Generative art tool

Weave silk ( is a mesmerising generative sound and art tool that allows you to make spectacular kaleidoscopic effects exploring light, mirrors and symmetry with a musical accompaniment. It is free online. Find many examples on this Facebook page. There is also an iOS app version of the tool ‘Silk‘ (£1.99) or a free app ‘Perline Draw by Mojocat‘. with similar properties.

Generative art techniques intersect with computational thinking and offer a creative way to develop beginning programming skills. You can find over 100 short videos introducing generative art computer programming techniques on this Fun Programming site aimed at 11 year olds and above.

Or you could simply use the Weave Silk site to create digital art, thinking about mixing colours and a range of up to six fold rotational symmetry. The option to share the URL means that others can see an animation of how you created your image.


Music as a stimulus

Inspiring Idea: A journey into space…

Use music as a stimulus for your art work to create an imaginative response to a sensory experience. Select music linked to a topic being studied or your pupils own popular culture and let their imaginations run while drawing in response to the sounds. Experiment with a range of drawing media and go on a journey exploring the materials creative possibilities.

Key Questions: What did you hear? How have you represented this? Why did you represent it in this way? Do the colours, shapes, lines have meaning? How did the experience make you feel? What have you learnt about the materials you are using to draw with? What happened when the music changed tempo? What journey did the music take you on?

Artist Reference: Gustav Holst (Planets music)

Activities: Create your own artistic response but then swap drawings compose and play music in response to another child’s drawing. Use audacity/ garageband to record and layer your music. Create your own class soundscapes in response to the work of another artist.


Inflatable Sculptures

A super idea for using plastic shopping bags and sellotape to make sculptures which spring to life as they inflate when you attach them to a fan. You might use different coloured bags and draw on them with sharpies and experiment with fan speeds.

Here are some entertaining videos of inflatable sculptures on a larger scale by the artist Joshua Harris:

Find detailed instructions for an inflatable sculpture project on Amy Schleser’s blog.
together with some inspiring examples, lesson plans and assessment ideas.


Light Painting

Here’s an amazing idea for recording pupils painting with light as they perform movements wearing LED light bracelets on their wrists and ankles in a dark space. The images are recorded using a camera with a long exposure setting.

This idea is inspired by the artists Gjon Mili who used long shutter speeds to photograph athletes, artists and musicians holding lights, and Buzzy Sullivan who photographed a lighted skateboard.

Read a detailed account of how to create similar photos on Amy Schleser’s blog.  Amy has some great ideas about how to use this technique to analyse everyday movements, and has included some worksheets, examples and a printable ‘how to’ booklet.

Innovative CAD projects: Architecture

Using google sketch up the fields of art and technology could be combined by creating unusual architecture in response to a problem. I have explored children designing new museums for Silverstone Race Circuit, buildings to host architectural launch parties and creations in response to the work of Antonio Gaudi. The outcomes and creative possibilities the children come out with are endless, they learn new skills about materials, design, scale, shape, form and pattern and also realise their designs in CAD in the same way as architects in the industry.

Have a go at setting your children an architectural challenge and you will be amazed by the directions in which they travel…