Art: Material world

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By Robert WattsProgramme Convener for MA Art, Craft and Design Education at Roehanpton University, London

An artistic masterpiece is all about using the right materials…

If you want children to fully explore their drawing potential, it’s essential to introduce them to a range of materials.

figure 1

All materials have their own individual and special qualities. Children need time to experiment with drawing materials in order to appreciate these qualities. The wider the range of options available to children, the more opportunities they will have to succeed with their drawings. The activities on these pages offer children opportunities to develop a wider ‘visual vocabulary’ with which they can record the world around them.

Check out Teaching Art and Design 3-11: The Essential Guide edited by Sue Cox and Robert Watts (Continuum, £19.99 PB).

1. On your marks

  • Just as PE lessons begin with warm-up activities, a drawing lesson can start with opportunities for children to ‘warm up’ by experimenting with mark making. (Fig 1.)
  • Provide the children with small sheets of paper and encourage them to explore the marks they can make with a range of drawing tools. Remind them that they are experimenting with mark making and not creating a recognisable picture.

Figure 2

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