Sunday, 16 April 2017

David Hockney Inspired Lesson

Recently we were very lucky to have a David Hockney exhibition on at the National Gallery of Victoria.  It was a great exhibition and very appealing to children as the majority of the paintings were done on an IPad.  Hockney is amazing to still be creating great art at the age of 79, especially using technology.   

One of Hockneys iPad paintings..


I'm a big fan of getting really messy, experimenting with art materials and losing yourself in the process.  I'm always asking (or is it yelling??) at my children to get off their devices.  However I do see the need to embrace technology as it progresses and my children just love painting on the iPad.  It's certainly a non messy way of doing art in the car or on holiday.  

Hockney uses an app called Brushes Redux.  It's a free app.  Download it and give it a go, its fun..  It helps to use a stylus yet is not completely necessary.  The great thing about this app is it records the steps as you paint.  When you are finished you can play your painting and see your painting appear step by step on the screen, like watching a time lapse video.  


At the exhibition it was mesmerising watching the recorded steps of Hockney painting.  Watching him paint the children learnt technique, how to apply blocks of colour, how to layer, how to use different brush strokes and different sized brushes.   Not all the children in my classes made it to the exhibition yet there is a great YouTube video that walks you through it.

Many of Hockneys paintings are of still life, self portraits or landscape.


In this lesson we used both traditional art materials and iPads to produce a painting inspired by Hockney (think bright and colourful, layering, texture).  

iPad Paintings
I only have 2 iPads and 10 children in my classes so each child got about 10 minutes on an ipad.  I explained the basics of using the Brushes app and then left them to it to experiment.  Of course they all loved it.  I emailed their artwork to their parents so they could see it.


Hockney inspired artworks using traditional art materials
With only 2 iPads available the rest of the class had to be doing something so we looked at pictures of Hockneys iPad drawings and came up with our own versions using traditional art materials (paint, oil pastel, chalk pastel).  We discussed his use of vibrant colour and love of drawing flowers, cactus pots, landscapes and self portraits.  

Hockney sends his iPad drawings to several people at once.  It's as if he can give several people a bunch of flowers all at once.  I love this concept and I took photos and emailed photos of the artworks to the parents to brighten their day (and they can then forward to others).

We also used texture plates under the paper to add texture which looked a little similar to some of the ipad brush strokes.



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