refer to our ’Notice What You Like Part 1’ activity for more ideas on observation and looking closely 

Step 1: Getting started 

  • Spend some time in strolling around a park or garden, and select a subject to draw. If you’re in the park, try to do the drawing away from busy areas but in a safe place
  • Move the viewfinder over the subject until you find an interesting ‘view’ If you can, leave the viewfinder in place as it will be easier to make your drawing
  • Draw a small rectangle or square (12 x 10 cm, or 12 x 12 cm, or similar) onto your paper – this is the outline or frame for your drawing. Relate the shape to the viewfinder’s window, for example, a rectangular window = a rectangular frame for the drawing
  • When making drawings from a small, detailed subject, it can be easier to make the drawings ‘larger than life’ - so make the outline on your paper slightly larger than what you can see through the viewfinder
  • Look closely at the subject before you start to sketch, and keep looking at it for more information as you draw
  • Make several drawings, perhaps of the same subject matter, moving the viewfinder slightly each time you start another drawing, so you have a sheet of slightly different views of the same subject Or look at something completely different – it’s up to you!
  • If you like a drawing, colour it in before moving on to your next sketch, have fun – the colours don’t have to be exactly the same as your subject - this is your own individual interpretation



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