In-between the ongoing house renovation, I nipped up to London for a week to run an Arts Week for the KS1 classes in a school. The children were aged 4-7, and I had 270 of them over a week to create 3 large pieces that could be kept on permanent exhibition in the school. This seems to have become an annual event, and although it is the most hectic and pressured timescale, I absolutely LOVE doing it. The only downside is the amount of stooping I have to do to get down to their level, plus trying not to touch heads in case I catch nits. So far no nits, and Pilates sorted out my aching back and knees.
This was done by 90 children in Year 2 (ages 6-7) over one and half days. They were staggered into groups of 6 throughout their allocated times. We took the artist Paul Klee as a starting point, and looked at his landscapes. I love his little villages and towns. We showed the children his work, talked about his art, and we broke down his style into a series of shapes and perspective tricks so they could get inspired to create.
The children started by hand printing miles of coloured paper and card with patterns in acrylic paint. These were then cut up into various sized rectangles, squares, triangles and semi circles. A huge MDF board was primed, and a basic sky painted and sponged onto it.
Printing the Paper
Random textures for printing
Marking out a sky
The fun then began when we got the children to work out a staggered townscape. They had to think about perspective, layering, scale and so on, and work from the back of the town forward as they created a collage of the shapes. Finally they added embellishments with inks and created line drawings on top to enhance the details of the buildings.
Working out the layout of the shapes
Detail of inks
Finally the piece looked like this, brilliant and colourful, the children named it ‘City of Lights’.
Continue reading “Children’s Art Week”
A tired pair of silver plate candlesticks had seen better days, and to re-plate them is expensive. So here is a DIY refurbishment to make them look like old verdegris versions, and they look very realistic. It is really simple to do, and these took about 40 minutes start to finish, (with cups of coffee included!).
Before and after:
You will need acrylic paint in black, green, turquoise, white and bronze. Also a really scruffy old paintbrush (ie. a tatty one such as an old child’s school paintbrush), and a wider household brush. Varnish is optional at the end, and if you do use it you will need a clear matt one. This is a fast process once the base coat is done, as there is so little paint in each stage that it dries really fast between layers.
- Cover the entire candlestick with black acrylic paint using the household paintbrush, amazingly it sticks to metal well and I did not prime it. You could also use a paint formula like milk or chalk paint if you have it in black Leave to dry completely.
- Starting with turquoise, dip the scruffy brush into the paint and then wipe off most of the paint onto some kitchen towel. Very gently start stippling the paint randomly over the candlestick so that the black undercoat is still visible, leave to dry when finished. In the picture you can see how dry the brush needs to be:
- Repeat the process with the green acrylic paint all over the candlestick using the same technique. Leave to dry. Then with the white paint, and again using the same technique, gently brush over just 3 or 4 areas on the candlestick, it will look a bit like dust. If you think you are lacking any of the colours in areas or they are too dense, you can repeat the stippling with all of the paints until you are happy with the results. You can also work it with the brush when it is dry to blend the colours a little.
- Finally, using the dry brush technique again, take some of the bronze metallic paint and almost gently tickle and lightly run the brush over the raised areas of pattern so that paint just highlights certain areas. For flat areas gently brush on, and using your fingers smooth it into the surrounding paintwork.
That is all there is, and it looks extremely realistic and antique. Brilliant!