Friday 16 May 2008

Big Pictures for Small People

We had another Art session for the kiddywinks this week. While I had them mix colours in the kitchen, my accomplice Al organised each one in turn to draw their self-portrait in the room we use as a teaching studio.
At the last session, we'd taken photos of the children, and these were projected onto large sheets of paper, to give life-size figures .
Al used an overhead projector he'd seen a bloke put into a skip in Rennes... old habits die hard... waste not etc!
When the drawings were done, the colour mixing exercise came in useful for flesh tones- no, not just pink, thank you, but a blend of red, ochre, green and white. Colours for clothes and hair were mixed, too, which is always more appealing. Unmixed paints are often very raw and unsubtle.
It was interesting to note that all the kids tended just to draw the outline , apart from the face - until we pointed out that the bits like the lower edge of a T-shirt, neckline, folds and creases, trouser turn-ups -actually continued inside the contour.
Another thing we noticed was that there was a tendency to draw 'symbolic' features of the face- "I draw noses like
this" - not to follow exactly what was projected.
Also, when we're learning, we sometimes draw what we know is there, even if it isn't visible. A small child will depict a table as a rectangle with legs sticking out of each corner- because they know there are four legs, and we all had our dinner off it, so there has to be space for everybody.
This is something which also happens when adults are learning to draw. . and I'm no stranger myself to the disgraceful 'tilted table-top'!

Thank you for your pictures, Thibaud, Laurence, Matthieu and La P'tite Manon, who did a lovely collage.

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