We painted our clay animals, which had passed through the firing process in the meantime. In the second part of the class we introduced a soft pastel technique.
We were looking at the artworks of impressionists such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who all used this technique extensively. The children could choose to draw a vase with flowers or a portrait. We will continue working with soft pastel in our future classes.
The lids had a very creative and fun time.
They loved playing with light and shadows, their own and those of their friends, exchanging leading or mirroring roles. Lots of beautiful moments and heart-warming faces.
Kids Atelier: Playing with shadows from Johanna Bilak on Vimeo.
Children chose from a range of animal pictures: rabbit, elephant, horse, turtle, crocodile, bear or birds. We started by drawing them with charcoal in order to study and observe their shapes and the most important features. The sketches were supposed to be spontaneous but with plenty of guidelines. Then we created 3D animals from clay: copying the animals’ proportions, how they are standing, the structure of their skin… our clay became a sort of living matter. We were taken into a playful world where we figured out what kind of life these animals have, what they eat, where they sleep, etc.
The kids loved exploring different ways in which they could connect with each other, and they had fun creating new situations and body-sculptures in the space. A big contrast with dancing by themselves with one body only.
We ended up trying to all connect to each other and move as one body.
To stimulate our imagination, we looked at Picasso’s portraits from his Cubism period; we also used a collage technique that was an important landmark in the history of Cubism. We started drawing fantasy portraits with pencil, and then we ‘designed’ many kinds of patterns using only black or white paint on coloured paper. Afterwards we cut out these patterns to follow through our mask ideas. We glued the pieces onto the drawings of the face and, where needed, we outlined the most important parts with a black pen. I take a lot of pleasure in the results; I hope you like them too :-). Great thanks goes to Luca Pals for her assistance.
With a blindfold over their eyes, the kids were helped by their friends around the studio to feel what a door or a handle, a chair or a table feels like using their senses, specially touch.
The kids then tried to reproduce through movement this feeling by making shapes or actions in the space. They created short mimes, as if they were in their own house, and the other kids loved to guess what was going on.
From reality we moved onto fantasy… The kids went wild. Each of them danced a story they made up and told it later to everyone.
The kids realised that in order to express something with movement, they need to see it in front of their eyes as if it was real and to believe strongly in their story. Great fun and creative class!
As a warm-up exercise we freely drew to music while using different pencil grades and pressures in order to create plenty of shades. Our still-life was composed of fruits and vegetables because of their incredible shapes and colours. We learned about the importance of looking at objects instead of thinking how they should look. In order to draw a still-life our eyes must continually move from the piece of paper to the object and back.
Finally, we used gouache paint to complete our drawings. We just touched briefly upon the subjects of volume, light, perspective, mixing of colours, contrast, brush strokes… What a blessing to work with these dedicated little artists!
During our first art session we went freestyle, playing with black ink and water on aquarelle paper, exploring contrast between black and white and also all shades of grey. This was a moment for pure fantasy: what do you see in the black ink spots and can you create a story based on them? As a second task we experimented with a ‘tape-paint-peel’ technique and added a final touch of ink drawing. Naturally, we achieved very different but equally wonderful results and the group is just great to work with!