Exploring Charcoal and Ink Drawing Inspired by Chinese Art.

February 8th, 2017

Fifth Class

Loreto Senior, Crumlin.

Fifth class began by exploring all the marks they could make using charcoal. They also used fingers to smudge it and rubbers to draw into the charcoal.

IMG_8908 copy IMG_8909 copy

We played a game of ‘Pass the Drawing’ where each person adds to a drawing and then passes it on. This encouraged the children to find images in the marks.


1 2 3

Blind Drawing.

Each child got an object in a bag so they couldn’t see it. They felt the object with one hand while drawing what they could feel in charcoal with the other hand.They were very surprised how good the drawings were when they looked at their objects.

a1 a2 a3

Exploring black and white.

The children used water and watered down black paint individually.

1 2 3

Then they painted a long scroll together. The following week when the ink was dry they used sticks and black paint to draw over their individual drawings and the scroll.


1 2 3 a1 a2 a3

Willow Pattern

churchill willow pattern blue willow dinner plate

The children were studying the Willow Pattern story with their teacher.

The Willow pattern was developed by English ceramic artists in the the18th century by combining and adapting motifs from hand-painted blue and white ceramics imported from China. Characteristically the background colour is white and the image blue, In order to promote sales of Minton’s Willow pattern, various stories were invented based on the elements of the design

We visited the Chester Beatty Library to look at some of the blue and white ceramic vases from China that inspired the ceramic artists in the potteries in Sheffield.

CBL C 1525

Hong Ling

We also looked at the paintings and drawings by the Chinese artist Hong Ling in the Chester Beatty Library. The children were very interested in the ink drawings having used this medium themselves.


1 3 Unknown


Using watered down blue paint the children made ink like drawings inspire by the Willow pattern.

1 2 3 a1 a2 a3

The following weeks when these images were dry they worked in pairs to create their own stories and create books. They collaged their images from the previous week into their books and added detail and pattern using blue markers.

300 a300

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

IMG_0132 copy IMG_0134 copy.



“Serefina and the Twisted Staff” — Class Novel

January 19th, 2017

099      057

064     168

Our Lady of the Wayside

Class: 5th

Teacher: Ms. Barton

4th class were reading the novel ” Serefina and the Twisted Self”, they were really engrossed in the story and the characters so i decided to focus on this for several weeks of their creativity in the classroom workshops. Part of the novel takes place in a forest where Serefina runs from the evil side to the magical side. we started by going outside and examining the silhouettes of the trees.

059 062

The children then returned to class and began constructing their own individual silhouette of a tree in card.

071   070

068  067

They made golden leaves to help convey the magical part of the forest, using wire and beads they added detailing to the veins

119  117

118  126

The plan was to put all the trees together to create a magical forest. We needed a lrge sheet of backing paper to paint in the background and while searching for sometihing suitable i cam across wallpaper that had silhouttes of trees on it, we used this as part of our backdrop, using oil pastels the children added colour and blended it to create a magical setting..

099  100

000  093

They painted the lower half  as ground cover for the woods and sponged a watery mix over the pastel trees.

097  096

we then assembled their tree silhouettes

120  121

122  127

169  173

127  119




Characters from their Novel ” Serefina and the Twisted Self”

January 19th, 2017

199   196

Making their initial drawings in black marker, the children then used patterned wall papers and oil pastel to their drawings of their favourite character.

194  185

197  192

191 190

186 193

188  187


Painting with Card— Exploring Colour and Line

January 19th, 2017

IMG_6200 IMG_6208

IMG_6207   064

Our Lady Of The Wayside , Bluebell

Class: 4th

Teacher: Mr. Dillon

we began by rolling out large lengths of paper. the paints were squeezed in layers at the bottom of the paper.

the children used squares  of heavy card to scrape the paint up the page. This was an exhilarating experience for the children. paint brushes were not allowed for this painting session so they had to explore many possibilities of making their mark.

IMG_6214 IMG_6207

IMG_6206  IMG_6208

they used smaller pieces of card to create bridges and pattern.

IMG_6209  IMG_6213

once the paint was dry they added more detail with chalk pastels.


Reworking the painting using the chalk pastels added a whole new dimension to the finished work.

Together they created the most wonderful and interesting cityscape.

071   070

069  067

066  065

064  063

062  061







Exploring Leaf Pattern

January 19th, 2017

IMG_6239  IMG_6234

Our Lady Of Lourdes, Goldenbridge,

Class :Senior Infants

Teacher: Ms O’Dwyer

we started by taking a stroll around the school and collecting leaves. the children closely examined the leaves and made pencil drawings of their veins.

IMG_6242  IMG_6240

IMG_6233 IMG_6225

IMG_6243  IMG_6241

Watercolour paints were used for colour and gold insulation for pattern and texture.

IMG_6238  IMG_6237

IMG_6236  IMG_6235

IMG_6230  IMG_6234


The Super Moon

January 19th, 2017

002 051

ooo  000

Our Lady of The Wayside, Bluebell

Class 6th

Teacher: Mr. Brett

This year, the full moons of October, November and December all took place when the moon was at its closet point of approach in its orbit around Earth. The moon reached peak fullness around December 14th.. This led to investigation into the planets in our solar system.

the children worked as a group creating their own planets in chalk pastel on black paper.

166    165

000   ooo

161   162

using materials from ReCreate they also constructed spaceships and rockets

081   083

084   082


Parent and child workshops

January 19th, 2017

097 098

101 096

Our Lady of Lourdes, Goldenbridge

Our Lady of the Wayside, Bluebell

The children and parents began by cutting down the gold and silver insulation into small squares.

They created patterns using the squares and made links between the patterns.

106 104

107 105

They then dyed the salt using coloured chalks.

083  135


once they had prepared enough colours , they added the salt to their patterned work.

142 136

102 094 098 092 089 086 087 088 097 096 095 085




Sculpture in Context @ The Botanical Gardens 2016

January 19th, 2017

piano lady in the tree

fox  hot house
Our Lady of Lourdes, Goldenbridge

Our Lady of the Wayside, Bluebell



weave  089 091 070 041 092 water examin

This years tour of the sculptural exhibition at the  Botanical Gardens did not fail to impress the children

fox  050

“Urban Safari” by Brian Byrne and Eoin Byrne

The fox and her cubs opened up conversations with the children about the wild animals that roam our city at night.

041 040

“Sleeping Rough, A resting Place” by Irene Plazewska

The senior infant class form Goldenbridge were very insightful when examining the sculpture above. we talked about homelessness on the streets of our city and how sometimes you would walk past someone who was sleeping on the streets and perhaps not notice that they were there, as they may be camoflaged  with cardboard and hidden from view, just like the grassy mound in this sculpture hides the resting people.

111 109 102

The children loved the vegetable garden and were lucky to spot the family of turtles who are permanent residents of the pond area.

081 079

Examining, discussing,  playing , resting and exploring was all part of our day out.

082 076 100

It was the perfect and we all returned to school feeling very inspired

112  097 091 112

045 070 107 lady in the tree



November 15th, 2016

Loreto Junior


Mr. Meagher’s Second Class


Second class were exploring space and planets when I began working with them every Monday morning in September.

I thought that it might be good to have space helmets for their exploration.

They began by drawing self-portraits so we could use these drawings as a base for our space helmet design.

img_7042-copy img_7045-copy img_7041-copy

They designed their helmets by making charcoal drawings on transparent paper over their portraits.

img_7056-copy img_7064-copy img_7071-copy

img_7310 img_7308

As they were designing them they discussed how they would eat, breathe and communicate in them.

Using silver space material they made their helmets. They put in lots of buttons that had many functions.

img_7312-copy img_7313-copy 2


When their helmets were finished they put them on and sent each other space messages. Someone whispered a space message to the next person in the circle using their speaking tubes and then they passed it on, (like Chinese whispers) but theirs were space whispers.


2 3

At the end each person had to write down what they heard.

They made collage about their space travel in their helmets.

img_7990-copy img_7991-copy img_7995-copy

img_8000-copy  img_8010-copy .


Watching out for Spring

March 16th, 2016

Fourth Class, Loreto Senior Crumlin.

Teacher, Ms. Bennett.

Fourth class began their Creativity in the Classroom sessions on the 1st of February, St.Brigid’s Day. Ms. Bennett and I decided to visit the local park during one of their sessions.

Although we celebrate the beginning of Spring on St. Brigid’s day there was not much sign of it.


We decided to do some observation of nature to prepare the children for the park.

We began drawing from evergreen leaves dried insects. The children used magnifying glasses to look at the patterns in the leaves and insects. This was their first experience of drawing from observation and their response was very positive.


They make print blocks from foam and card. They cut out the shape in the foam and used pen to incise the lines. In groups they made leaf pattern prints.


From their insect drawings they each made a mono-print.

Working Outdoors.

Finally we got a lovely day to go down to the park to work. We began by working out the directions 0f a compass. The children marked in North, South, East and West on the ground using sticks.

Then everyone faced north, closed their eyes and used their senses to feel what it is like. Could they feel the sun? Could they feel the wind on their cheeks? What could they hear? What could they see?

The children were then encouraged to find their own spot and face each direction and write a poem. They were given a structure to help write the poem. This is from a lovely book of outdoor education by Chris Holland, “I Love my World”

We looked at the views from all directions. There are a variety of trees in the park. They were still leafless. We discussed the patterns and shapes in the branches.

They made large drawings using pens tied to the end of sticks.

During the next session in school the children were introduced to charcoal. They spent time trying out different marks and tones.

We looked at trees on the internet and then each child drew a tree in charcoal.

During these weeks signs of Spring were beginning to arrive. Birds were gathering twigs in the school grounds for nesting although the trees were still bare.

The children made papier mache nests. The following week the nests were dry. This was the final session so parents were invited in to work with their children to make birds and eggs for the nests. They used collage and markers. There was a lovely atmosphere of working together.