This mixed media collage is a reworking of an earlier project, Pirate Treasure Islands: Real Sand Art, for which we were lucky enough to have real Maldivian sand at our disposal. This time, instead of tropical sand, I offered the children a choice of two types of textured paper to create their islands – sandpaper and wallpaper (from an old sample book donated by a parent). The rest of the collage elements (palm trees, treasure chests and pirate flags) were executed in the same way as the earlier project, but this time I wanted to try out a new effect for the ocean waves, using baby oil as a blending medium to blur and manipulate the oil pastel colours.
The first stage was to give the children a piece of sandpaper (or wallpaper) and a sheet of good quality gsm white drawing paper (low grade copy paper would be too thin for this oil technique). I asked them to draw the humped outline of an island on the sandpaper and then cut it out. Then the children positioned the sandpaper shape on their white paper and drew around it lightly with a pencil. It was important that the paper surface underneath the sandpaper island was left clean and oil free, otherwise it would have been very difficult to adhere to when gluing the island down later.
Next the children drew waves using a range of blue oil pastel colours. Once the page was filled, they began to blend the lines using a stubby paint brush dipped in baby oil. This resulted in a fluid, translucent effect that was perfect for depicting the ocean. The children cleaned off the excess oil using a wad of kitchen roll, and then glued on their sandpaper island.
I then provided a range of coloured and textured papers for the children to create their own palm trees and pirate treasure chests. Some even decided to cut sand castles from a contrasting paper (please click here for more details about this stage of the process).
“Shiver me timbers! These be fine pirate islands…”
Please click on one of the pictures and then scroll through the gallery to view all the finished Treasure Island artworks.
This project was completed by children aged between four and six years of age, but would suit elementary age groups too.