Tuesday, 6 December 2011
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Monday, 28 November 2011
I had kept the cut-out tree shapes (of course!) and we used these to make some lovely Christmas cards.
Thursday, 24 November 2011
Monday, 21 November 2011
Thursday, 17 November 2011
In the UK we celebrate a foiled plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605 with fireworks and bonfires on the 5th of November.
My students used paint and collage to capture the colour and glitter of the event.
We used some lovely deep blue card for the background. The fireworks were made by blowing watered down paint with straws and also by swirling the straw around in the paint to make patterns. The bonfires started with an oil pastel drawing to which they added scraps of tissue paper and sparkly sweet papers. The final touch was some glitter glue which was spread or dotted here and there on the fire.
Tuesday, 18 October 2011
Sorry I haven't posted for a couple of weeks - I have been off on a fabulous tour of Jordan! Such an interesting and inspiring country!
Normal service has now resumed and I'm preparing for my next workshops. They may or may not include camels...
Thursday, 22 September 2011
This was a two part workshop which began with making painted paper according to the very useful instructions on Deep Space Sparkle. It's unusual for my students to spend a whole hour working with paint and they loved it. The resulting painted paper was really lovely.
The next session involved using templates to make the tree frogs. There was quite a lot of cutting out required which not many of my students are able to do but they were able to choose colours, draw round the templates (or hold them down while their carer drew round them), apply glue to the pieces and stick them down.
We made a nice background for the frog using tissue paper prints. It took a bit of experimenting before I found some non-colourfast tissue paper, but once I did, it was just a case of the students creating a very rough leaf-shape, sticking it down with water, then peeling the tissue off to reveal a delicate and beautiful printed leaf.
We finished the project by using strips of brown paper to make a frame.
Thursday, 8 September 2011
Students began by using a wet-on-wet watercolour technique to create a background. I then gave them all a drawing of a fish which I had prepared in advance. They (or their carers) cut it out and they then began covering it in torn foil paper.
This activity was nice and simple to explain and the students became very absorbed in gluing down the paper.
Only drawback is that the reflective foil makes the pictures hard to photograph!
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
I've had this project in my 'workshop ideas' folder for a few months now after seeing it on For The Love of Art blog. I was saving it for a Valentines project but then I decided that there's no reason for love hearts to be seasonal and, besides, who knows what I'll be doing in 6 months time? I started the class by showing everyone this picture:
The bright colours really appealed to my students and they were immediately enthusiastic about the project. I handed out sheets of black paper and initially got them to choose one colour of pastel. After they had added some colour, I got them to swap pastels with their neighbours until they had used a few colours. I then went round everyone individually, folding their paper and drawing half a heart for them (or their carers) to cut out. Once these were done and put aside, I gave out larger sheets of yellow paper and small squares of coloured tissue and glue. I asked them to concentrate on gluing the squares around the outside of the paper because we would be sticking the heart in the middle. They all followed this instruction ok. I made sure everyone's squares were stuck down properly before they glued the heart into the centre. Some students almost spoiled their pictures at the last minute by starting to paint glue on top of their heart or by using gluey fingers to press it down - next time I would warn them in advance about that! They all seemed happy with their creations anyway.
Monday, 15 August 2011
I was through at the Edinburgh Festival last week and stumbled across an exhibition by New York artist Ingrid Calame. She makes art by tracing marks and stains she finds on the ground - sounds crazy but her drawings are really beautiful! She uses sheets of architectural Mylar (top quality tracing paper) to trace marks on the ground such as stains, cracks and graffiti which she takes back to her studio and re-traces using coloured pencils. She layers up the sheets of traced drawings to create what she calls a 'constellation', like the example above.
Tracing paper? Coloured pencils? I feel a workshop coming on......
Thursday, 11 August 2011
I had not used the technique of blowing thinned paint through a straw with my class of disabled adults before and was sure that they would find it fun. After handing out the paper I went round each student individually and spooned a teaspoon of paint onto their paper and instucted them to blow (not suck!) the paint towards me. Not all of them managed to blow through the straw successfully but tilting the paper to let the paint run also worked well, as did using the straw like a brush to move the paint around. All of their 'tree branches' looked fantastic and very individual. I then showed them how to draw a few leaves at the end of the twigs they had just created. The paint was of course still very wet and I asked them to try not to dip the pastels into the wet paint. When I cleaned up at the end only one pastel had brown paint on it! Most of them needed help from their carers to draw and cut out some egg shapes from patterned paper. I asked them to place the eggs on the picture and let me check it before glueing them down as there was a temptation to spread the eggs all over the branch istead of grouping them together. I then handed out some shredded newspaper and pieces of raffia which they glued down to make the nest. The final step was to use a blue pastel to give the suggestion of a blue sky. I thought that we might have time to draw a bird sitting on the branch too but the activity took up the whole hour quite easily.