Thursday, 8 August 2013

Art Summer School: Drawing

When I planned to do an in-house art summer school using Art Lab for Kids, I had in mind that we would focus on one section of the book at a time and choose whichever activities we fancied.  The first section of the book is about drawing with different media.  Below is what we have done based on the ideas taken from the book.

(1) Lab 1: Contour Drawings

This exercise is mainly about getting the hang of contour drawing (i.e. only the outlines).  We set up a simple still life and Tiger did the exercise with a thick permanent marker (photos 1a and 1b), followed by charcoal (photo 2a).  As charcoal naturally smudges in the hands of a child, Tiger decided to introduce shading to his drawing, after completing the contours (photo 2b).

With the pencil, Tiger went back to contour drawing again.  The drawing shows that he has observed the placements of the still life objects but did not know how to draw the vase correctly.  Admittedly, the symmetry of the vase can be quite challenging.

Since this exercise was a straightforward set up with minimal mess, I sat myself beside Tiger and tried the exercise myself.  You can see from below that I had a slightly different view of the still life set up because of where I was sitting.

(2) Lab 2: Large-Scale Ink Drawings

Since this exercise asks for "large-scale", we used an A2-sized watercolour paper.  It is another still life so we changed the blue vase out and added a transparent vase and a jam jar in its place, just for variation.

The exercise started out with making contour drawings using Indian ink (photo 1).  Once that was completed, Tiger used diluted ink to mark out the tonal values (photo 3).  The final step was to add colour to the drawing using either pastels or watercolour.  He chose to use pastels (photo 4).  Here is his completed work:

I decided to use watercolour for mine:

(3) Lab 3: Scribble Drawings

As the title of this exercise suggests, Tiger started out with scribbling lines on an A2-sized paper.  The idea is to find interesting shapes or images from the scribbles.  Once he has located the shapes he liked, Tiger drew over them again with his pencil before cutting the shapes out.


The next part was the most interesting aspect of the exercise.  Having wet the watercolour paper all over with clean water, Tiger then dropped acrylic ink onto it to have the ink spread out due to the wetness.  When the colours did not flow to his satisfaction, Tiger listed the board and turned it this way and that to facilitate the ink flow.

When the ink had dried, Tiger used it as the background to stick his cut-out scribbly shapes on.


This is what the end product looks like.  I think it looks a little pale and unfinished, perhaps because the contrast between the background and the cut-outs are too great, and the background seems to have dominated the work.  However, Tiger likes it so I guess I have to respet the artist's views about his own creation.

(4) Lab 4: Soft Pastel Drawings

This exercise is very straightfoward: draw a flower still life using soft pastels.  I set up a bouquet of flowers for Tiger to draw, yet he chose to do it Georgia-O'Keeffe style by picking one small flower head and magnifying it to fill the entire paper.  Well, I guess you can say that it's one way to interpret the requirements of the exercise.

We will be covering exercises on drawing, painting, printmaking, paper, and mixed media.  The ideas for which all come from Art Lab for Kids.  You can read all about our in -house Art Summer School series here.

This post is linked up to:
  1. Virtual Refrigerator: Phineas and Ferb
  2. Hobbies and Handicrafts - August 9
  3. Collage Friday - Braces and First Days of School
  4. TGIF Linky Party #89
  5. Weekly Wrap-Up: The One Where We Did Stuff
  6. The Homeschool Mother's Journal {August 10, 2013}


  1. That looks like a good program. Your still life looks great.

  2. Thank you, Julie. :-) The exercises in the book is very user-friendly. Definitely worth a look.

  3. I have Art Lab for Kids and plan to use it this year, but we haven't done it yet. It's neat to see your projects; they came out great!

  4. this looks like a great program - thanks for linking up your posts to the Virtual Refrigerator!

  5. Thank you both for stopping by, Jamie and Kym. I am finding the book to be really easy to implement at home with children of different ages so it is worth a try. :-)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...