The Spring workshop sessions are always planned around ideas the children have given me during the Winter term. I try to develop activities which include both processes and subjects the children wish to explore more.
This Spring, the Tuesday evening class get to try out a number of different processes – drawing, painting, collage and model making during this workshop – so a good variety of processes for the children to try out. The children were keen to do more drawing activities, and in particular observational drawing. We had previously talked about the work of Pablo Picasso, so together we decided to look at his work to develop theses ideas. Initially looking at his Cubist portraits and if time allows some of his still-lifes too.
Week 1: We spent a good amount of time looking at the work of Picasso, studying and talking about his portrait paintings, discussing the shape of facial features and how he painted his subjects showing facial features from both the profile and front. We also discussed the the use of colour and how Picasso was influenced by African masks. The children were each given a mirror and asked to look at their facial features, studying the shape of their eyes, nose, mouth and ears. The children were given a range of drawing materials and encouraged to use the mirrors while drawing the separate features on their face – not drawing portraits, but rather concentrating on the simple shapes which make up individual features. These were drawn on large sheets of paper, then on smaller coloured pieces of paper, but encouraging the children to draw large and fill each sheet with one feature each. The same idea was repeated, but looking at the facial features of the person sitting next to them. This was so the children wouldn’t become to concerned with trying to make drawings which looked like themselves. At the end of the workshop each child played a quick fun game – each threw dice to help them choose facial features in the ‘style’ of Picasso, which they used to compose a Cubist portrait.