Introduction to Drawing Materials
Introduction to Drawing
Introduction to Blind Drawing
Introduction to Colour
Introduction to Paint and Colour
Introduction to Fabric
Introduction to Clay
Introduction to Texture and Clay
Introduction to Clay- form and building
Introduction to Mono-Print

Introduction to Drawing Materials

Pencils

Materials

Pencils 2b, 4b, and 6b
White paper

Taking time to explore a material will encourage children to use materials to their full potential when they are making work in the future. Often children are given hard pencils to draw with which are more suitable for writing.Giving them soft pencils, while discussing tones, marks, and layering will show them a new way of working with pencil and an appreciation of using black and white and all the tones between.

Begin by asking the children to try out a variety of marks on the paper, fast marks, slow marks, using left hand and right hand, moving from their wrists, their elbows, their shoulders. Make little marks, big marks,try light tones, dark tones, cover large areas, and small areas.

Charcoal

Materials

Compressed charcoal
Grey or off white sugar paper

Explore in a similar way to pencil.

-Liz McMahon

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An Introduction to Drawing

Pass the Drawing

Materials
Black sugar paper
White cartridge paper
White chalk
Compressed charcoal

This is a fun way to develop confidence in image making with older children.The tables were arranged in a circle.The paper was given out alternately in black and white.Those with black paper got white chalk and those with white paper got charcoal.

They began with scribbles with their eyes closed to free up their mark-making.The paper, chalk and charcoal were then passed on to the next person in the circle.They were asked to keep turning the paper around until they found an image,and then to work on that image to make it more visible.The paper and materials were passed on like this several times,each person developing the drawing further.At the last stage the people with white paper used white chalk and those with black paper used charcoal.This encouraged them to build up the drawing in layers.

At the end each person titled the drawing they finished up with.

– Liz McMahon

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Introduction to Blind Drawing

An introduction to tactile awareness and drawing.

Materials

An object per child ( collect interesting tactile objects that will not easily be recognised by feel.)
Charcoal
Paper
One non-transparent bag per child,(eg.strong paper bags)

Put one object in each bag and give to each child. Ask them to put one or both hands into the bag and feel the object. Explain that you want them to explore what the object feels like and not what it is. Give time to explore fully. This can be done through language development by asking them –

What does it feel like?

Is it hard or soft?

What textures do you feel – smooth, rough, hairy, etc.?

What temperature do you feel, warm, cool, etc.?

What is the form?

Give out paper and charcoal.Ask the children to keep one hand in the bag and use the other to draw. Encourage them to describe the form and texture by using the charcoal in a variety of ways,- on its side, on the edge, smudging etc.

The bags can be swopped around, so each child explores several objects. Finally, ask them to take the objects out of the bags and talk about the experience.

– Liz McMahon

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Introduction to Colour

Oil pastel and colour washes

Materials – Oil pastels, white paper, block paints, or poster paint watered down, cloths, water.

Ask the class to experiment with the oil pastels trying out a variety of marks, blending and mixing,and scratching into areas of oil pastel.Then give out the paints.The areas of white paper will take the colour while the oil pastel will resist it. Encourage mixing the paint, and applying the colour over the oil pastel. If the oil pastel is not resisting the paint it means the paint is too thick and needs more water added.

– Liz McMahon

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Introduction to Paint and Colour

Materials

Ocaldo paint, (brilliant red, brilliant yellow, brilliant blue, lemon, crimson, prussian blue, and white.)
Mixing palette for older children, a cloth per child, a selection of brushes, white paper, chalk pastels.

Ask the class to try mixing as many colours as they can find and to put it on the paper in different way.Demonstrate how to dry their brushes with the cloth after cleaning the brush in the water as this stops the paint getting too watery. If they have already explored marks in drawing suggest they try some of those with paint. Young children can mix the paint directly on the paper. When the page is covered in an array of colours give another page to see what happens when they wet the paper first, or wet the paper after they have applied paint. Encourage them to experiment.

The next stage can be continued on another day. When the paintings are dry, ask the children to look for images in the paintings and to emphasise what they find or to explore colour further by putting layers of colour with the chalk on oil pastels over the dry paint.They can also add pattern over the paint.

Magic of Colour:

From Mosaic to Paint

The aim of the series of workshops has been to emphasise the experience of colour through simple methods and materials.

The magic of colour was first introduced through mixing paint, attaching coloured cellophane to the windows and also using coloured cellophane to view their surroundings.

Following this the “mosaic” principle was introduced (both cut-out paper from magazines, sweets, and broken pieces of tile).

Through these processes the children learnt about : –

•change of tones of colour from light to dark

•warm and cold colours

•gradation of colour

•soft and sharp edges

•line and shape

•positive and negative shapes

•the illusion of three dimensions

The principle of “mosaic” will then be used to “influence” the process of paint application, ie the use of positive and negative stencils; stencils to build up groups of shapes; layering of paint applied with sponges etc as well as brushes.

The appearance and behaviour of paint and atmospheres evoked by the manipulation of paint for its own sake has been the rationale for many contemporary artists, demonstrating the tremendous visual power of colour, and in particular, paint outside its more acceptable reference to images and narrative.

Mosaic to print

This framework has been designed to provide a structure for further exploration and

development using what was learnt from the experience of the mosaic workshops.

Session one

Materials

sponges
newsprint
scissors
paint- Ocaldo,brilliant red,brilliant blue,brilliant yellow,crimson, lemon, white.
display palette and mixing palette
cloths
water containers
cartridge paper

Stage 1 Cut or tear stencils in newsprint

Stage 2 Sponge on paint using positive and negative shapes of stencils.Work on

several sheets of cartridge paper.

Session two

Materials

paints as in session one
variety of brush sizes
water containers
palettes
cloths
paintings from session one

Stage 1: mix up a range of colours,and work on sample sheets,- explore subtle colour differences,colours you like together etc.Plan colours for one of the

paintings from session one ie. all cool colours,all warm colours,

complimentary colours.Refer to the mosaic experience and what they learnt where appropriate.

Stage 2: Use different size brushes and different marks to over-paint.Explore

transparent and opaque paint.

Stage 3: Work on each painting giving a different atmosphere to each,ie. as above warm, cool etc.

Artists to study: Cezanne,Monet,

Irish Contempory Artists: Tony O Malley, William Crozier,Felim Egan,Sean Scully.

– Liz McMahon

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Introduction to Fabric

Materials

A variety of different colour and textured fabrics
long rectangles of light card
P.V.A. glue
scissors

Place a basket of scraps in front of a group of children.Give the children time to experiment with the fabric and experience the texture, pattern, quality and colour. Talk about the colour, warm colours, cool colours etc.

Collage

Ask each child to arrange the fabric on card going from one colour to another or from dark to light. When they’re happy with their arrangement use p.v.a. glue to stick.

– Liz McMahon

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Introduction to Clay

Young children will respond to and work with clay in an individual way. Their responses may be purely sensory and tactile, enjoying clay as a physical experience; they may respond in an inventive way by building worlds in which anything can happen ( it the world of play ),or they may use the physical medium of clay to describe the world around them. Initially some children may not be enthusiastic about clay as many children do not get the opportunities to play with the natural environment. Therefore it is important to introduce clay in a sensitive way.

Initially, clay can be introduced as a tactile experience with other tactile objects. A gentle introduction to clay gives the children an opportunity to develop a language around the experience.

Clay is not just another material. Since it is a three-dimensional material, it stimulates another kind of thinking. The unique characteristic of clay is plasticity. Because of this plasticity, clay can facilitate the expression of ideas as they change and develop. Clay allows for a constant and continual changing of form.Parts may be added or taken away, the position or shape of people or animals may be changed and altered. Therefore, action can be included in the exploration.

When children are ready( it they have had a few sessions exploring the tactile quality of clay) themes can be introduced to encourage them to explore clay and ideas further. If they are continuously flattening clay and using clay to draw with and into, themes like “Me in bed” can encourage a gradual progression to using clay in a three-dimensional way, without the problems of balancing and supporting a standing figure. A following theme could be “Me in a favourite chair.”( four legs to support and balance). Gradually they learn about weight, balance texture and form and find freedom in expressing themselves through the full potential of clay.

– Liz McMahon

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Introduction to Texture and Clay

Materials

clay
clay boards
clay tools such as combs
toothbrushes
sieves
garlic crushers
forks
textured fabrics
sponges
rollers
and a set of plastic clay tools

Clay is an ideal material to explore texture as it is very malleable. Textures can be created by pressing objects into it, or creating new textures by pulling combs through it for instance. Also it can be pressed into textures so the textures in the school yard could be explored.

It is advisable to give children time to explore texturing clay as a session on its own before working on themes. The children will be fascinated by rolling textured fabric over the clay, pressing clay through a sieve, pushing it through a garlic crusher etc.

– Liz McMahon

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Introduction to Clay- form and building

Materials

Tactile objects that can be held in the hand
clay
clay boards
matchsticks

Ask each child to close their eyes and give them an object to explore with their hands. Ask about the weight, temperature, texture, and form.This develops an awareness and language of the properties of objects and will enable them to describe their own three dimensional work.

Again with their eyes closed give each a hand-sized lump of clay, and ask them to describe it.

With their eyes open ask them to explore the nature of clay by rolling, pinching, poking, etc.

Finally ask them to break the clay into two. With each piece make and keep a sphere,and a cylinder, and to save these forms.This is a good opportunity to introduce maths terms.Give out more clay pieces.You can vary the amounts. Ask them to make a cube, a cuboid, a cylinder,and a pyramid,taking into account their ages and abilities. With match sticks and extra clay if they need it use these forms to build tall structures. Balance will be achieved by trial and error, if they are encouraged to take chances, and work out for themselves where weaknesses lie and to keep trying.Create an atmosphere of fun rather than overly competitive.

– Liz McMahon

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Introduction to Mono-Print

Materials

thick plastic sheet per child,(O Sullivan’s sell sheets of thick white plastic that can be cut to size.)
water based printing inks
rollers
newspaper
white paper
tools for scratching into the ink
combs
lollipop sticks
plastic clay tools
sponges

Organise the class into working groups.Cover the tables in newspaper. Each group will choose a colour printing ink. This means they can share the tools at their table.Each child rolls out a film of ink on their plastic sheet and then places a clean sheet of newspaper under it. Using the tools explore marks by scraping away the ink surface. Then place a sheet of white paper over it and use a clean roller on the back of the print.A second print can be tried, this will be fainter.

– Liz McMahon

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