Teaching the Art of Biodiversity
As an illustrator, I strive to inspire wonder and reverence for the natural world, especially in children. So I jumped at the opportunity to teach my method for creating biodiversity color wheels to students at the Friends School of Portland.
The students of the Friends School of Portland arrived to my art workshop bursting with ideas and questions, and ranged in age from eight to twelve. I kicked things off by sharing my favorite scientific illustrations, ranging from hyperrealistic to wonderfully abstracted, and passed around beautifully illustrated books from my personal collection.
My goal: to show there's no one 'right' way to approach illustration.
The students dove into drawing rainbow assortments of the organisms of their choosing: mushrooms, seas slugs, beetles, jellyfish, and chickens - yes, chickens.
The Friends School of Portland had done a truly top-notch job of selecting a wide range of instructors and conducting rank-choice voting, to ensure students were happy with their class. It was a joy to spend quality time with children who shared my enthusiasm for painting, and even went as far as to bring in their own special brushes.
On the second out of the three day workshop, I brought in my personal palette. At a foot wide and nearly two feet long, it was almost half the height of one of the pint-sized third graders. I used it to demonstrate the enormous possibilities of mixing your own colors. That little third grader dove in, sampling colors on my palette for her color wheel, which featured frogs sitting on toadstools.
Teaching these talented young artists was an unforgettable experience, and I'd love to continue sharing my love of illustration with others. If you're interested in hosting me for a workshop, let's chat!