Using Artwork to Develop Ideas

Part Three
Time to complete: 1.5 hours
Resources needed:
paper (rolls of lining paper work well), art materials such as watercolour paints, pallettes for mixing paint, thick brushes and sponges, thinner brushes, colour pencils (watercolour pencils are especially good), paper towels/kitchen roll, felt tip pens, collage papers, glue, scissors

In this part of the course, you will explore how Sita and Jane take the ideas generated in the warm up activity and expand upon them to create a beautiful artwork.

  • To paint your rivers – don’t be afraid to use watery paint and splash about a bit!
  • You can drip it and splash it, like the flowing river you are painting….
  • You can pass the paint brush from person to person, down the line to create a truly communal river.
  • You can let the paint dry naturally, or help it along by dabbing it with paper towels, or drying with a hair dryer.
  • When the background is dry you can add figures/ details with coloured pencils and felt pens.
  • You can also collage trees and houses and boats on, drawn on a separate piece of paper, or cut out of coloured paper and glued on to your picture.
  • You can write on the picture when it is dry.

To show the artistic connection between word and image also encourage students to play with scale of words. Let words GROW and shrink In your own note books collect together the treasure-hoard of words from the stimuli so far that you think you would like to place in your own individual writing.Now you’re editing!

Try it in the classroom

Working Together

Watch this video for some advice from Sita & Jane about running this art activity with groups.

Agree some ‘rules’ like those on the right, to support pupils with working together.


Creative Conversations

Tell students that in working together they are having a ‘creative conversation’ and trying to really empathise with what the other person is creating. This can bring some fascinating conversations. Encourage students to share how their work grew by working together. These are also skills we need for reading. What is a book without a reader?


The story about the porcelain cup and the earthenware cup in our communal conversations came from a mention of a piece of polished glass…

Jane then spoke of a porcelain cup – there was a moment in the conversation when we were picturing different things. For a moment I was hanging on to my piece of polished glass but we came to see that there were two cups, neither of them were made of glass … both of them had a connection to India and London.

Jane clearly pictured her grandmother’s cup with tree patterns

Sita clearly pictured the earthenware pots.

The communal word-flow can acknowledge both of these but each of us might want to take our own small concertina river and continue to explore our stories on them.