As part of the Collage Art unit, the children began by exploring the work of artists who drew or painted the urban or rural landscapes of their locality. They discussed what the artists had drawn or painted and what they thought they might see, hear and smell if they walked into the place in the painting. Claude Monet’s landscape paintings were looked at in detail, in particular how he used different brushstrokes to create texture. The children experimented with different types of brush strokes and used finger printing to create texture, pattern and mix colours, like in the famous waterlily paintings. They also studied James Tatum’s paintings of Devon landscapes. Everyone enjoyed experimenting with his style of using large brush strokes with acrylic paint to create texture for backgrounds.
Next, they studied Jeannie Baker’s collages in her book, ‘The Window’ and discussed her choice of natural and manmade materials to create outdoor scenes. They practiced various collage techniques such as tearing, crumpling, ripping, cutting, over lapping and layering different materials such as paper, magazine cuttings, tissue paper and card to create texture, shapes and patterns. In their sketchbooks they also experimented with different ways of sticking and attaching mixed media to paper, in preparation for the final landscape collages. They enjoyed gathering natural materials for their collages and experimented how to attach or print with them on paper.
Finally, the children used ideas from the artists’ work, along with the experimentations with different collage techniques to create their own collage of a local landscape.
Following the local field trip around Branscombe village, the children chose to create collages of St Winifred’s church or the war memorial.