I was invited to teach 10-11 year olds for a single art lesson of 2 hours, at my daughter’s children’s school.
I decided on “The Village Shop”.
I thought you may enjoy thinking about how you would tackle this. The children can walk down from the school and sit on a narrow pathway on a bank opposite the school. I said they could wrap cushions in supermarket bags for comfort but the head teacher said that the children must sit on the ground! (no namby-pamby’s in Oxfordshire village schools)
1) These artworks will be displayed in an exhibition at the school and sold to the parents for £5.00 each. So costs need to be kept at this rate, but the school has some art materials already. So assume that you can choose your materials and try to think of a £3.00 budget per child over and above available paints.
2) The artworks need to be framed or hung on a wall, so this will limit the size to a maximum of 40×30 (A3)
3) My rule for child-art teaching is based on observational drawing using an indelible intrument (so that they can’t rub out). So, no pencils, but markers, Sharpies, acrylic ink and bamboo pen, ball point pens, crayons, oil-pastels etc. are all viable indelible instruments for children. They could also do a collage by cutting out and sticking, using methyll-cellulose glue.
4) Monochromatic or in colour?
5) The children will need some sort of support for their artworks. A3 is harder to work with than A4.
6) What will we do if it rains?
7) If they do a drawing how shall we add colour?
Preparation: is there any advance preparation we can do? e.g. for just two little girls, I’ll stretch good wateroclour paper. For 26 kids this is too costly and time consuming. If they were to draw in acrylic ink, I could cut each child a bamboo pen, but sitting cross legged on the ground in their uniforms without aprons? I think not…
Introducing the topic:
I give very little guidance on how to actually draw the building as children just seem to get stuck in quite happily.
1) Think about the techniques you would do and work out how they should go about it and in what order they should do things – e.g. background first?
2) For observational drawng its worth getting them to name parts of the building. What would you prompt them to name?
3) What would you say to them about about the brickwork and tiles?
4) How would you treat the grass and creeper in an easy accessible way.
How will you manage practical issues like water or containers if they are painting. What about snacks? What about work drying?
How will they (or you) transport the work back to the school without ruining it?
We have worked all this out, and we have a rainy-day backup (my husband’s most brilliant idea ever) and have planned more or less what the result will look like. I have posed the questions so that you could think of different approaches. My approach is only one approach and there are many different good solutions to how to draw the village shop. If you feel like it do comment and give your ideas (briefly!)