Saturday, September 17, 2011

flower studies

Another learning curve!  Today our outreach group numbered 10 primary school children from Madimeni. 

I began the journey of trying to open their eyes - to let them see from an artist's perspective, not just to look, but to see and understand, to appreciate the colours and patterns.  Not an easy task, considering that we battle with communication many times, as their home language is isiZulu.

After rescuing my prized herb garden from many foot-stomping episodes (thank goodness herbs are hardy!) and collecting a few flowers we went into the workshop to first pencil draw flowers of their choice or imagination, sometimes trying to join the blooms in a form of pattern (another skill that needs attention).  The children were then introduced to watercolour blocks to their delight and painted their flowers.  Again they needed to be encouraged to cover the entire page with colour. They then outlined the dried painted works in black koki pen.  I was very pleased with the results, but there is still so much to teach - the children are slowly gaining a pride in their work, but still need to learn patience in achieving their best.  They also have a tendency to just sign their name right over the top of their work.  Whilst working they need to take more care - there were quite a few unintentional watercolour smudges...!

Maybe you will recognise dianthus, calendula, lavender and carnation in the pictures.  We worked on drawing paper, not ideal for watercolour, but watercolour paper is just a little out of our budget at the moment!  We will save for a special lesson!

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