Alison Lester – Easy Art – getting kids to make art

From the first minute I knew I was out of my depth in this session.  I am an aspiring author, who is to illustrating (and art) as a BBQ skewer is to a blow up castle at a school fete.  But I figured if anyone could teach me illustration techniques, Alison was the person to do it.

She shared images and ideas on using crayons.  The art teachers all nodded their heads, clearly they knew exactly what Alison was talking about.

Stencils are for those of us like me who can’t do art.  Alison said the secret of stencils is to make a simple design, with interesting shapes coming off the main shape.

Alison said that making books with kids is really fun.  When she starts to create a book, she always starts with a storyboard.  All books must be a multiple of four for printing purposes.  When Alison gives the kids the pieces of paper to draw their picture on, she writes their name and what they are going to draw to ensure they draw what they planned to.  Thanks to Alison for some great tips for the teachers in the room.

Alison talked of Publisher, the program that comes with Microsoft Office.  She said it is really easy to create and print books. She gave a quick run down of the process involved in creating a book with Publisher.  I think I need to give it a go.

Alison gave a demonstration of water colours and wax crayons.  Before she began she gave the very practical tip of buying cheap water colour paper from the local $2 shop.   The class was in awe, seeing Alison Lester at work was a real treat

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She sure had a great collection of supplies for us to play with….

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Her students got to work.

Next on the agenda was stencilling.  Alison explained that it was essential to use stencilling paper as it can be washed and used time and time again.  Cutting out tips were given including that it is sometimes easier to twist the paper than twist the scissors.  Taping the stencil to the piece of paper you are printing on is helpful.  And using paper or cardboard as paint pallets makes cleaning up really easy as you can just put them in the bin instead of having to wash awkward plastic pallets.  Sea sponges make the best brushes for stencilling, but dish washing sponges work well too.

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I am actually going to be brave enough and share with you what I did.

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I really have to thank Alison for this lesson.  She has taken me, very much art-impaired, and inspired me to give stencilling a go.  I know everyone in the class enjoyed it too, we would have all loved to have spent more time doing the class.

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