I attended a fantastic one-day drawing course with Ian Murphy yesterday. It was held at Hong Kong International School, so a bit of a journey from the New Territories, but the travel was well worth it, for a really indulgent day of just playing around, learning new things and creating.
I also got a load of ideas ( as well as photographs of Ian's work) to take back to my own students, so it was well worth it from a teaching point of view, too!
Here are a few photos of what I did during the day ...
My Year 10s have continued to develop their painting skills in the past couple of weeks and here is a little 'whiteboard exhibition' of the results in my classroom! The big red magnets and assorted whiteboard markers etc don't do much for the overall presentation, but I think the students have clearly been able to see their skills and confidence grow as the lessons have progressed. There were a couple of absences during the week, but everyone who spent three lessons on this task has done really well.
After this, I provided about a dozen different examples of still life painting for the students to copy and learn from.
All the examples were chosen for their use of a range of tertiary and neutral colours, to stretch the students' abilities to recognise and recreate a really wide range of subtle, naturalistic colours. I differentiated by providing a range of styles and varying degrees of difficulty in terms of realism and accuracy. Despite the range, 5 or 6 examples out of the 12 proved really popular, as you can see from the display above!
To follow up, the homework this week has been to choose another painting to copy, this time in a different colour medium. Some of the quicker, more fluent students in the group were able to finish their paintings ahead of the others and spent a lesson completing their homework in class.
The next steps will be by far the biggest challenge, as the students move from looking at other artists' work, to start to create their own imagery, style and ideas.
A few shots here of some of the (surprisingly varied!) results my Year 8 students achieved after making their own brushes with natural materials. Set as a homework, I asked the students to construct their brushes using leaves, grass, twigs, feathers, seed pods, flower heads, pebbles etc. One student even brought in a boar's tooth to draw with!
In class, I then gave them ink to explore marks and lines with before photographing the results. Running alongside this in lessons, we are studying Australian Aboriginal Art and using only natural pigments to paint with - coffee, turmeric, tea, beetroot, charcoal and more ink have been used to develop their own designs. I will post the results soon ...
Here's a link to the workshop I gave at this year's ARARTE conference in Chiang Mai. If anyone would like to send me a couple of photos from the session, I'd really love to see them! Any further feedback or thoughts would be gratefully received. If any of you decide to try this with your students, I'd love to see the results!
My new Year 12 group has made a good start to their AS-level studies in the first two weeks of term. We are beginning by looking at Self Identity as a theme. The students have all completed a series of observational exercises so far, but are also thinking about which aspects of themselves they want to push further and develop into a fully resolved project. Some ideas have linked with psychology, some with culture, others with mental health and aspirations.
The images featured here are all by Charles, who has shown an impressive willingness to observe and learn from the tasks presented so far.
His close-up 'head in hands' drawing was completed in two lessons, the pencil self portrait below was a timed homework piece, finished in one hour, while the hand studies on the bottom right add some impressive range to the styles and approaches he has completed so far.
First week of the new year and my new Year 10 class are starting their IGCSE Art & Design course.
We will be looking at Still Life objects from a variety of angles throughout this year, starting with basic skills and moving into looking at aspects of meaning and association that can go with the objects around us. As the students develop their confidence, I'll be looking to encourage them to develop their ideas and the themes they want to communicate and explore through their work.
The students were given a selection of soft objects - clothing, fluffy toys, leather bags and fabric to choose from. They spent three lessons on this task and the drawings are A4 in size. We began working straight onto the paper with pens - no pencil outlines allowed! Although this was a considerable risk for the students to take in lesson one of a new year, I was impressed with the way they rose to the challenge and there were no disasters at all.
I love this drawing of a knotted woollen scarf - the way Kevin has handled the detail and textures is very mature and restrained. Below, some more!