As part of my art unit on ‘solids, liquids and gases’ we were creating works using movement, air, water etc. This was our ‘gases’ artwork. Now blowing ink through a straw is nothing new, and not really a Year 5/6 activity, so the challenge was to create the illusion of eye lashes. We were inspired by an artist we found on Deviant Art, PixieCold. It was amazing for the students to find an artist that exists today and produces work in current times. They even wanted to message the artist and ask questions about her technique. You can’t do that with Van Gogh!
Once finished, these artworks looked surreal up on our wall. Many people would come in and comment on them. My class even wanted to send the link to our blog post about them to the German artist who inspired us!
A lot of older students can become harsh critics of themselves when it comes to visual arts. I used to be a ‘one piece of paper only’ teacher, believing that if you let one start again, they all will start again, and that ends up wasting paper. Expensive art paper no doubt. But as a part time artist, how ridiculous! I can recall artworks where I have wasted at least 10 bits of paper before I’m happy with my drawings, sketches, paintings.
I have had several students over the years become so upset at themselves, not being able to produce outstanding, perfect artworks. So I’ve relinquished the position of ‘paper police’, and I let students start again if they want.
So what to do with all those off sheets? Mistake attempts? If it’s only lead pencil, save them up for balloon painting or sponge painting for book covers. Cut them up and use the reverse for bingo sheets or scrap paper. At least put them in the recycle bin. Then I don’t feel so bad about the wastage. I found a great solution – let students practice the sketch on a small personal whiteboard (PWB) before drawing on the art paper. Art paper saved!