The first part of this lesson was inspired by Lynda Barry’s excellent book Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor. I highly recommend this book to anyone teaching visual arts or creative writing. It’s a real treasure; inspiring, helpful and beautiful to look at too.
My students' first task was to fold a piece of A4 paper into 16 sections. Children were asked to draw objects, animals, people and fantasy creatures into each of these sections. I asked the students to draw each of their images in as few lines as possible, aiming to make a clear representation of their subject.
For the next part of the lesson, I wanted students to experience drawing on a prepared ground. I brought out a selection of vintage-styled wrapping papers and each student chose the one that most appealed to them. The young people then recreated one of their earlier images in fineliner and felt tip, drawing directly onto the wrapping paper.
Once their drawings were complete, each student made a ‘shabby chic’ frame for their illustration using lollipop sticks and tempera paint. As this type of paint is really thin, the wood grain of the lollipop sticks was clearly visible after it dried.
Finally, the framed illustrations were offset by a pinboard which some other students had ‘upcycled’ using tempera paint, glitter glue, fabrics, beads and vintage photographs. This really added to the retro feel of the whole display.