06 March 2011

Still Life

It was one of those days when everyone was a little fractious.  Sometimes boredom leads to the best and most innovative play.  But sometimes it just leads to lots of niggly fights and bickery arguments that rapidly do my head in.  On those days it helps if I take command and direct an activity - this day it was to be still life a la Margaret Olley(hah!).
Ruby's charcoal sketch

The three big girls (age 3, 5 and 7) were all to do three quick studies in charcoal, crayon and paint.  Once the materials were out they wanted to do their own thing and not be bound to a still life arrangement.  I persisted, mostly because I wanted to see how they would go at this challenge and also because I know that they are extremely pleased with themselves when they do something that is a bit hard and that they might not have done off their own bat.  (don't think I spend my life doing impromptu art lessons for the kids - it's an occasional thing).

Because they were sitting at a round table they all had different perspectives on the arrangement.
It was interesting (to me) how they dealt with their different perspectives - they wanted to move between each sketch so they got a good go at the banana, the tea cup, the bottle.

Nina's charcoal sketch

Nina's painting

I intended for each sketch to be no more than 5 minutes.  The girls started out with earnest concentration and after 5 minutes had not completed their drawings. I gave in to their pleas for more time, and abandoned the timed approach, but I wish I had stuck to it as they started to get a bit bored with it and Ruby didn't get to the painting.
Grace's crayon sketch

Ruby's crayon sketch

Overall I reckon it was a successful exercise - the kids were pleased with their efforts, and afterwards I showed them some of Olley's work and they appreciated the technical skill much more than they otherwise might have.
Things I learned - too many elements! The bottle was really hard and the tea-cup in front - all too much.  The fruit on its own would have been enough. You can tell I'm not an art teacher.
Also I should have limited the time spent on each picture to get the gist rather than the details.
Still it was an entertaining way to fill in an hour and no bickering....
On the wall

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