In her classic drawing books, Drawing with Children and Drawing for Older Children and Teens, art teacher and author Mona Brookes offers an engaging way to practice seeing and drawing using her “Duplication Exercise”. This activity is completely adaptable to any ability level, K through adult. You can start out easy and increase the difficulty as you go, as you can see in this spread from Mona Brookes’ book. And did I mention that it’s FUN, too??!
I created a Duplication Exercise for my last teacher workshop (with designs drawn in and being copied at the top of this post). All you do is draw a simple (or not so simple) design in each box across the top and then make a copy for each of your students. Then ask them to copy each design in the box below it. This activity will train them to really look closely at their subject and notice details. If you like to doodle (and who doesn’t?) you will enjoy both creating the designs to be copied as well as copying designs that others have created. Students love this activity and especially enjoy making their own designs for their classmates to copy. This process is even therapeutic…. try it during testing week or as a “filler” when other work is finished.