Simple and creative exercises

The main goal of these Art workshops is to allow students to break away from the four projects of the semester and to build a transition between each of them through simple and creative exercises. Unlike projects, these workshops last only a lesson, do not have many steps and are fully achievable by students of different levels. There are also some exercises done with my first students in 2018.

Set of workshops. My first lessons.

1. How to make paint? While understanding how the first shapes of art appeared in the caves, students had to reproduce ancestral processes similar to those of prehistoric men, by painting with natural pigments crushed in a mortar. They had to use their hands, sticks and tree leaves as painting tools to represent bulls, horses or more abstract shapes.

2. The clay sphinx. Students had to design a pencil pot with clay, shaping the head and body of the Egyptian sphinx.

3. Geometrical and natural shapes. Students had to choose one geometrical shape to then reflect about what does this shape make them think about. 

4. Exhibition June 2018: A drop of colour. Chaoyang's Art teachers had to present their students proposal for the exhibition "from 2D to 3D". Our students experimented with the marbling technique to make a large amount of abstract compositions. From the results, they had to make three geometric patterns that gave a colourful 3D illusion. 


Posted: March 2018 – December 2018


Workshop 1. Orienteering: Animals of the Forbidden city

While visiting the Forbidden City of the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties, students of all levels had to search, observe and represent different animals hidden along the site. By using a map and images, they could find lions, dragons and other fantastic creatures on roofs, doors, or courts from all corners of the imperial palace.


Posted: October 14th, 2019


Workshop 2. I'm using LEGO

After seeing the diverse possibilities to work with LEGO, students received a bag with different pieces and a card indicating the object to build. They were able to present robots, chairs, bridges and towers meeting practical and aesthetic needs.


Posted: November 5th, 2019


Workshop 3. Between reality and fiction

How to imagine an unreal situation in a photo that represents reality? Students had to choose an image of their school or Guanzhuang street, on which they placed a piece of paper to draw the surreal scene that they had imagined. 


Posted: November 6th, 2019


Set of workshops. Presentations

1. My tastes. On their first day of class, students had to present themselves by analysing what they like and dislike in different domains (sports, food, school, etc.). At last, they had to present a mind-map of their tastes with small drawings and short sentences.

2. My name. Students had to draw the letters of their french name by associating each letter with another shape. The A becomes the Eiffel Tower, the S becomes a snake, etc.


Posted: February 2019 – September 2020


Workshop 4. The sculptures of Rodin

Students were shown the sculptures of Auguste Rodin to better understand what they may represent and learn to describe them. They were later asked to draw "The Thinker" (1880) and to imagine what he could be thinking about. 


Posted: June 21st, 2020


Set of workshops. Changes

1. Change of scale. Students had to enlarge and shrink people, animals or objects in a real world scene. Then, they had to compare their two drawings.

2. Change of function. Students had to choose an object to then imagine and draw five different functions that it may have, from the most common to the most innovative. 

3. Change of shape. While discovering the world of collections, students had to choose an object to then draw it several times with different shapes.

4. Change of material. Students had to draw different objects and change their materials through a collage. Then, they could imagine new possibilities in 3D by using cotton.


Posted: December 11th, 2020


Set of workshops. Problems & Solutions

1. The blackboard and the table. Students had to resolve two problems that they often find in their classroom: (a) the upper part of the blackboard is hard to clean and (b) tables are often tilted. They had to think and draw two inventive solutions. Most of them had ideas that matched with the real solutions taken in pictures one year earlier. 

2. Egg Packaging. Students had to make a first structure that could safely contain an egg and a second one to cover and transport it easily. They had to measure the egg's dimensions, cut and paste pieces of paper to finally achieve a successful result after half an hour of arduous effort.

3. A trash bin in Mars. When the first recycle bins appeared at their school, students were taught how to recycle during many weeks. For this exercise, they were asked to invent the appearance of a trash bin to use in Mars, far from their daily reality.

Posted: December 4th, 2020


Workshop 5. The museum of small objects

Students were introduced to modern art by choosing a small everyday object for which they had to design a frame or a plinth that may exhibit it. Students had half an hour to present their support by using any material at hand in the classroom. In most of the cases, the installation monopolized the attention of the viewer letting the object to went unnoticed.


Posted: December 3rd, 2020


Set of workshops. Imagine a story.

1. Imagine a living object. Students imagined an everyday object that comes to life by drawing a story of its day. Some have used paper clips or chalk to continue their work in 3D. Interestingly, objects can speak and are drawn as if they were humans, with hands and feet.

2. How to make a pencil? Students had to imagine how a pencil is made by drawing the production steps of the lead, the wooden part and the eraser. They were free to imagine what they wanted knowing that they would see, at the end of the lesson, a video that shows them the real phases of pencil production in a factory.


Posted: December 28th, 2020