Project: Collaborative Mark-Making – A Matter of Mark-Making
Participants: Year 4 pupils
Partnering with: Healey JI&N
Artist: Fabric Lenny
Science topic: States of Matter
Following an initial session of large-scale, experimental collaborative drawing using a wide variety of monochrome materials, we will introduce frozen ink and work creatively with the resulting marks as the thawing process offers up shapes patterns and textures. We will use iPads to document the making process, to explore the changing state of the frozen ink and to originate ‘finger-painted’ works in response to the melting process using a number of creative apps. This collection of images and material will then be used to create further experimental collaborative work exploring the themes within the science topic and the wider theme of Change.
At the start of this session we talked about states of matter, particles, solids and gasses, with a focus on water and ice. We were excited to learn that we would be painting with ice during the next session. But today was all about experimentation with different types of materials and different approaches to drawing. We made continuous line drawings and mirror drawings and worked collaboratively with our partners to explore making marks whilst creating unusual imagery. We had never used water with felt tip pens before and the effect was amazing – soft fuzzy lines and unexpected colours that seeped from the black ink in the pens. We were busy all lesson and created lots of exciting and fun pictures with a range of art materials.
“Using the water with the pens was fun. That was the best bit. It changed how the pictures looked. It added shadow and made them look really good”
“The continuous line drawing was tricky but I kept at it. I enjoyed drawing myself as an animal and liked trying different artist tools and paints. Using the candle wax and ink was fun as well, it was a cool effect”
Today was all about collaborative drawing mayhem, drawing with huge balls of ice and creating melt paintings with ink-filled ice cubes. We worked as a whole class on two huge classroom sized drawings, which soon became paintings and then filled with colourful puddles of ice-fuelled drippy ink. We started by drawing with our partners from session one and then expanded slowly outward as the drawings grew and linked with the surrounding drawings. We placed frozen ink cubes on A3 cartridge paper and left them to see what effect the melting process would have, and finally we made drawings with felt tip pens and then softened the lines using big balls of ice.
“The ice balls melted in my hands quicker than I could draw. It made purple and blue as it mixed with the ink”
“I loved mixing the black ice with the blue ice to make a kind of purple when it wet the pen lines”
Session three came around quickly and it was the most hectic. We worked on four activities. A large group of us worked collaboratively on the floor pushing to complete the huge drawing we started with ice. A small group worked on iPads making black and white paintings using the Brushes app. Some of us worked on the laptops making digital paintings, whilst the last group developed the paintings which we had started using melting ice cubes, adding detail and pattern with Posca painting pens. We have created lots of images over the three sessions, and managed to get the huge floor drawing ready for the exhibition just in time. We are really looking forward to seeing the images we have made on display in the gallery – exciting!!
“Working so big was just the best”
“I really liked the mark making. The work is astonishing.”
“We did printing in our school but we would like to try mark making after seeing your inspirational work.”
“I like the work because it looks like it must have been an excellent experience for you.”
“I like how you used ink in the ice cubes.”
The children enjoyed the different techniques explored in the workshop sessions, particularly mark making with a felt tip pen and water. Exploring the topic of States of Matter through hands on experimentation during the creative sessions was probably the most valuable part of the experience. The children had the opportunity to handle ice and observe this melting. They were able to observe changing states close up, so it became more pertinent rather than an abstract concept. Children also enjoyed the hands on experiences at the museum.