Swimming Pool: Oil Pastel and Watercolour Resist, inspired by David Hockney (September 2014)

DSCF1451 adj rotThis project was a lot of fun and the technique is extremely effective. The artists range between four and eight years old.

We started the session by looking at an iconic work of art – Portrait of an Artist (Pool with two figures), 1972 – by the contemporary British painter David Hockney (b.1937). In the painting a man looks into a swimming pool where another man is swimming under the water.

David Hockney (born 1937) Portrait of an Artist (Pool with two figures) 1972, acrylic on canvas
David Hockney, Portrait of an Artist (Pool with two figures), 1972, acrylic on canvas

We talked about how the swimmer’s body looks a little distorted because of the waves on the surface of the pool, and I pointed out the pattern of white lines on the bottom of the pool where the sunlight is reflecting on and through the water. We also looked at some photographs of people swimming to get some ideas for how to pose our own swimmers.

The children drew in pencil and then coloured in their swimmers with oil pastels. Then they used white oil pastel to ‘invisibly’ draw wiggly lines all over the rest of the paper.

DSCF1407 blogThe next stage was to add the turquoise watercolour, brushing left and right across the paper using a big decorator’s paint brush. The oil pastels ‘resist’ the watercolours, revealing the white lines and creating a bubbly effect in other places.

Finally, the children sprinkled a little salt onto the wet surface.

When the pictures were dry we brushed off the salt to reveal a wonderful speckled texture in the paint.

Here are the finished artworks.

DSCF1592 adjDSCF1591 adj… and a slideshow (please click to enlarge images)

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This project was adapted from an idea first seen on Use Your Coloured Pencils and Kids Artists.

A spin-off from this project may be seen by clicking here: Mermaids under the Sea: Oil Pastels and Watercolours (September 2014)






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