Cycle 3 Week 1- Apples and OiLS

This art project will probably be quite a bit different from what you are used to in CC.  As tutors, we usually draw a picture on the board and have the students copy as we draw.  The students are (hopefully) looking at the lines and drawing them on their own paper.  This is essentially the same skill as drawing a still life, where we look at something, analyze the lines and shapes, and reproduce it.  However, I think students may be missing the real-world translation.  How do we draw something without copying someone else’s drawing?  How do we take the OiLS concept from “Drawing With Children” and connect it to drawing an object (or person, or landscape)?

This lesson is a series of sketches, not a finished artwork.  The project may feel unusual, but it imparts a seriously important drawing skill.  Try practicing at home and notice if it changes the way you think as you draw.

In last week’s post I talked about using the phrase “Let’s study what we see”.  As you teach lesson one, use the phrase all the time.  This lesson is a great starting point as we drive home the idea over the next six weeks.



OiLS print-out, 1 per student (see lesson plan below)

white drawing paper (12+ sheets)

4 apples, dissimilar in shape from one another


Whiteboard/marker or large paper/marker for drawing demonstrations

optional: colored pencils


This lesson plan is for children of all ages.  Starting this kind of drawing early sets a great foundation for later!

Click here for the Cycle 3 Week 1- Apples and OiLS lesson plan.  The print-out is located on page 2.


Side note:  “Studying what we see” is just as important when we draw a picture from our imagination.  When a child draws a house and a sun and a tree, they still use an image they are seeing, though they simplify it.  Encourage them to study the picture they are imagining.  What else is interesting about the house?  What kind of branches does the tree have?  Even with completely fictional ideas, ask describing questions:  What shape is the dragon?  Do you see any angled lines?  What do his ears look like?

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