After School Art Club, musical instruments


Only 2 sessions for this group and both will take close looking and drawing as their starting point.

I managed to get hold of some old brass instruments and after identifying them all we used some different methods of looking.

Firstly we ran our fingers around the objects looking for the edges then followed this up by drawing the lines we could see in the air.

Next we tried our some blind contour drawing and some of the children developed this into continuous line drawing and also laying the instrument on the paper and drawing round it. Chloe bravely tried drawing with her eyes closed feeling her way around the objects.

After the focussed drawing some of the children moved into imaginary drawings based on their observations and questioning the stories behind the musical instruments. Who used to own them, why were they no longer played and what will happen to them next.

A couple of people decided to let their instruments rejoin an orchestra and managed to conjure up other instruments to draw.



After School Art Club, marbling technique

This was the last session of exploring water and again tried using it as the medium. We started with marbling using water, oil and food colouring thinking about the science behind the technique.

To finish we tried the same technique using diluted acrylics and shaving foam. This was a first for me but some of the children knew the technique and demonstrated to the group.

At the end of the session we sat down and thought about ways the papers could be used in next week’s process. The children decided they’d like to make books about imaginary animals using the strange shapes of the marbling as a starting point. They also decided to bring in a few strange creature from home.

After School Art Club, rain

In this week’s art club we continued to work with the rain theme-it was still raining. The children looked at reflections in distorted reflective surfaces and tried to capture these by drawing around each other’s image. They decided that reflections were quite wobbly, broken up and not the same colour as the real thing.

We created layered drawings of water and reflections using translucent paper thinking about the strength of the mark making on each layer.


After School Art club, tree textures

Back to art club today with some old faces and a couple of new ones. This term I wanted to once again work with subjects relevant to a rural school and also explore some ideas I’d been having while walking in the forest.

We started this week discovering the texture of tree bark. The children drew the bark patterns by touch and tried out some rubbed textures on a large shared drawings. We discovered oil pastels made the best rubbings and that the bark smelt of mould, mushrooms and Sebastian’s garden den. A variety of bugs escaped from the bark and we tried to draw them as well.

I then introduced some air-drying clay. The children looked at tree structures and used the clay to make their own on a large ceramic tile, some went for 2D and some 3D, others created some amazing patterns populated by clay characters.

We used various tools to make marks to represent the texture of bark. A bead coaster was a particular favourite.

Next week we’ve decided to paint the tiles and clay trees.


Art Club, food drawings

We’re working with two very enjoyable ideas this term, drawing and food. Maybe we’ll finish up drawing with food or making edible drawings-who knows?

This week I brought along some fish fresh from the fish counter and was really impressed how the children’s curiosity took over very quickly. We worked on careful observation using blind contour drawing with handwriting pens. We then repeated the exercise  allowing ourselves to glance at the paper.


Next we thought about how our drawings could be more interesting. We made cards with different marks on then looked at where we could use these mark making techniques on our fish drawings.

Finally we looked at what would happen if we used a wash over the handwriting pens. Everybody spent the rest of the session experimenting with line, wash and colour resulting in some beautiful and delicate drawings.



Art Club, mosaic process

As if we haven’t spent enough time making mosaics this spring I’d also decided to use this technique as a colour exploration exercise at art club. In a previous post I talked about how we explored contrast. The second session was very much about learning technique and the children used their colour contrast initials as mosaic designs. The results were quite regimented but I felt we all learnt a lot. For the last session I brought along some slates, mosaic tiles and found objects, talked about what we’d learnt last week then gave the children free rein to experiment.

They created some beautiful and fascinating art which would be impossible to finish with grouting. I have a lot of questions about mosaic: about where it stands in the art v craft debate and why it’s still such a popular medium for public art. By the end of this summer I should be able to answer a few of them.

After school art club, mosaic process

01c4d3104788be4af891eca00a8916951c5b31f65dLast week we were in a school making mosaics with children for the entire week. We’re always looking for ways to give children more creative decision making and control when using this process so I decided to explore some ideas with art club this term.

In this first session the children worked as a group to create their own colour wheel and think about colour mixing. They placed a selection of glass tiles where they felt they should sit on the colour wheel. Then, to think about the idea of contrast which is really important in mosaic, they took sheets of coloured paper and looked for tiles that really stood out against the background colour. Interestingly a lot of children automatically tried to match the colours so I probably need to think about how I explain the concept of contrast. As a group we talked about the colour choices.

The children used what they had learnt to plan some very simple mosaics which they’ll start work on next week.