Third graders enjoyed getting to know some of the beautiful birds that live here in Georgia, like the Brown Thrasher, the Summer Tanager, and the American Goldfinch. We drew the birds in bright, clear detail using watercolor pencils since they were in the foreground, and created a blurred, out-of-focus effect for the background using wet-on-wet watercolor brush techniques. This is one way of showing perspective, or the illusion of space on a flat surface. The older students use perspective techniques with vanishing points.
Looking at photos helps the students understand the atmospheric perspective, because they actually see the contrast in clarity. Some painted the backgrounds using the same colors they observed, while many used artistic license and imagined colorful gardens in the distance.