Nature’s Designs

What you’ll need

Scrap paper, pencil, colored pencils, markers, watercolor paint and brushes

Charles Burchfield’s work was inspired by nature, and he often made drawings based on natural forms. Burchfield often drew on scraps of paper, turning notes, numbers and doodles he made during phone calls or card games into detailed designs. Sometimes he would use the names of his kids and relatives as the beginning shapes of some elaborate forms!

  1. Find a scrap piece of paper. It’s extra fun if it already has some words or numbers on it! (Make sure it’s not something important).
  2. Choose a word, words, or numbers on the paper to turn into natural designs. If your paper is blank, start with your name, or the name of someone you know!
  3. Using the lines and shapes the letters or numbers create, add more lines, shapes and colors with pencils, markers, or pens, to create designs inspired by nature. 
  4. Turn your lines into branches, leaves, bugs, animals, trees, grass – anything!
  5. If you have them, experiment with adding watercolor paints to your design.