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Digital Photography Workshop at Tate Britain

Posted 17 March 2015 by Kat

Hi guys!

Here’s an event for you that we think you might like! ;)

Head down to Tate Britain next weekend to explore the magic of photographic image-making from digital to chemical. Create a digital negative from your own digital photograph and then make a cyanotype print to take home. We want you to be inspired by the exhibition Salt and Silver: Early Photography 1840-1860.

This man with his cool horse wants you to be inspired.

Jean-Baptiste Frénet, Horse and Groom, 1855© Wilson Centre for Photography

Jean-Baptiste Frénet, Horse and Groom, 1855© Wilson Centre for Photography

The workshop is led by the artist Luca Damiani who made this awesome Digital Kit for you all recently if you haven’t already checked it out.

Digital to Chemical: Photo Processing Workshop is on Saturday 28 March 2015, at 11am at Tate Britain, in the Taylor Digital Studio. It’s a FREE workshop too!

We can’t wait to see what you make! See you there!

Photo: Luca Damiani

This is what you could make! Wow! Photo: Luca Damiani

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Top 5 Mother’s Day Gifts

Posted 13 March 2015 by Kat

We all know it’s tricky to find that perfect gift for Mums on Mothering Sunday. Either way, we think the small, thoughtful and creative things are the best!

1. Breakfast in bed
There is nothing better than being in your pyjamas and having someone bring you tea and toast. Henri Hayden’s breakfast looks yummy! Are those waffles? What else could you put on this breakfast tray? Maybe you could have a go at making her favourite pancakes…she deserves it!

Henri Hayden, Brown Still Life, 1968 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015

Henri Hayden, Brown Still Life, 1968 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015

2. A performance
Do you like to sing or dance like these kids below? Sit your mum down, turn on the spotlights and dedicate a performance to her. Maybe a ballet or a dance routine to her favourite song? If you play an instrument you could write her a song? I think a set and decorations are needed like this Nigel Henderson photograph, what else could you use in your performance?

Nigel Henderson, Photograph showing a group of children performing to mark the Coronation, 1953, © Nigel Henderson Estate

Nigel Henderson, Photograph showing a group of children performing to mark the Coronation, 1953, © Nigel Henderson Estate

3. Flowers
Yes this is a pretty standard gift and may lack a bit of imagination…but who wouldn’t love to receive a bunch of their favourite spring flowers!? You could even make your own paper flowers! Jeff Koons made his out of glass! What other materials could you make a flower arrangement out of?

Jeff Koons, Mound of Flowers 1991, © Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons, Mound of Flowers 1991, © Jeff Koons

4. An ‘anything’ voucher
Every day is Mother’s Day really! So if everyone is busy and you can’t spend the day with your mum, design and send her a voucher to use whenever she wants! Be that a promise to wash the car or to go and pick up the newspaper from the shops. I’m sure it will come in handy! Make your voucher as pretty as possible, maybe use different coloured paper like this artwork below.

Patrick Caulfield, The Letter 1967, © The estate of Patrick Caulfield. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2015

Patrick Caulfield, The Letter 1967, © The estate of Patrick Caulfield. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2015

5. Your own masterpiece
The fridge door is looking a little empty. Why not make a collage about your Mum (or Grandmother as she’s a Mother too!) to stick on the fridge? Make a sculpture or paint a portrait. Whatever you think represents your mum the best! You could even make an artwork on Tate Kids and email it her with a Happy Mother’s Day message! We think she’ll love anything you make! ;)

We’d love to see and hear about what you are gifting your Mother with this Sunday! Email us or let us know in the comments below!

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Textile Tryout 6: Textured Paint

Posted 9 March 2015 by Kat

Hi guys!

This is the 6th and final Textile Tryout! It’s been fun but we are now at the end of our Tuttle-inspired journey! We’ve been weaving and performing, we’ve been outside and in schools!

Our final tryout will be all about textures and painting! We’ll be looking closely at how artists use colour, design, textures, textiles and paint to make amazing artworks. Then you can have a go at making your own masterpiece!

Let’s go!

Artists mainly use canvases to create artwork on. Canvas is a strong, hard cloth made from hemp or yarn. It’s normally pulled across a wooden structure and then that’s what artists paint on.

But you could paint on any fabric or material, like cotton or velvet or metal or glass. What else could you paint onto?

Sigmur Polke used resin and acrylic paint on fabric to make the artwork below. Look at his strong mark-making. His paintings combine found printed images with painterly marks on top. What kind of found images could you use to paint on?

Sigmar Polke, Untitled (Triptych), 2002 © The estate of Sigmar Polke/ DACS 2015

Sigmar Polke, Untitled (Triptych), 2002 © The estate of Sigmar Polke/ DACS 2015

Lot of artists don’t use paint brushes to paint with either. Jackson Pollock (his artwork is below) dripped and poured paint over canvas. This meant he was able to work in a free way. He let all his thoughts and feelings out on the canvas.

Jackson Pollock, Yellow Islands, 1952, © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2015

Jackson Pollock, Yellow Islands, 1952, © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2015

This looks like fun! Sometimes artists use lots of different materials to make paintings. Here the artist Niki de Saint Phalle filled bags with paint and then asked people to shoot at them, so the paint exploded everywhere! This type of art was all about chance, you never really knew what it would look like before the end.

Niki de Saint Phalle, Shooting Picture, 1961, © The estate of Niki de Saint Phalle

Niki de Saint Phalle, Shooting Picture, 1961, © The estate of Niki de Saint Phalle

Then other artists would collage with different types of fabric. This artist made humorous decorated figures like this man below. He even used Meccano in this painting on top of fabric. What everyday objects could you use in your artwork?

Enrico Baj, Fire! Fire! 1963–4, © Enrico Baj

Enrico Baj, Fire! Fire! 1963–4, © Enrico Baj

So we have seen the use of canvas and fabric, collage and free-painting (without paintbrushes). Let’s see what happens when we put this all together is this tryout!

What you need:
A canvas
Paint (I chose 3 acrylic paints)
Extra fabric and materials
Everyday objects (these are going to be used instead of a paintbrush – I picked a toy car, a leaf, corrugated card, a spatula and a washing up brush)
Glue

Step 1: Grab all your materials. What would make a good object to spread paint and make interesting marks?
What colours would compliment each others? Or would you like your colours to clash and stand out?
What would be an interesting texture to paint on?

Step 2: Stick your fabrics onto the canvas to make a some interesting layers.

Step 3: Take some inspiration from other abstract artists who make marks and paint on fabrics. Maybe have a look at the artists on Tate Kids. Some favourites are Jackson Pollock, Sarah Morris and Frank Stella.

Step 4: Start painting! What kind of lines can you make with the paint? Can you get inspiration from around you in your house, or in the garden or in your street?

How does it feel to go over the fabric? Can you see the threads in it? Is it easy or hard to paint on?

Build up colours and patterns. Maybe let it dry a little before having another layer of paint. It’s ok to make slippages and spillages.

Step 5: Ta-dah! Your tryout is completed! If it’s a bit messy, that’s ok! Art is all about experimenting and being inspired! Have another go and see where it takes you!

It’s your final chance to have a go! So what are you waiting for?! We want to see what you make! Submit pictures of your artwork via email – kids@tate.org.uk – (or your parents, guardians and teachers can tweet it at us using #textiletryouts!) and then we will showcase a selection of your artworks here on Tate Kids and you can comment on the artworks made by other children all over the world! We have a few Terms and Conditions that go along with this which we’d recommend having a look at too.

Looking forward to seeing what you create!

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Digital Kit: Re-Imagining Landscapes

Posted 9 February 2015 by Kat

Hello there! How are those digital skills of yours? Fancy making a digital world from the amazing works of art in the Tate collection? Now’s your chance – with the help of wonderful artist and illustrator Luca Damiani!

LucaMDamiani_Re-ImaginingLandscapes_TateKids_Image_00 copy

We’ve called this activity Re-Imagining Landscapes where you can develop your own illustrations, construct colours and drawings and use your unique approach to change some of the most famous landscape paintings!

Sounds complicated! Not so. This is a tool-kit that will allow you to experiment with personal drawings and learn about art and design.

We have some questions (and some answers!) for you before you get started!

What is a collage?

What does a landscape looks like?

What does composition means?

The Re-Imagining Landscapes kit will show you how to discover the Tate collection and how to create your piece of digital artwork! We will show you how we created the above artwork step by step; in this way you can see how to make your own!

Step 1: Before we start working, create a folder “MyLandscape” on your desktop. This is important as that folder will contain and collect all your art material!

Step_01 copy_final

Step 2:  Search the Tate Collection online and look for landscapes and paintings that you might like and that you might want to change. Explore the digital archive of Tate Britain and Tate Modern. Remember to insert your search-word (i.e. Turner; mountains; nature or whatever you might want to find) before you start your investigation! Maybe you would be interested in re-imagining a painting from Turner?

Step 3: Once you have found the painting that you want to re-imagine and change, click on it; this will open in a new page. Drag and drop the painting-image into your folder. This is the painting I wanted to use.


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Step 4: It is now time to reflect on how you might want to transform and change the original painting you chose. What do you imagine to be in it? Start thinking about it; perhaps chat with your friends and family too! What could you draw in order to create an exciting new artwork?? Think about the buildings and characters that could be in the painting…

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Step 5: If you know what you would like to create, it is now time to draw! And don’t worry, you don’t need to have a full clear idea, remember that you can discover and play with new ideas during the process too! Take your super creative pencil and let the drawing begin. This is my super creative pencil.

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Step 6: Once you have created a drawing, it is now time to scan it. Ask your parents or teachers to help you out with this!

These are some of my scanned drawings:

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                                                 Can you see them (or part of them…) in the original artwork at the top?

Step 7: Once you have scanned all your drawings, rename them as “SubjectDrawing_Image” (i.e. Dog_Image if you created a dog; Cat_Image if you designed a cat; Tree_Image_01 if you constructed more than one tree; etc). It is very important that you rename all your drawings, and then it is even more important that you copy them into your MyLandscape folder. Keep things tidy and easy to find (you might want to create a folder “Material” inside your folder and copy the drawings there too).

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Step 8: Now it is time to work with your digital software. Open Photoshop or any other software for digital image-making you might have (I quite like Paint too!). Once your software is ready, go to “File → Open” and then select the original painting from your MyLandscape folder. You will have something like this:

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Step 9: Now, go to yourMyLandscape → Material” folder and drag and drop one of your images on top of the digital working desk. You will have something like this:

Step_09

Step 10:  I believe you might know how to use the basic tools of Photoshop – if not, ask your Art teacher or parent for some help! You now need to edit (i.e. move and/or resize and/or crop) your drawing in order to fit it into your landscape painting. Keep your layer box (on the right hand-side) ordered; use the correct naming of the layers to reflect the drawings (i.e. the dog drawing will be called Dog as a layer; the cat drawing will be called Cat as a layer; the collection of trees will be called Tree_01, Tree_02 and Tree_03 for example, perhaps even inserting these layers into a Layer-folder called Trees if you want to). Check with your Art teacher for some help if you need to. Below is a resize, a crop and an edit of one of my images.

Step_10

As you can notice, I have scaled my drawing, I have cut the pavement and I then duplicated parts of the wall/bricks in order to construct the building on the left.

I have also taken out the colour from the original painting, leaving it in black & white (but that is up to you!).

Step 11: Now add all your other elements. Below is an animation to show the various phases of construction of my Re-imagining Landscapes image.

LucaMDamiani_TateKids_AnimatedProcess

Step 12: Once you have your final image, save it!

Step_12

Go to “File → Save as” and save it as a Photoshop file first. In this way you do not lose all your hard work. Then go again to “File → Save as” and save your image as Jpg file, naming it “YourName_Re-imagining Landscapes”. You are now ready to submit your artwork to the Tate Kids site! Upload it to My Gallery, email it it to kids@tate.org.uk or a parent or teacher can tweet us!

We haven’t done any digital skills activities like this before, so let us know what you think in the comments below!

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Textile Tryout 5: Ambiguous Canvas

Posted 3 February 2015 by Kat

Welcome to the 5th Textile Tryout! If you have been living under a rock recently, here’s a catch-up!

Textile Tryouts are a series of activities which you can do at home or in the classroom. They are about textiles, text and the everyday. They explore weaving, performing, painting, drawing, climbing, sticking, writing and cutting!

Let’s get cracking!

This work by Richard Tuttle involves 2 key things: colour and ambiguity!

Richard Tuttle I Don’t Know . The Weave of Textile Language 2014

Richard Tuttle I Don’t Know . The Weave of Textile Language 2014

Colour is so important! It brings art to life and can completely change what you think of it! I wonder why he chose yellow and red? Would it be different if it was green and purple? What do you think?

What do you think it is about? Maybe Tuttle isn’t so sure either! He called it ‘I Don’t Know’ (or The Weave of the Textile Language). The artwork is a bit ambiguous (it is open to more than one meaning). He likes the fact that art can mean lots of different things to different people!

Now have a little look at these paintings by the artist Michael Craig-Martin. They are from a series call the Seven Deadly Sins. See how he has overlaid the letters on top of each other and used really bright colours. It’s kind of hard to see what they say. He has also painted some everyday objects over the letters like chairs and umbrellas. What else can you see?

Michael Craig-Martin, Anger, 2008 © Michael Craig-Martin

Michael Craig-Martin, Anger, 2008 © Michael Craig-Martin

Right, now I’ve got you thinking, to the Tryout!

This Tryout is pretty special because the lovely Year 7 Textile class at Esher Church of England High School in Surrey, were kind enough to be the first to try out this activity and they made some amazing creations! Check them out below!

What you need:

Fabric paints (or fabric pens)
Canvas bag
Card
Paper
Paint brushes and sponges
Scissors

Step 1. Write down as many emotion words as you can think of. Cut these up, put them in a bag and pick one out. Here are some emotions:

Love, Envy, Shame, Rage, Greed, Bored, Joy, Jealous, Hope…..

Step 2. Now it’s time for some word association! When you look at this word. What does it make you think about? Think about an everyday object that is related to this emotion.

For example, for me, these are the everyday objects that I associate with these emotions:

Rage = Zips
Joy = Nail varnish
Love = Books

Step 3. Plan and draw your designs on paper.

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Step 4. Make your stencils.

Step 5. Print and paint on your canvas bag (we put some newspaper in the canvas bag to make sure the colour didn’t bleed to the other side). Paint the word first and then the everyday objects.

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And there you go! You’ve made your Ambiguous Canvas! Here are some of the fantastic designs made by the amazing Year 7s.

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Now its your chance to have a go! We want to see what you make! Submit pictures of your artwork via email – kids@tate.org.uk – (or your parents, guardians and teachers can tweet it at us using #textiletryouts!) and then we will showcase a selection of your artworks here on Tate Kids and you can comment on the artworks made by other children all over the world! We have a few Terms and Conditions that go along with this which we’d recommend having a look at too.

Looking forward to seeing what you create!

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