As a special project with Year 4 at Priory Lower School we decided that it would be good to focus on observational drawing. I raided my store of vintage crockery and we constructed low towers of cups and side plates on each table. We were so busy drawing that I have no pictures of the drawings! The class made preliminary sketches on their white boards and were then asked to redraw their compositions on paper with pencil. It probably seemed like a very dry session, drawing from life is complex, so we spent a lot of time looking, discussing, adjusting and re-scaling. Trying to draw everyday objects with regular yet different shapes in stacks was also a challenge. Sometimes it is essential to slow things down, to take time to draw what you see rather than what you think you see. Later I was delighted when one of the class told me how much he loved drawing an would I like to see his sketch book.
As a counterpoint to the observational drawing the pupils were then given brightly coloured card and asked to draw one piece of crockery on each piece of card. This approach lead us to look at the work of Patrick Caulfield
- We were particularly struck by Coloured Still Life, 1967 a bold abstract and graphic still life featuring bowl, jug and glasses on a blue background and Pottery, 1969 Original: Oil on canvas 213.4 x 152.4 cm.
We used a thin, quick drying paint which needed two coats and still showed the brush marks unlike the Caulfields which would have had a completely flat finish. Not everyone found the flatness an easy concept, some children took a painterly approach, others precision flatness the finish required. The characteristic black lines were applied with marker to give a firmer, steadier outline.
I have just noticed that the Tate Gallery shop has a new range of items in their Homewares range - The Patrick Caulfield Collection, oh dear, I might just need to add the milk jug to my collection!