I had the students look at boxed butterflies and natural elements that I checked out from the RISD Nature Lab, a visual library of natural history specimens. The students also viewed images of birds and flowers. We talked about spring and incorporating some type of border with natural elements. We also discussed how you can keep an image fresh, by not working it to death. Oftentimes, it’s best to have them start on the finished product (or on the good paper) only after their sketches are resolved, because, much like a writer working on a rough draft, if the sketch doesn’t show promise the final won’t either.

I liked the punch of the Prismacolor on the charcoal colored paper, Canson Pastel in Gray Tones, 9×12 paper was what we used.