Visit the shop at most large art galleries and you will find a good selection of art books for children and young people. This one would prove a welcome addition. Large and square it offers a particularly involving experience by inviting readers to imagine they are attending an art course over an academic year. Five imaginary ‘professors’, each with a different personality and each with a different expertise, give between them 40 ‘lessons’ covering such basics as form, line, composition, colour, shape and perspective. Each lesson sets out some core principles and then suggests a guided activity. The lessons on colour explore such things as colour wheels , making colours lighter and darker and the aesthetic affect of using colours that harmonise and those that contrast. Lesson 17, notes that an individual’s response to different colours is linked to associations built on their experiences, culture and education. The activity suggests painting a picture of two rooms – one bright yellow, and the other blue – and then asking ten people which room looks happy and which calm. This could lead to interesting discussion about the emotional affect of different colours. I found lesson 32 ‘What is ‘rhythm’ in art?’ particularly interesting. Children are directed to looking up a painting by Bridget Riley on the internet and tracking the repeated patterns and rhythms.There are many opportunities for trying out techniques – for example lesson 7 shows how to use cross-hatching marks to make an object have volume and texture and lesson 26 on symmetry shows how an asymmetrical design can still be ‘visually balanced.’ All the lessons inspire readers to think and wonder. How do design choices help make us use our senses? Can ethical issues be expressed through art? Well designed and colourful pages, differentiated use of print and some highly amusing pictures of cartoon characters add to the book’s worth and appeal. And, while it conveys a great deal of information that goes far beyond the superficial, reading the text is rather like engaging in a conversation. This is one of those books that can be enjoyed by people of different ages. There is much here to help primary aged children to ‘think visually’ with some support from teacher or parent. The activity in lesson 34 is to make a map of the journey from home to school, indicating memorable sights, smells and sounds. Lesson 35 on how we can tell a story by using pictures ends by suggesting children make a comic strip. The invitation to make their own creative contribution to the ‘final exhibition’ using the blank frame at the end of the book will appeal across age groups. The comprehensive coverage, scholarly glossary and bibliography make the book an excellent resource for children and teachers in secondary schools . As I read it I sometimes felt the need of an index – but this is a tiny quibble about a very fine art book.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2015-11-05 10:32:002021-08-04 18:57:15The School of Art