15 Nov 2006
A Walk in the Woods # Exercise 2. ‘Colour Dabs’.
Here is another exercise from Earth Education that is as effective with adults as with children. Simply make some small artists pallette-shaped pieces of card about 3″ by 2″, and put double sided sticky tape on them. When you are out with your group in a (preferably broadleaved) woodland, make the observation to the group that although as you look around you in the wood here it all looks to be just two colours, green and brown, if you look closely you will be able to find all the colours an artist would need. Invite them to just take ‘dabs’, tiny pieces, of leaves, bark, moss, fungi, clay, whatever, to try and build a full spectrum of colours. It can take 20 – 30 minutes to do this, and people are completely engrossed.
I have done this exercise with lots of different groups, the ones who like it best are little girls, who could do it all day, and come back and ask for another pallette at the end. When everyone gathers back together again, arrange all the finished pallettes on the ground for all to see. They are lovely things to arrange in the classroom when you get back. Like the other Earthwalk activities, its power lies in its ability to get people down on their hands and knees really LOOKING at Nature, and at the same time creating something very beautiful.