Digital Art with Billingbrook Special School

The project enabled the children to explore and develop their knowledge on Horticulture by creating a painted garden on their school wall (see figure 1). Horticulture is studied at Billing Brook Special School as a hands-on approach that provides sensory purposes and works as a therapy. It also provides trips, aids social skills and results in a qualification. This is something extremely important to the school, especially next year when GCSE’s will be taken out of the curriculum and replaced with functional skills.

Throughout the topic the children were able to experiment with different techniques and mediums to assist the key component of the topic, the wall. The various mediums (paint, paper, collage materials, colouring pens/pencils and iPads) enabled the children to create and develop numerous techniques so that the project was accessible to all. Digital art was something vaguely new to the school and therefore a pleasure to teach.

To begin our project, we began by discussing our initial ideas to suit the chosen theme. It was highlighted by the school that they did not want the painting to be in a cartoon style. Taking this into consideration, along with the theme, we felt that the picture embedded many different flowers in size and colour, this therefore emphasizing diversity (a key component to the school).

The main aspect to the project was ‘the wall’. Most of the children had an exploration lesson before hand so that it could remain focused, either one-to-one or for bigger classes a few children per student/TA. For those children who joined the project in the last week (due to the requested extension), an exploration was provided before they painted on the wall however this was very brief. Most of the children were able to visualise the expectations from looking at the wall and discussing it (what they think the flowers have been made with and how).

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Digital Art and Drawing using Rollworld and PicCollage


We Welcomed some international guests from Weingarten in Germany who are trainee teachers. We introduced them to Art and design using a Prezi and by using the Apps Roll world and Pic collage created some digital art.


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Digital Art -RollWorld & Procreate

As part of my art specialism course at university we have been exploring digital Art and how we may use it as a new form of media for children to express their creativity. One of the most striking  impacts of  the inclusion of digital media as a new medium is the  opportunity it provides as a way in for   children who think they are ‘not good at art’ .Our group led a workshop for a group of EYTS students many of whom, were  quick to  say that art was not one of their strengths however,  after using some very simple and easy apps such as roll world and fragment  there seemed to be a shift in attitude as the students where pleasantly surprised by the work which they managed to produce. What happened during this workshop  clearly demonstrated to me the transformational and innovative potential for digital media to offer a new  engaging medium for learners to express their creativity and perhaps discover new skills which they have not been able to explore through traditional  art mediums. Here are some examples of art work created using RollWorld, student went out and about on camp as searching for shape, texture and pattern. They then took photographs on iPads which they manipulated in RollWorld to produce some striking images. image

As part of our second year portfolio of assignments we were asked to write a learning outside the classroom curriculum map for a venue of our choice. My assignment focused on a trip to Warwick castle and  I planned for children to carry out the same activity as we had used with the EYTS students. Children would be challenged to be shape detectives and collect a series of photographs of different shapes they found within the building at Warwick castle, they would then create some abstract art by manipulating their photographs through RollWorld and Fragment. Here is a collection of images produced from photographs taken on the iPad at Warwick castle.image

Another aspect of digital art which I was keen to experiment with was  digital photography and image manipulation. This is something I would like to bring in to the classroom but with very little experience I decided to carry out some of my own exploration to get to grips with what there is on offer first. I started by experimenting with the art app Procreate which allows you to work on isolated layers, import images and photographs, draw images with a range of brushes which replicate traditional art mediums  and add a variety of special effects  and filters to your work.  Below are some of the images which I produced using photographs I took on the  river Thames in London.image image imageThese images were combined with images of my daughter and photographs of the skyline and buildings. These pieces of art are an exploration of childhood identity and are part of my art specialism module this year . The app is very easy to use one you are familiar with all of the tools . I would recommend if you want to use an app such as this for children in school that they have plenty of opportunities to experiment and play with the app prior to  attempting a project with a specified outcome in order to gain confidence using the different tools and also become accustomed to working in layers which provides lots of opportunity for fantastic work but can be confusing at first. Moving forward, now I am on placement I am going to explore some digital art with the children in my art club which starts after half term. I will of course, keep you posted !