For the next stage of the Paul Klee inspired project the Art Centre children work in small groups drawing shapes with crayon onto square pieces of fabric. Fabric is more durable than paper, and as we expect these pictures to be beautiful, we want to put them onto a good surface so they may be displayed and appreciated for a long time.
At the end of the last session, I showed the children photos of the architecture of Bhaktapur to illustrate how commonly these shapes (circles, squares, triangles etc) are found in this environment. I suggested they could do some “homework” and look out for them. We were delighted when two children came to this session with their homework – one had drawn pictures of buildings and another had practiced drawing shapes and words. Their immense satisfaction in doing that task was priceless to see.
Part of the process of teaching these children is to revise and practice what they learnt in the sessions before. We look at the Paul Klee paintings again, study them for shape, size, pattern and colour; his name and country were easily recalled from the last session.
You can see from the photos how engrossed the children are in their drawing. Some of the Unatti Girls are here today helping the Art Centre children understand the processes as well as keeping them focused. They show leadership qualities in helping us manage what could easily be a chaotic session with around 60 children of all ages and skills, but it never is. We are also thankful to have Neelam working with us to provide translation and support.
We had a final half hour practicing using wet colour (ink) and watercolour brushes. Children learn about using the ink as a wash and outline and how to treat the brushes with care. Many of the children are really keen to learn and diligently try – they enjoyed working with the wet materials and in these step-by-step processes not only are they learning, they are also seeing work emerge that is interesting and new to them.
On the final day of this project, we revise the colour groups of Warm and Cool, before I teach them how to blend watercolours and the effects they will have on their drawings on the fabric. Most seem to really enjoy these watery materials so it is hard to stop them painting – even though their picture is well and truly finished.
We hang them up and everyone is delighted by the end results!