Playing with light – Family Workshop

This was a Saturday workshop with mums, dads, grans and their children and granchildren. The children were aged 3 to 8 years.

We offered a variety of ways of making and drawing with light starting with making pva pictures using a mixture of transparent, translucent and opaque materials to create compositions. The amazing thing was how different their approaches were and how their personalities really came through in their paintings. One child was very ordered making a kind of mosaic pattern whilst another wanted to try every material, colour, process and application. They picked up quickly that there were very few rules and tried their ‘own’ processes and very much did their ‘own’ thing.

A long drawing space

A long drawing space

They were evidently inspired to continue when they got home with one child wanting to take home a transparency sheet to make ‘mini collages’ without even starting it as he was excited to try something else too! There wasn’t enough time to do everything they wanted to do. Some children drew on acetate, onto the OHP and were delighted to see their drawing scaled up on the wall. Drawing the shadow of the drawing on the wall was a little trickier for the younger ones but interesting as a process because although they didn’t ‘follow’ or ‘copy’ the projected image they still perceived it and seemed to be responding to it in their wall drawing. The parents got really involved too both creating themselves and encouraging their children to experiment whilst assisting them in their creations.

Interacting with the document

Interacting with the document

We also improvised by making light chasing drawings where a couple of children made a drawing with one moving a torch across paper and the other chasing the light with a pen. The children really loved the play aspect of chasing the light and seemed to forget about the drawings themselves making really frenetic drawings that developed quickly.

Objects on an OHP

Objects on an OHP

I myself really enjoyed this way of working during a workshop as there was enough variety of activities for the children to feel as though they were doing their own thing and they were so focused on the process that there was absolutely no room for figuration or thinking about ‘what’ they were drawing.



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