Module 12


Module 12 Home

Visual Arts Hints


1. How can we create anything when we do not have the money for art materials? If a budget allows for the purchase of art materials then all well and good. You do not need the very best in art materials in order for children to create. Ask children to collect throw-away items at home that can be used for painting, printmaking and collage. These may include corks, cardboard packaging, fabric, beads and who knows what wonderful bits and pieces. Ask parents if they work in places that may be able to donate off-cuts from the factory floor. Places like Reverse Garbage are also wonderful for a range of cheap and interesting materials.

2. What if the finished product doesn’t look any good? Showing the children the artwork of practising artists demonstrates what can be achieved. Aspects of these works can be discussed in creating a finished work of art such as a background that is not patchy and covers the whole of the paper or the way a sculptor has looked at the human figure from all angles because it is a three dimensional work. The artwork of children however has to be accepted as a child’s unique form of expression. This allows them to develop confidence and self esteem and take further risks with their art. Keep adult standards and expectations to the essentials and children are very capable of producing outstanding works of art.

3. Brushes are to painting as clay is to sculpture. Brushes and clay have their places in the visual arts. Children need to be allowed to experiment and explore with a wide range of materials as possible. Use Garbage! Children are encouraged to use their problem solving skills as well as their creative abilities. Practising artists often use materials that reflect the materials of our consumer society.

4. To create, children need to be instructed correctly. Children will create if they are given the freedom to express their ideas and have a sense of ownership of a project. Read Kate Hart’s books on art education. She is a wonderful inspiration in teaching children in a range of alternative ways.

5. There isn’t the room, except in the art room, to create large pieces of work. So take the children outdoors to create. Perhaps corridors can be used at certain times of the school day. Often a corner of a classroom can be cleared. Why not work with the art teacher to incorporate the arts into marine studies?

6. Most importantly, encourage the children to enjoy what they are doing. The end result does not have to be a masterpiece. The important thing is that the children have fun learning about coastal and marine concepts and issues through the visual arts.