Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Nature takes shape in plants - an art exercise for children

We feel a sense of awe and wonder when we look closely at the natural world.  The natural world has developed patterns and forms which are marvels of efficiency and beauty such as in the aerodynamics of the wings of birds or in the hexagonal compartments of honeycombs. 

This exercise serves as guide for on-the-spot drawing and painting in a garden, with an art instructor. Draw with pastel on Oslo paper, or paint with water-based acrylic paints on canvas or board. 

Lobster's Claw inflorescence: pattern of bilateral symmetry, opposite alternation, and  color harmony. 
Closeup of the inflorescence of a sedge, relative of the Papyrus, a favorite art subject

  Maguey and Bromeliad represent two forms of radial symmetry, one is sperical for protection and defence (maguey); the other is funnel-like for function.  The crown serves a funnel to collect rain and dew. 

 Inflorescences of lily (spherical) and ornamental pineapple ( radially  symmetrical) are colorful to attract insect pollinators.  
The white immaculate flower of Sampaguita or Jasmine appears like a star, and in fact a bunch of stars as the buds open in succession to form a cluster.  

The puff-like flowers of makahiya or Mimosa attract insects mainly bees. The leaves fold when touched making the flowers all the more prominent  which enhances pollination.  

The aster-like flowers of wild sunflower or Tithonia jot our of the thicket among weeds breaking the monotony of the place.

The flowers of Lantana or bangbangsit (Ilk) make a beautiful carpet of various colors, shades and hues, the product of multiple cross breeding of different varieties. This is a good exercise on color combination.

Flower clusters of dwarf Milflores or Santan outnumber the leaves but are short-lived. Santan comes in various colors, popularly red, yellow, orange and white varieties. Examine the four-petalled individual flowers.                      

African Oil Palm or Elaeis guineensis elegantly stands on manicured ground. Study the symmetry of the palm and the surrounding plants at its base. 

Pioneering Ivy  bravely clings on a rock wall, and gardener's care, it will spread and transform the wall into green.  

 Nature's art in flowers applying the three shapes in various combinations through radial symmetry, bilateral symmetry, spiral, parallel and alternate arrangements. Nature's beauty is also expressed through asymmetry (no specific symmetry).

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