"Art & Facts" Workshop

Kelly Cunnane

Workshop description

Draw a mask or camel milk bowl, or an ankle bangle from long ago.

Draw the world of Africa through unique daily items. Learn the original names and uses. Recreate the far away lands of Kenya and the Sahara... Create a final portrayal - in bright orange, the image in blue!

Concentrate on Negative & Positive space, using Neutral or Complementary color design

Art 1) Pencil / crayon or school-sponsored medium

Art 2) Crayon resists / watercolor: minimum 2 hours+

I set up the African artifacts so that students can explore them, discuss them, try them on, and by guessing and asking, learn what they are, both in English and in the language of the country.

We practice quick contour drawings, students getting a chance to draw several different pieces, thus getting to know the item's purpose, name, and its relationship to the daily life of the culture.

Contour drawing encourages students to focus, to be patient, to be in the moment concentrating, and noticing. The results are always surprising.

Students are then invited to choose one item and to think of it in lines and shapes in order to convey on paper the space it takes up. A student renders the image twice, coloring, perhaps with pattern, the inside of the object of one picture and the outside of the other, using complementary colors, which we will review in the warm-up exercise. Students label and display, spreading what they've learned to others with the simple beauty of Positive and Negative space In complementary color.

Schools provide the paper, which can be standard white, two per student, and scrap paper for the contour drawing practice. A choice of colorful construction paper on which to mount the final two pieces gives a nice final touch. And a "public" space for exhibiting their art for others to share.

Time estimate: Warm up contour drawing / 30 - 45 min.+; selection, identification, plan / 15 min.; Concentrated drawing / 20 min.+; color, label, mount / 15 min. = 1 hour 35 min. Color/mount can be done outside of workshop with classroom teacher if desired.

Art supplies included by request.

Who is this workshop best suited for?

Grades 7 through 12

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"In the blue dark of the wattle trees, yellow blossoms like little stars bloom..."

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