UPDATE: I have added a few more photos to this post!!!
I saw this idea on USE YOUR COLOURED PENCILS ages ago and thought it would work well with my grade 3 students.
USE YOUR COLOURED PENCILS is a fantastic primary art teacher blog from Western Australia full of brilliant ideas.
We started off by looking at several David Hockney swimming pool paintings, from the 1960s, on the projector screen. I use MY PINTEREST BOARDS to store and then display images on the projector so I don’t have to clog up my laptop with squillions of art images.
The discussion was loud and vigorous with the students pointing out that it was interesting to choose that splash moment to paint rather than the person on the end of the board or in the middle of the dive, etc.
And in each grade the comment was made that the swimmer in this painting looked like he was wearing a nappy!?! Oh the highs and lows of discussions with Grade 3!!! This painting was excellent for talking about the differences between a swimming/floating body and a standing/walking body. I don’t think that was why he painted it but – Thank you, David Hockney!
So as I have been gradually introducing the students to using an art journal this year they had to start by doing a quick drawing, 5 – 10 minutes only, in pencil, in their journal, of themselves as a floating/swimming body. This was then brought to me for a quick personal discussion during which I write or draw a few prompts/praises on their draft. These are directly related to their drawings, at their ability level, and I ask that they try to incorporate the ideas generated from our short, personal discussion into their ‘good copy’. Yes, folks, DIFFERENTIATION is alive and well in this Visual Arts classroom!!!
The first time I did this in their book was hilarious. They were all horrified that I was writing on top of their drawing but they now all have a much more secure idea of what a rough draft is and don’t feel so precious about every rough drawing any more.
Once the students had started their drawing /painting on A3 cartridge paper I quickly called a halt as most were using grey lead pencil and drawing a teeny tiny swimming version of themselves. What happened to filling the space with their body? So the grey lead pencils were put away as soon as their draft was finished and the students moved bravely, straight onto using the oil pastels, to create their swimmer. Ahhh, much better!
Once their swimmer drawing was finished they tackled the challenge of pool water reflection lines using white oil pastel.
The students then painted on the water using dry block poster paint with the paint magically resisting the oil in the pastels!!! Yes, I know, sometimes the old techniques are the best ones for the job!
- Rich, engaging activity
- fantastic discussion
- lots of students came into the art room talking about the David Hockney images they had looked up on Pinterest or Google images after discussing this with their family about what they were doing
- comparing rough drafts with final pieces of work to demonstrate the changes and improvements in their final piece
- all students were very proud of their work, regardless of their ability level
- they make a fantastic display!
- I don’t think there were any!!!
You can see more David Hockney style swimmers inspired, like me, by USE YOUR COLOURED PENCILS here in these links
KIDS ARTISTS from the Netherlands
MRS KNIGHTS SMARTEST ARTISTS from Dolvin Elementary School in Georgia, U.S.A
And more from my Grade 3 students below.
And I’m sure my Grade 3 children would love it if you left them a comment.