Colorful leaves on white surface - 3D pen art

What on Earth?! Doodling the World Around Us

The first Earth Day took place in 1970. It started an important global conversation about how we can all be better stewards of the environment.

Today, more than a billion people every year celebrate Earth Day on April 22 by looking for new ways to raise awareness for the health of the world around them, reduce their carbon footprint, and advocate for important policy changes that will benefit the environment.

According to the official Earth Day website, there are a variety of ways that we can celebrate our own version of Earth Day, every day. Here are just a few that you can share with your students:

Earth Day Tips
  • Pick up trash when you come across it — even if it’s not yours.

  • Bring your own grocery bag to the store.

  • Turn off lights and appliances in empty rooms.

  • Limit the time you spend in the shower to help conserve water.

  • Recycle! Better yet, compost!

Another cool way to commemorate Earth Day is to encourage your students to incorporate nature into their artwork. Nature is one of the best art mediums around because it is so versatile. Here are a few ways you can work with your students to explore the world around you and create something beautiful:

Explore “earth tones” in your color palette. Many artists rely on earth tones to make their artwork pop. Earth tones are colors like red or brown that we can find in the world around us. Often, these colors are derived from rocks or clay; they have been used in art for tens of thousands of years because they are widely available, relatively permanent, and pleasing to the eye.

Doodle Art Imitates Life Doodle Art Imitates Life

Get inspiration from nature. Some of the most popular artwork of our time has been inspired by the world around us. Landscape painting, for example, is the depiction of natural scenes through art. Leonardo da Vinci is a well-known landscape artist whose earliest known drawing depicted the valley he played in as a child in Italy. Landscape drawings could include man-made structures or people. However, they commonly render mountains, forests, or bodies of water.

Incorporate natural objects into your artwork. Perhaps one of the most interesting ways to honor nature through your art is to include it directly. There are lots of fun ways that kids and adults do that every day:

  • Creating a sandcastle at the beach is a form of sand sculpture that uses materials found in nature — in this case, sand — to create something unique and beautiful.
  • Ephemeral art encourages people to find items in nature, including sticks, leaves, rocks, shells, etc., and arrange them into artistic patterns.
  • Using nature as a paintbrush, via flower painting, is a fun way for kids to be creative and work with new materials. Simply find a flower and dip it in paint as a paintbrush to create a beautiful piece of art.

Now that Spring has sprung, the 3Doodler team has particularly enjoyed walking around our respective neighborhoods to collect leaves growing from local trees and bushes. It’s fun to look at the different colors, sizes, shapes, and textures of this new growth — and it’s a great opportunity to create new artwork.

While we often create stencils for you to use to Doodle new projects, we’d encourage you to use Mother Nature as a stencil this Earth Day. Collect a handful of beautiful leaves from your community and use your 3Doodler pen to draw their unique veins and blades in 3D! Pay attention to what makes one type of leaf different from another. Choose earth tones or bold colors to accentuate the shape and texture of each leaf.

  • Earthday B drawing with 3d pen on paper
  • Earthday leaf on table with 3D pen art

After you’ve traced your leaves, take this project a step further and use your leaf tracings to create other types of artwork, or enjoy them as-is. The point of this project is similar to the point of Earth Day: to “leave” your mark, whatever it may be!

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