Painting 1/2: Experimentation with Ink
I finished a project with my Painting 1/2 class on Monday and had to come up with a short two day lesson for the rest of the week. This class is made up of 9th-12th grade students. With this class, I’ve been focusing on introducing them to new mediums and painting styles, especially those that are more expressive. The class expressed interest in working with figure drawing/painting since most of them had little to no experience with it. I love drawing the figure, so I was excited about teaching it, but I wanted to introduce a lesson that was free, fun, and excited students who were not interested in drawing the figure. I decided that using India ink (which most of the students hadn’t used before) would be a good medium to work with since it has a lot of freedom in how you can use it, and it’s really fun to use.
On Wednesday I introduced some ink painting and drawing techniques, including ink wash, painting with a foam brush, and blowing the ink with a straw. I showed the students some of my work that I’ve done with ink on a PowerPoint to connect the lesson to my own passion and practice. Having the students see me get excited about the medium really helped them to get into it. That day I told them to simply explore ink and draw/paint whatever they wanted to on a sheet of paper. The lesson focused on experimentation and process rather than product. They loved this. Some students who rarely participate in class were very engaged and I loved seeing them unafraid to try new things. During the class on Friday, I introduced adding watercolor to their work and trying out drawing with oil pastel under the watercolor and ink. For the students who were interested in figure drawing, I did quick poses on a table for them to draw for the first half of class. They then added ink and watercolor to these drawings. Giving the students more choice and freedom during the last two days worked out very well and I had many students telling me that this was the most fun they’ve had in art class!