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Easy blending with oil pastels

Easy blending with oil pastels

So this week we tacked oil pastels. Technically this is painting but it feels much more like drawing. To create the most vibrant colours I suggested using three colours which are close together on the colour wheel in every section – so never using one pastel on it’s own. Then if you use each one in small circles, leaving tiny gaps, rather than blocking in an area like a felt tip pen, when you add another colour to fill in the gaps you…

Articulated creatures – ready to animate!

Articulated creatures – ready to animate!

This week we made articulated creatures – so creatures with movable limbs. This activity really tested the kids’ ability to think like an engineer. After drawing their creature normally they had to work out which parts would move, then draw those parts separately, scaled up, not forgetting to include space for the parts and the body to overlap to contain the join. Not as easy as they first thought! The joins were simple wire spirals made on the front and back. This enabled…

Watercolour magic

Watercolour magic

This week we tackled autumn leaves in watercolours. They really are the most beautiful subject, i think, and perfect for this tricky medium. There are techniques for all levels from patient layering, fluid experimentation to even printing with the leaves (and combining all these as well!). Really the only proper rule is to start with the light colours first. The beauty of watercolour is all about letting the white of the paper shine through, thereby utilising their amazing, and unique, transparency. Then you…

Playing with stencils

Playing with stencils

This week we had great fun designing and making stencils. Using craft knives very carefully and either card or acetate the kids made really fun and interesting stencils, which they then worked with very imaginatively – working out how they could overlap as well as playing with the colours (high contrast worked well) and the sponges on sticks we used were great to blend with. It’s a really versatile print making technique.

Lines, beautiful lines

Lines, beautiful lines

This week everyone was focused on making new lines – how by varying the implement, or how you hold and move it, you can convey different movements, emotions and feelings, even if drawing the same object, or none! To start with I asked everyone to work on the floor, in pastel or chalk and on big paper so they had to use their whole arm – not just their hands. Their task was to invent lines to convey different movements e.g ice skating,…

Simple printmaking technique using paper

Simple printmaking technique using paper

This lesson was all about frottage – that is rubbing. So of course the children scoured the studio looking for different textures to make rubbings from, and investigated how moving the paper while you rub can achieve interesting effects (especially over the edges of the tables). But in addition, I showed them another really easy printmaking technique based on rubbing where you cut out paper shapes, stick them (in layers if wanted) on a piece of paper to make a plate, and then…

Fun with the photocopier

Fun with the photocopier

Woo we are back – old and new faces, and a new class for teenagers! First week started irreverently with ‘updating’ (which could mean defacing) our collection of art magazines. I wanted the students to choose an image that resonated with them and find a way to change or update it. This could be with scissors, marker pen and/or the photocopier.¬† Love what several did with splicing different images together (or the same one, changed) or using the photocopier to multiply the image.…

Arty summer fun at our summer holiday classes

Arty summer fun at our summer holiday classes

As autumn approaches I’ve been thinking back to the fun we had during the summer holiday classes. We sculpted, painted, constructed, drew, stamped, built, cut, stuck, collaged, printed… and more! Particularly loved the papier mache constructions¬† so simple but effective. Make simple cardboard and/or newspaper base – we had a rabbit, a bus, a boat, a crown, a cake – it really can be anything as long as it’s stable enough – and then cover it in newspaper strips dipped in diluted PVA.…