Do Lions Have Ears?

During one of my art classes few weeks back, one of my students (primary school age) was starting work on a painting of a lion. I briefly talked him through the features of a lion before he started working on a quick outline of the lion. After a while, my student looked at his drawing and put down his pencil. Then he said, “I’m done.” I looked at his drawing and asked him to do one last check. He took a quick glance of his artwork and repeated the same words. He said that he is done but something was clearly missing. My student’s lion had no ears. 

I pointed out the ears on the sample artwork and asked my student where are his lion’s ears. His reply definitely surprised me. He said, ” I thought lions don’t have ears.” I decided that we needed to have a proper quick chat about this. My student has been to the zoo before. He knows that lioness have ears. He has seen lions before. So why are there no ears for his lion? It turns out that the previous times when he goes to the zoo, the lions are fast asleep. When they were asleep, all my student could see was their thick mane. One of my guesses is that my student thought that lions have no ears because the colour of the lion’s ears are pretty much the same colour as that of their mane.

I feel that art is one of the best ways for someone to slow down and learn to observe carefully at what he or she is drawing or painting. In order to accurately depict the subject, it is important to make sure that no details are left out. One good example would be like how botanical drawings would aim to depict even the leaf, the stalk and the flower of the plant as accurately as possible.

The next time before you start on a new artwork, try observing first. Maybe you will find new details that you might have never noticed before 🙂

-Teacher Yueshi

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