Masks are required for all visitors regardless of vaccination status. Read our safety guidelines.

de Youngsters Studio: The Beauty of Plants, One Postcard at a Time

Create a collection of botanical postcards as you explore the San Francisco Botanical Garden—or any other special garden!

Watch The Beauty of Plants, One Postcard at a Time

Collection Connection

In the painting A Dandelion with a Tiger Moth, a Snail, A Beetle, and a Butterfly (ca. 1730), the artist Barbara Dietzsch carefully isolates the dandelion during various stages of its life cycle, accompanied by all the insects that rely on the plant. Notice the variety of textures and colors of the plants and insects. The artist must have closely observed her subjects, as the arrangement painted is incredibly lifelike. The background is stark black, focusing our attention on the tiny details of the ecosystem.

Materials

Questions to Consider 

Start your exploration in the Children’s Garden at the San Francisco Botanical Garden! A fee may be required.

or

or

Steps

1. Find a comfortable place to sit or stand with your supplies.

2. Start with a light drawing. Carefully observe the plant and find the longest line, trace it with your finger, and then lightly draw it. Lightly sketch the shapes you see that make up the parts of the plant. 

3. Before you paint, spend some time studying the colors you see. Take out your watercolor paint, brushes, and water. Experiment with mixing the variety of greens and other colors you see in the plants you’ve drawn.

4. Remember, water is your friend! Start with mostly water and just a little paint. Use the tip of your brush to paint details.
5. After the watercolor paint dries, feel free to add more detail, like texture and shadow, with pencil or pen to accentuate specific features of your plant.

6. Write a short note on the postcard’s back to a loved one, sharing what attracted you to the plant you chose to observe and draw. Place a stamp on your postcard and drop it in a mailbox!

Reflect  

After creating your postcards, consider the following questions: 

Share

We would love to see what you create! Email pictures of your artwork to families@famsf.org or tag us on any social platform with #deyoungsters.

Image credits: