You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Charcoal’ tag.

Image making workshops at the Fulbridge Academy

– Portrait

3.7.14

Another workshop, this time at the Fulbridge Academy working with children from year 3 & 4 thanks to an invitation from Rebecca Lockert. The first of two workshops having ‘Portrait’ as their theme, with this one presenting the subject formally and proportion being a priority. Next time we’ll be considering distortion, with the face as a caricature.

I met with 3 groups of 30 children during the course of the day with each session following a similar format. Following some initial exercises to warm up I presented some images by Leonardo da Vinci to show the children his painting of the Mona Lisa, his portrait of a man in red chalk, his map of Imola, anatomical drawings and analytical drawings of the human form and head.

Using these last drawings as a starting point we then produced a drawing of a head by employing a grid. A second drawing was then produced which was much looser in structure but which used the same principles and some very lively and successful drawings were produced as a result.

Why ‘All or Nothing’? It’s the Small Faces.

Advertisements

Image making workshops at Dogsthorpe Junior School

– Landscape & Seascape

22 & 23.5.14

A couple of days working with children from year 4 at Dogsthorpe Junior School, Peterborough, to generate some ‘Landscape’ and ‘Seascape’ images following an invitation from Head Teacher Charlotte Krzanicki. The first day was spent using charcoal, the second chalk pastel.

I met with three groups of 30 children each day and sessions took a similar format, I displayed a couple of my own charcoal and chalk pastel drawings in the room so that the children could identify a comparison with my regular working practise and I also worked alongside them to produce a drawing too while they made theirs. We began by making an initial investigation and exploration of working with the medium which was followed by the production of a more finished drawing as a conclusion. However, although each group received the same introduction their end piece was a different subject.

In my own working practise as a painter I often produce interpretations of the work of others which I refer to as ‘Souvenirs’, a term stolen from Hercules Brabazon Brabazon, a nineteenth century artist who produced some wonderful watercolours of paintings he had seen and admired. The concluding piece for each group therefore was to produce a variation on the work of a Master, however rather than showing an illustration of a painting and making a slavish copy I described a scene and asked them to picture it in their mind before we worked together to make our interpretation of it.

Working on a board which they could all see at the front of the class to produce my own version I suggested a series of stages in which the drawing could be constructed. We drew a portion of the composition, followed by another, until the sections pieced together into a picture. The children were totally oblivious of the painting they were creating or its title until it was finished, and after their teacher had searched for it on the internet it was revealed to be shown to them at the end which made for an interesting comparison.

Day 1 had a ‘Landscape’ theme and the painting I selected for the first class was ‘Christina’s World‘ by Andrew Wyeth, for the second one of the many compositions of ‘Mont Sainte-Victoire‘ by Paul Cezanne and ‘Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows‘ by John Constable for the afternoon group.

The theme for Day 2 was ‘Seascape’, with the first group producing a variation of ‘Snow Storm; Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth‘ and the second ‘Peace – Burial At Sea‘, both by JMW Turner, with the afternoon group tackling ‘The Cliff, Etretat, Sunset‘ by Claude Monet.

All the children made brave attempts with their image making and some successful images emerged. Unfortunately I didn’t photograph the children’s work so the examples illustrated here are the images I produced while leading each of the groups…………..

Nevertheless, these sunset images after Monet were all produced by the children and are a selection from the last group of the day. Considering it was a Friday afternoon and the last session before breaking up for half term, I think they produced some pretty breathtaking drawings!

Image making workshops at William Law Primary

– Owls & Castles

4.6.14

A return to William Law CE Primary School, Peterborough to lead another image making workshop using charcoal, this time working with children from year 4, but it was a session with a difference. Instead of spending the whole day at the school as I did last time when I led three workshops with 30 children, this was an afternoon session only, and I met the whole year group of 90 children all at the same time!

Although I have given talks to larger groups, there is no doubt that this was an active workshop of gargantuan proportion. Contact was less personal but nevertheless the children all had their ‘listening ears’ on and responded well to my instructions. There was much enjoyment and reaction working with such a tactile material, with some successful and varied results being achieved.

Following an introduction and some advice of how to handle the medium, a couple of drawings were generated as a conclusion – firstly a portrait of an owl and second, a castle drawn in a landscape setting.

It was a daunting prospect to be greeted by so many expectant faces, I could even hear a whisper of Corporal Jones’ “Don’t panic Mr. Mainwaring” resonate in my head when I walked into the hall, but all seemed to work out well in the end.

Being so absorbed and engrossed with such an active session I was too preoccupied to make a record of the work produced, I was so engaged it was the last thing on my mind. So thank you Becky for taking these………………

WL2

WL1

Image making workshops at William Law Primary

– Ancient Egypt

12.5.14

At the tail end of January I received an email from Darren Smith, First School Team Leader at William Law CE Primary School, Peterborough, with a invitation to spend a day working with some groups of children from year 3 and using Ancient Egypt as the theme. We arranged a meeting the following week which included Bethan Parry, Year 2 Teacher and Art Co-ordinator, and a date was arranged for a charcoal drawing day.

Today therefore I’ve worked with three groups of enthusiastic children and as a conclusion five young volunteers assisted me to share their experiences with other teachers in the school as I led a workshop session for staff.

We’ve rolled up our sleeves and thrown caution aside to create some inventive images inspired by the land of the sphinx, pharaohs and pyramids – with the pulsating rhythm and sounds of Madness never far from my mind! I just wish I’d remembered to take my camera, so many thanks for the pics Bethan!

Image making workshops at Newark Hill Primary

19.3.14

Perhaps my last session in the classroom with my year 6 group at NHPS and this week our approach took a different tack, with design playing the central role.

I began the workshop by showing a selection of images on my MacBook of the drawings produced during the past few weeks, then I asked the children to imagine these drawings on a completely different scale. Rather than 30cm x 42cm, to think of them being 30′ x 42′. Next I suggested they should consider these previously drawn images as the basic ingredients for a design which would be reproduced on a monumental scale, as a mural. To help them envisage this process I showed some examples of my own work; scribbled ideas in pencil for mural projects which were then modified, revamped and refined using colour, followed by an illustration of the end product.

Using pencils and pencil crayons the challenge today was to produce ideas for a basic composition for a mural which would be painted to celebrate the school becoming an academy. It was not intended that the mural would necessarily be based on the design of one child but that elements suggested by the group as a whole would be recomposed to form the final painting.

A very loose and energetic approach was encouraged, the emphasis being the production of ideas rather than accurate drawing. Likewise colour was applied in the same liberal manner. Speed was key in order to stimulate a quick rather than laboured thought process.

In a perfect world the painting would be completed in time to be unveiled on the actual date when the school will become Newark Hill Academy, on 1st April, however an outdoor project has several factors to take into account, especially at this time of the year. A very wet period has delayed preparation of the wall and recent mild weather was much needed in order that the foundation priming coat could be applied to a dry surface. Conditions for working outdoors in Spring are hit and miss, but I would prefer the painting stage of the project to be an enjoyable experience for the children. Even with this recent relatively settled spell one can be lulled into a false sense of security. My mother would say, ‘March – in like a lamb, will roar out like a lion!’ and like many old sayings she recounts, they often ring true. The weather has the final word, so a delay to the preferred completion date is understandable.

Regardless, the subject for the painting has been successfully explored in a number of workshops over the past few weeks, and the children have suggested elements to be included in the layout. We have not reached the end yet, but the end has a start.

The actual painting may not have begun but if the children had their own mural, they would look like this…………….

…………..and I have used their drawings to develop a design for the final composition…………….

SLATER-NHA drawing white

Image making workshops at Newark Hill Primary

12.3.14

To bring my charcoal & chalk pastel workshops at NHPS to some sort of conclusion, this morning the group used the whole session to work on the same drawing. An owl in flight was our subject again. There is a good reason why I have repeated this theme and it will be revealed to the group next week. Time has been an issue in previous sessions and it was interesting to see whether the extra time would benefit or be detrimental to their work.

I’m often asked how I decide when a painting of my own is finished and it’s a difficult one, however I certainly know when I’ve killed it. It’s important to push the envelope, to move an image around to get the best one can out of it, but it’s easy to be tempted to go too far and then it’s a matter of repairing the damage. With digital work the ‘undo’ button can be a lifesaver, and sometimes I wish this facility was available with oil paint. Today, on the whole, I think the group took advantage of the extra time although it’s interesting to compare the images at break with the final results.

Break time…………

Full time…………..

The children employed many of the techniques explored during the past few weeks of image making and I feel the results show them moving forward very quickly. The work is adventurous and inventive. Some particularly good images have been achieved, particularly for children still in year 6.

‘A Mad Tea-Party’ at Titchmarsh School
– The Workshops

6.3.14

The title doesn’t quite work but I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity of including a song by The Jam on my ‘Blog Title Soundtracks‘ page.

At the end of January I was invited to a meeting with Executive Head Josie Milton and Year 3&4 Classteacher Lorna Denholm to discuss plans for World Book Day, and beyond, and I was looking forward to leading some drawing workshops at Titchmarsh School again. Yesterday, after a couple of days of preparation, I arrived armed and ready for another busy day and the children, as on previous occasions, worked with the energy and enthusiasm I’ve now come to expect from this very good school.

Alice in WonderladI carried my treasured copy of ‘Alice in Wonderland‘ by Lewis Carroll under my arm. It once belonged to my Dad, a book he won as a prize when he was a child. He loved the story, as do I, and the surreal storyline I’ve no doubt will be popular for many years to come. It describes such a curious world where the oddest things can happen. It therefore came as no surprise at all to be met at Reception by Eeyore and to be then taken to a classroom where the teacher was a Cat in a Hat.

The children were dressed as a veritable collection of characters from Harry Potter, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Superman, Peter Pan, The Chronicles of Narnia, Winnie the Pooh, Treasure Island, Where’s Wally? and a host of other popular books for children. Had I been more prepared I could have disguised myself as Charlie Small‘s eccentric art daubing uncle.

The subject of my workshop was the opening lines of Chapter VII of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘A Mad Tea-Party’.

There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and talking over its head. “Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse,” thought Alice; “only, as it’s asleep, I suppose it doesn’t mind.”

The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: “No room! No room!” they cried out when they saw Alice coming.

“There’s plenty of room!” said Alice, indignantly, and she sat down in a large armchair at one end of the table.

“Have some wine,” the March Hare said in an encouraging tone.

Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. “I don’t see any wine,” she remarked.

“There isn’t any,” said the March Hare.

Using a combination of pastels and charcoal, five groups visited my ‘studio’ in the school hall during the course of the day to produce interpretations of the characters and ingredients within the scene.

Rather than different year groups, the children were divided into their ‘Houses’, each one comprising of 16-18 children ranging from the youngest in the school to the year 4’s.

Following an introduction to the medium, each group then created an image relating to an element within the passage, the last group of the day producing two. The sessions lasted about 45 minutes and some very successful pieces were produced.

My TA for the day was the Cat in the Hat, Lorna Denholm, who was a star. Thanks Lorna, I couldn’t have done it without you!

Here are a selection of the outcomes from each of the workshops. Stage One of ‘A Mad Tea-Party at Titchmarsh School’ is complete. Stage Two follows next month.

Workshop 1 ‘Under a tree’

Workshop 2 ‘There was nothing on the table but tea’

Workshop 3 ‘The Hatter’

Workshop 4 ‘Alice’

Workshop 5 ‘The March Hare’ & ‘Tea Party Cakes’

For pics of the children in action, take a look at the Titchmarsh School Blog

Image making workshops at Newark Hill Primary

12.2.14

Week 3 at NHPS and rather than present more of my own work I showed a selection of images on the screen of my MacBook, examples of charcoal drawings by David Bomberg, Frank Auerbach, Dennis Creffield and Darren Fraser, and chalk pastels by Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet, Degas, Whistler, Munch and Len Tabner.

The session was divided into two parts to build on the skills and working practises accumulated and established during the previous workshops. The first exercise was to develop a positive interpretation of an owl in flight…………………

………………..then to repeat the exercise as a dynamic negative.

Using the owl as a silhouette my instruction was to employ the medium to emphasise the fluttering movement and speed of a moving, predatory creature.

The second part of the workshop was to work with chalk pastel and produce a drawing using a photographic resource. The strategy however was the same, that marks made suggested the movement of an active and animated hunter on the wing.

Despite the group working at speed, as they were encouraged, unfortunately more time was needed to reach a more satisfying conclusion. Nevertheless the groundwork has been laid. Perhaps these drawings could be revisited when we meet again.

Image making workshops at Newark Hill Primary

5.2.14

My second week at NHPS and the medium used today was chalk pastel however we began by making some observations of the charcoal workshop, reflecting upon the successful and the not so successful aspects of the previous week’s session.

SLATER-Guardi    SLATER-Seabirds

Again I brought some of my own work to show to the group. Last week I presented images with a theme of water, a charcoal ‘Souvenir’ drawing of Francesco Guardi ‘Venice: The Punta della Dogana’  and an oil painting of a sea storm witnessed from the beach at Salthouse, North Norfolk – ‘Seabirds Riding High’.

SLATER-Ruisdael    SLATER-Craignish

This week I brought a couple of chalk pastel drawings which also had a theme of water. Another ‘Souvenir’, after Ruisdael’s ‘Extensive Landscape with a ruined Castle and a Church’ and a landscape drawn on the shoreline of Loch Craignish – ‘Foreshore with clouds drifting in’.

My introduction pointed out the similarities with charcoal, and the work process began with mark making exercises to learn the characteristics of the medium before repeating the technical drawing of a three sided cube.

One of the key features of the session was the importance of discipline with regard to the approach to the drawings produced and of the work environment, both chalk pastel and charcoal have the tendency to spread beyond the paper surface. In spite of that the working practise was not restricted, the activity promoted energetic mark making actions as well as sensitivity, and the results were expressive and adventurous.

The final piece built upon the ‘wide eyed & motionless’ owl portrait of last week, this time allowing texture and invention with colour to play a prominent role. Some of the results displayed real character and personality:

Image making workshops at Newark Hill Primary

29.1.14

Following an email from Lorraine Brookes inviting me to work with a group of children from year 6 at Newark Hill Primary School, Peterborough, we met to discuss plans and arranged dates for a series of Wednesday morning workshops which will continue through till the Easter break. Today we worked together to present the first image making session using charcoal.

The school is soon to become an academy but a longstanding and identifiable symbol of the school, an owl, will stay. We decided this would be a strong and appropriate subject to use as the theme for our investigative workshops as the school takes flight toward a new era.

After an introduction to the group and some advice about how to control the medium, the first marks were made. A worksheet was produced with a series of exploratory mark making exercises which led to the production of an imaginary landscape, then a more technical drawing of a cube showing three sides.

Before making their first interpretation of an owl the group was asked to imagine how it lived and moved, as well as consider its world as a nocturnal animal. On the one hand a world of aerial acrobatics both graceful and sudden as it hunted its prey, and on the other, complete stillness.

The group were asked to produce two contrasting studies. The first drawing demanded an emphasis on movement and activity:

The second was to illustrate wide eyed and motionless concentration:

3 Parts Dirt! 10cc Abba AC/DC Achille-Etna Michallon Ajaz Akhtar Alberto Giacometti Albrecht Durer Alice in Wonderland Amsterdam Andrew Wyeth Andy Warhol Arctic Monkeys Athletics Atomic Rooster Banksy Beatles Benjamin Marshall Bernard Cribbins Black Black Sunday Blondie Bob & Marcia Bob Marley Boxing Brian Brinkley Brushes app. Bucks Fizz Caesar Cambridge Camille Corot Cancer Canned Heat Castle Caverstede Early Years Centre 'Bigger Picture' Chalk Pastel Charcoal Charles R. Knight Charlie Small Children's Books Christo Claude Monet Coldplay Corinne Bailey Rae Coventry Creative Partnerships Crete Cricket Daniel Lambert Darren Fraser David Bomberg Deacon's School Dennis Creffield Diego Velάzquez Discovery Primary School Django Reinhardt Dogsthorpe Academy Drawing Edgar Degas Edvard Munch Egypt Elizabeth Vigée Le Brun Elton John Elvis Costello en plein air Epping Forest Europe Eurythmics Evolve magazine Exhibition Fitzwilliam Museum Floella Benjamin Foo Fighters Football Forest Schools Francesco Guardi Frank Auerbach Fred Astaire Frida Kahlo Fulbridge School Garage Door Gary Moore Gene Wilder Gentle Giant George Bellows Georges Braque Georgio de Chirico Gerry Rafferty Gian Lorenzo Bernini Gingerbread Man Giovanni Bellini Gladiator Glasgow Boys Glenn Frey Gnarls Barkley Greece Gruffalo Haiku Hands Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Hercules Brabazon Brabazon Iain Erskine Ian Anderson Ice Hockey Impressionism iPad Iron Curtain Jacob van Ruisdael Jacques Brel James Abbott McNeill Whistler James Ferrara Jamiroquai Jazz Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres Jean-Francois Millet Jethro Tull JMW Turner Joe Cocker Johannes Vermeer John Constable John Lennon Johnny Kidd & the Pirates Juan Sánchez Cotán Jurassic Way Killer Shrimp King's Cliffe Endowed Primary School King's Cliffe Primary Kit Downes Quintet KT Tunstall Lanchester Polytechnic Landscape Landscape painting Lascaux Laurel Barbieri Leningrad Lenny Kravitz Len Tabner Leonardo da Vinci Lewis Carroll Little Red Riding Hood Loch Craignish Lonnie Donegan Luke Steele Lynyrd Skynyrd Mad Hatter Madness Manfred Mann's Earth Band March Hare Marvin Gaye Media Media Archive for Central England Michael Jackson MichelAngelo Modest Mussorgsky Mosaic Moscow Mural Muse Music National Gallery Newark Hill Primary Nickel Creek Nick Ward Nina Simone Oasis Obsidian Art Gallery Owl Painting Panda Panorama Paul Cezanne Paul Gauguin Peterborough Peter Paul Rubens Picasso Pirates Pleurisy Pneumonia Portrait Procul Harem Queen Radio 3 Essential Classics Rafael Alberti Rainforest Ray Charles Red Hot Chili Peppers Rembrandt van Rijn Rene Magritte Right Angle Gallery River Nene Roald Dahl Rock Music Rod Campbell Rodrigo y Gabriela Rod Stewart Rogier van der Weyden Rolling Stones Romans Rome Rowlatts Hill Primary School Royal Academy Roy Clark Russia Salvator Rosa Sarah Walker Scotland Seascape Self Portrait Sistine Chapel Small Faces Sport Steppenwolf Stereophonics Swimming Talking Heads Terry Jacks The Automatic The BFG The Crooked House Himley The Editors The Jam The Killers The Moody Blues The Red Deltas The Sensational Alex Harvey Band Thin Lizzy Thomas Faed Tina Turner Titchmarsh School Titian Tom Jones Totem Pole Trompe l'oeil Tuscany USSR Venice Vienna Vincent Van Gogh Volcanic Voyager Academy Warmington School We Are Scientists William Hogarth William Law Primary School Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club YouTube

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Advertisements