Butterflies: Pattern, Mark making and Colour
Week 1: After what seems like a really long summer break the term-time workshops started back with lots of familiar faces returning and some new starts too!! Inspiration for this workshop block came from a summer visit to the Botanic Gardens in St Andrews  and the butterfly house. I’ve been a bit of a butterfly fanatic since I was a similar age to many of the children in the workshop – and I still have a butterfly book my brother bought for me on a family holiday in Bournemouth when I was 7 years old!!

We started off the workshop looking at my little book as well as photographs from the internet – we also looked at moths – of all different shapes, sizes, colour and patterns. The little creatives were encouraged to draw the patterns from the butterflies and moths – rather than the shape of the butterflies. These were repeated over and over while encouraging the children to change the scale of the patterns. Once they were happy with their patterns, wax crayons were used to make marks which would ‘resist’ the paint.

Then the colourful part – the children used watercolour paints. This was so the different coloured paints could bleed into each other to create new colours and marbled patterns and also so the paint had a translucent feel about it, allowing the pencil patterns to show through. To finish off, and as I’ve done in previous painty activities, salt was sprinkled on to areas of paint to create a spotty and sparkly effect.

The children approached the drawing and painty part in very different ways, depending on age and ability. I am using this workshop activity for all of my classes this block, with each activity being adapted to suit the age group – and it’s great to see the different approaches whether 3 years or 13 years old! Fingers and hands as well as intricate pencil marks and brush strokes were used to create a variety of effects and colours. And for the pre-schooler class, parents were encourage to share the activity with their wee one – letting their child direct the activity but working together to make a collaborative artwork!

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