Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Collagraph Prints

I love printmaking and thought that collagraphs would be a good technique to try with my regular group of adults with learning difficulties.
We began by drawing an oval face-shape on card and cutting it out. In most cases the carer had to do the cutting. In my class all of the participants have a carer with them.
After they cut out the face shape, they drew simple eyes, noses and mouths on card, cut them out and glued them on to the face. Make sure you use decent paper glue and leave time for it to dry or else you will have eyes and noses sticking to the ink roller later!
I prepared a printing table with two colours of ink and got the participants to come up one at a time to make their print. If you have a large class it's a good idea to provide an extra activity for them to do while they are waiting. I usually have around 6 in my class but on the day of this activity I had 12 which meant there was a lot more waiting around than I would have liked.
I got them to ink up the face in one colour, place it face down on the paper and then go over the top with another colour which gives quite a nice 'arty' effect. All the participants really enjoyed using the ink roller. Even those who have trouble controlling a paintbrush seemed to find it really easy which made me think that printmaking is definitely a good activity for this group.
They all got a kick out of peeling off the card to reveal the face underneath even if some of the faces turned out a little scary looking!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Waterfront Houses

I'd seen various versions of this project on art blogs and decided I could simplify it for my group of adults with learning difficulties.
I prepared for this class by using a paper trimmer to cut some squares, rectangles and 'roof shapes' from coloured paper and printing out a photo of waterfront houses relected in water.
I began the class by passing the photo around to give everyone an idea of what we were aiming for.
I then asked them to use oil pastels to draw a wide stripe across the centre of the paper. This was to be the 'ground' that the buildings sit on. I also got them to use a blue oil pastel to draw waves on the bottom half of the paper. (actually I forgot to get them to do that until later but let's pretend I did it here!)
Next they had fun making their houses by gluing on the paper shapes (with lots of help from their carers!) Some decided to draw curtains at the windows, letter boxes, etc.
Now for the challenging part - they had to use watercolour paint to create the reflection of their houses in the water. To make it as simple as possible, I only asked them to paint a rectangle or square the same colour as the house above - I didn't expect them to paint the windows and doors too. Their carers helped them to choose the right colours.
Once that was done, all that was left was to use blue watercolour to paint the rest of the water around the reflections and a beautiful blue sky!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Collage Birds

I did this workshop with my regular group of adults with learning difficulties. None of the group can really draw or copy an image, so I prepared for the class by drawing some VERY simple, cartoonish birds with a marker pen on quite large sheets of paper. All the birds were different and I let everyone choose the one they liked best. (I had 6 participants in this workshop.)
Next I got them to make some patterned paper by drawing and scribbling on coloured paper with oil pastels. I then got them to cut or tear their patterned paper into squares which they had to share with the rest of the group so that everyone had a variety of colours. I also gave out some squares of nice shiny paper (recycled wrapping paper and gift bags). Then they set to work glueing the pieces of paper on to their bird. All of the participants had a carer with them so they helped make sure that the glue went in the right place ie ON the bird not around it!
I didn't have any 'googly eyes' with me that day so I just drew some eyes and cut them out for them.
After they had stuck everything on I went back over some of the lines I had drawn with the marker pen just to neaten the whole thing up a bit. This was a nice workshop which everyone seemed to find quite absorbing. Everyone tends to take their work home with them after my classes but if you have space for a display it would be nice to cut the birds out and place them along a branch or phone line.