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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Keep Calm and Paint the Queen

This week I had the pleasure of spending a day at Vange Primary School in Basildon to work with a group of 18 talented pupils from year 1 to year 6. Our mission was to complete a large canvas portrait of the Queen Elizabeth II using acrylic paint, felt material, tissue paper and anything else that came to mind.
Using ideas from my previous jubilee blogs - the ideology behind the piece was for the children to incorporate the style of four different artists to build up a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II:
Van Gogh, Mondrian, Lichtenstein and Klimt
The children explored brush strokes, layering paint, mark making, use of colour, collage and how to interpret other artists work.

In previous workshops I have had to tackle how to keep a small group of children engaged at one time whilst working on the same piece of artwork. To produce a piece of work that the children can be proud of it is often better to work with a small group at one time. For this project I decided to use two canvases that would provide the opportunity for the painting to be split with two groups working on one piece at a time.

Outline drawing of the Queen ready for painting

The first group of children start to put a Mondrian twist on the lower half of the portrait,
painting bold blocks of primary colours

The next artist's style we add to the portrait is the pop art styling of Roy  Lichtenstein
using dots, strips and bold flat colour
The children decide to paint the Queens jewel in the royal red, white and blue

We could not decide what to do with the frame for the picture and was unsure of what colours to use. One of the children said it was so hot that they would like some ice-cream, in fact Neapolitan ice-cream. With that the children decided to create a Neapolitan ice-cream themed frame to the piece using cut up squares of tissue paper

Half way through the painting

Van Goghs' swirls and impressionist brush strokes were chosen to portray the Queens hair

And last but by no means least the metallic glittering patterns and jewel like artwork of Klimt was used to create a sparkling crown fit for our Jubilee Queen. For additional sparkle glitter was added

Whilst waiting for the paint to dry the children made jubilee rosette out of felt material.
These were glued using pva glue around the frame

The finished product, a portrait of the Queen referencing 4 different artists with very different styles. 

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