Preparing worksheets for my classes.
Much of my time is taken up with preparing for future classes, and the past couple of weeks have been no different. Last week, I was asked to deliver a small workshop to a group of adults and children in East Croydon, London. The project involves creating a piece of group artwork, where each student will produce a painting of a geometric tile. Once the “tiles” have been completed, they will be assembled together to form a large tessalating pattern, or tile panel. While one of my colleagues designed the 8-pointed star “tile” pattern above, I created the designs for the floral motifs that will be used to decorate the surface of each painting. This involved researching traditional Islamic floral motifs, then interpreting them for use in the workshop.
When planning workshops, there are always two things that I try to bear in mind: 1. Are the activities interesting, yet straightforward and easy enough for beginners to follow? 2. Will these activities ensure that everyone is able to achieve a beautiful end result? The last thing that I want to happen is for students to leave my classes feeling disheartened because they were unhappy with what they produced. Luckily, this was not the case last week! You can see some of the student’s completed work below:
Student’s work from last week’s workshop in London. Each “tile” will be trimmed to fit within a square, then be tessalated to form a large group panel.
The class was pretty cosy with only two children and three adults! However, this meant that each student was able to benefit from lots of one-to-one attention. My friend and colleague Amreen did a fantastic job of helping individual students, while I demonstrated the geometric construction of the tile pattern on the large flip-chart.
Me, teaching geometry.
Even the kids managed to construct this geometric pattern – pretty impressive, I think, as children hardly ever use drawing compasses at school anymore.
“Practice” designs are painted lightly with watercolour.
We limited the palette to cobalt, ultramarine and turquoise to ensure that everyone’s colours would harmonise well together. It created a really calm and tranquil atmosphere in the class! Amazing how colours can have that effect.
After the “practice” paintings had been completed, students used opaque gouache colours to paint on prepared watercolour paper. I also taught a short session on brushwork, where students learnt a few tips on how to paint tiny and carefully! You can see the practice lines and spirals on the sheet to the right of the photo.
The floral designs are traced on to the surface of the tile pattern. There are different shaped flowers to fit the various star, square and kite shapes. The students used yellow ochre pigment to trace designs on to their paintings. This traditional method has been used for centuries, and is like an ancient form of carbon paper – very handy technique!
Final designs are shaping up nicely…
I love the design and I love the practice spirals too! They look like of a sheet of blue roses.
Simple, yet striking.
What a beauty! A touch of gold makes such a big difference.
So all in all, a successful workshop! Looking forward to the next class…