Art and Design at Key Stages 1 and 2

Art and Design Resources for Key Stage 3

Media, Materials and Processes

The following activities cover a range of media suitable for Key Stage 3, for example drawing, painting, printmaking and textiles. There are sample activities outlining possible techniques and processes for each of these areas. There is a short introduction for each discipline.

3D Construction

3D construction gives pupils opportunities to engage with spatial and tactile ways of thinking and working, for a variety of purposes. Encourage your pupils to explore directly in 3D media and processes for an immediate experience, for example drawing with wire and card and handling malleable materials. Pupils should develop knowledge and understanding as well as translating and abstracting ideas between two and three dimensions. Pupils can explore all the visual elements through 3D construction, but Line, Shape and Form are the most obvious.

Purposes
3D Construction gives pupils opportunities to:

  • design and make objects and artefacts, realising solutions to design problems or briefs in three dimensions;
  • create sculpture, express ideas, responses and imagination through three dimensional processes;
  • create maquettes or models to try out a range of possibilities for architecture, interior design or set design commissions;
  • develop haptic and spatial awareness and understanding; and
  • develop physical and tactile dexterity in making.

Media and processes
Pupils should have opportunities to:

  • work in three dimensions in the round (free standing) or relief;
  • construct using paper, card, or plastic sheets, using cut shapes and flat planes;
  • explore a range of joining techniques for example, interlocking tabs, cutting slits or folding card or wood, articulated joints to allow movement, lacing or joining with wire or string, stitching, adhesives or tape;
  • build an armature, for example from rolled or scrunched up paper or card, cardboard tubes, wood, twigs or willow, wire or wire mesh, or found objects;
  • construct a form on an armature using papier mâché, plaster of Paris or similar drying material;
  • model with plaster of Paris or clay;
  • carve into wood, plaster cast or breeze blocks (reductive);
  • repurpose objects or recycle and combine materials, natural and man-made, for example building papier mâché figures out of plastic bottles;
  • finish surfaces or outer skin using papier mâché, PVA, plaster of Paris and a range of textures, patterns or colours; and
  • use paper pulp, string, PVA glue or recycled materials for texture, surface decoration or relief (additive).

Knowledge and understanding
Throughout Key Stage 3, you can use a range of activities to develop three dimensional understanding. It is important to nurture opportunities for playing creatively with three dimensional, tactile processes and materials.

Give your pupils opportunities to:

  • learn about and explore the approaches of a range of artists from different times and cultures, in particular sculptors, architects and designers;
  • explore and understand the visual elements;
  • work in a variety of scales, both individually and collaboratively;
  • understand the positive and negative elements of three-dimensional shape and space;
  • develop awareness of possibilities and limitations of materials, for example flexibility, rigidity, malleability, strength, weight and tactile qualities, and technical knowledge of how to join surfaces;
  • explore and use a range of materials to construct in three dimensions;
  • know that forms can be altered by adding (additive) or removing materials (reductive);
  • understand that forms can be figurative (representing reality) or abstract (expressive or imaginative); and
  • consider the impact of composition, proportion, scale, weight and balance when creating freestanding forms.

Ceramics

Ceramic materials offer opportunities to engage with tactile and spatial ways of thinking and working. Ceramics can also be considered a three-dimensional construction technique, but with its own variety of purposes and range of media and processes. Knowledge and understanding as well as all the visual elements can be explored through Ceramics, but Shape, Texture and Form are the most obvious.

Purposes
Ceramics gives pupils opportunities to:

  • design and create ceramic objects and artefacts, realising solutions to design problems or craft briefs in three dimensions;
  • create sculpture or express ideas, responses and imagination through modelling, construction or throwing processes;
  • develop haptic and spatial awareness and understanding; and
  • develop physical and tactile dexterity in making.

Media and processes
Pupils should have opportunities to:

  • create pots, vessels or structures through modelling, pinching, coiling, or throwing;
  • build objects using slabs;
  • model a bust on an armature;
  • use newspaper and combustible materials to support clay structures during drying;
  • manipulate clay and construct to ensure there are no air pockets;
  • use leather hard clay to do engraving, incising, carving, slab-building;
  • use joining techniques such as scoring and slip;
  • use clay slip to create decoration;
  • combine techniques and incorporate other materials, for example leave holes or gaps that can have wire or other materials attached;
  • use (make) plaster or other moulds to press mould, cast a slip in a pour in mould;
  • create clay moulds to cast other materials such as plaster;
  • press objects and textures into clay to create patterns, textures, impressions, or roll clay slabs on a textured surface;
  • enhance or decorate surfaces with clay slip, engraving, drawing;
  • add colour or glazing to biscuit fired clay;
  • observe the firing process and how the kiln is packed and works;
  • use glazes or paints for decoration;
  • use underglazing colours and apply glazes and oxides, for example dabbling, dripping, dipping, pouring and sponging; or
  • use wax resist methods.

Knowledge and understanding
Throughout Key Stage 3, you can use a range of activities to develop understanding of the properties and potential of clay. It is important to nurture opportunities for playing creatively with three dimensional, tactile processes and materials.

Give your pupils opportunities to:

  • learn about the history of ceramics and explore the approaches of a range of artists and techniques from different times and cultures;
  • explore and understand the visual elements;
  • consider form and function in art and design;
  • develop awareness of the possibilities and limitations of clay, its different types and qualities;
  • understand where clay comes from, and technical or chemical properties of clay and glazes, in relation to drying, firing, recycling processes; and
  • know about the kiln and health and safety considerations.

Drawing and Painting

Drawing is fundamental to all Art and Design activities. It can be incorporated into all projects and should be explored for a range of purposes, and through various media and processes. Pupils should also have opportunities to understand and apply knowledge and understanding of drawing and painting, including the visual elements. They should learn about the drawing approaches of a range of artists, designers and crafts people.

Purposes
Pupils should have opportunities to explore:

  • observing, recording or sketching to explore and record the visual and observed world using mark making;
  • imagining or recording to express ideas, feelings, imagination and sensory responses (including tactile);
  • planning or sketching to develop ideas through creating images and plans in a range of media; and
  • mark making or sketching to experiment through drawing with various tools, materials and techniques, including digital media and on a range of surfaces.

Media and processes
Anything that makes a mark can become a drawing tool. Today we think of drawing in very broad terms, for example using digital, textiles and 3D materials to express visual ideas and responses.

Exploring drawing media and processes can include opportunities to:

  • sketch and explore mark making using pencils, pens, crayons, charcoal, rubbings, digital tools, on a range of surfaces;
  • use line for contour drawing, shape, outline, hatching and scribbling;
  • create tone through shading, hatching and cross-hatching, stippling, and scribbling;
  • work with pastels, chalk and different types of paint, for example watercolour, block, poster, acrylic or coloured inks) to produce a range of effects;
  • learn colour theory and colour mixing: complementary colours, tints and tones, and warm and cool colours  and how to mix secondary and tertiary colours;
  • mix or layer colours, and create patterns and textures on a range of surfaces;
  • select the appropriate size of brush to produce desired effects;
  • apply media in different ways, for example wet on wet, dry brush technique, colour washes, textured surfaces or impasto technique;
  • combine a variety of media to produce mixed media outcomes such as a wax crayon, pastel or charcoal drawing combined with an ink or paint wash;
  • enrich surfaces with wax, paint or collaging techniques;
  • use cutting, collage and stitching to create and combine shapes and lines, using scissors and knives;
  • use folding, twisting, bending and modelling, using wire, card, clay and malleable materials;
  • create linear wire drawings and forms, for example figures and natural forms;
  • explore digital mark making; and
  • use media in different ways to express mood and atmosphere.

Knowledge and understanding
Throughout Key Stage 3, you can use a range of projects to develop a broad understanding of drawing and painting. Pupils should begin to take account of various factors when planning their work.

They should have opportunities to:

  • understand that drawing and painting have a range of purposes and that they are all valid and valuable;
  • learn about and explore the approaches of a range of artists, designers and craftspeople from different times and cultures;
  • explore and understand the relationship between materials, techniques and outcomes, including:
  • how to combine different media, techniques and surfaces experimentally;
  • how different media and processes are appropriate for different purposes;
  • explore and understand the visual elements;
  • work in a variety of scales, both individually and collaboratively;
  • understand and apply concepts such as scale, positive and negative space, composition and proportion; and
  • use both linear and aerial perspective in their work and understand foreground, middle ground and background.

Printmaking

Printmaking is the transfer of an image from one surface to another. Printmaking includes a wide range of media and processes and lends itself to fine art, graphic design, surface pattern including textile design, and photography techniques. It is an ideal process for stylising, abstracting and simplifying images. It can be immediate and rewarding for pupils. It develops a range of knowledge and understanding, and the visual elements line, shape, colour and texture are most relevant.

Purposes
Printmaking gives pupils opportunities to:

  • transfer images and textures from one surface to another;
  • repeat or mass produce images and motifs, for examples posters, books or illustrations;
  • create repeat patterns, for example for wallpaper or textile design; or
  • create multiple identical Fine Art outcomes that can be marketed as limited editions.

Media and processes
Pupils should have opportunities to:

  • use rubbings to explore a range of textured surfaces;
  • create and print from prepared colographs, using a variety of textures such as bubble wrap, corrugated card, doilies or other found or cut materials;
  • create incised blocks by incising into a variety of materials, for example vegetables, lino (linocuts), wood (woodcuts), polystyrene (polyboards);
  • create multiple coloured layers using the above processes (for example lino reduction technique);
  • experiment with inking up blocks and using a variety of pressures to create the print, for example hand, roller or printing press;
  • experiment with printing on a range of surfaces, for example different types of and textured papers or prepared collages;
  • use dry point etching techniques;
  • create subtractive and additive effects in monopronting, for example drawing into an inked surface and taking a print, tracing onto ink, one-off experiments varying the amount of ink, smearing with tools or smudging with water;
  • use a photographic darkroom to create rayograms;
  • screenprint using cut stencils, photographic chemicals or other resist methods; or
  • combine printmaking with other processes such as soft sculpture, poster design or adding layers to paintings.

Knowledge and understanding
Throughout Key Stage 3, pupils can explore printmaking in its own right or as a component part of other projects. The ability to repeat an image or motif, and the role of printmaking as a means of mass communication is a very important aspect of its history.

Pupils should:

  • learn about the history of printmaking and its different applications;
  • explore the approaches of a range of artists and techniques from different times and cultures;
  • explore and understand the visual elements;
  • understand the impact that printmaking had on mass communications such as protests or newspapers;
  • understand the concept of positive and negative in printmaking and the effect on the transfer of images;
  • understand and use registration techniques when making multilayered prints; and
  • explore and understand the possibilities and limitations of a range of printmaking techniques and materials, and implement health and safety considerations.

Textiles

Textiles includes a range of materials, processes and technologies that can be combined with other Art and Design disciplines and purposes or practices to produce distinctly textile outcomes. Various textiles media and processes are widely reflected in contemporary practice in fine and applied arts. Textiles has a strong history in Northern Ireland. It is also a thriving field in contemporary art, craft and design. Knowledge and understanding of the all the visual elements can be developed through exploring textiles processes.

Purposes
Textiles gives pupils opportunities to:

  • create Art and Design works using textile media;
  • explore the visual elements and express ideas, responses and imagination through textiles processes;
  • develop physical and tactile dexterity in making;
  • construct and embellish traditional and new fabrics using weaving, knitting, needlework or embroidery, felt making, dyeing processes, upcycling, printing or image transfer; or
  • explore textiles processes and materials creatively, using both traditional and unconventional materials.

Media and processes
Throughout Key Stage 3, pupils can explore Textiles in its own right, or combined with other projects. A creative approach to planning and resources will allow for more economical ways to deliver textiles projects, for example using scrap materials for weave, upcycling garments and fabrics, exploring paper making or natural dyeing techniques.

Pupils should have opportunities to:

  • work from observation of the natural and man-made environment to inspire colour, textures, shapes and patterns for Textile design;
  • weave a range of materials, such as paper, fabrics, plastics, threads or wool;
  • knit garments and create structures through knitting;
  • use felt making to create 2D images and for moulding into 3D forms, for example brooches, hats or slippers;
  • deconstruct and recycle a variety of manmade plastics such as bubble wrap and clothing to create imaginative textiles structures;
  • use dyeing, painting, bleaching, staining and printing on fabric to create repeat patterns or pictures;
  • use various resist techniques such as batik, gutta, machine stitching, stencilling, relief and screen-printing on fabrics and paper to create patterns and images;
  • draw using hand sewing or free machine embroidery techniques;
  • use a sewing machine and/or CAD to create embroidered images;
  • use stitching to embellish, join together, pleat and scrunch and make simple toys or garments; or
  • explore appliqué, quilting and patchwork techniques with traditional and non-traditional materials.

Knowledge and understanding
Pupils should have opportunities to:

  • examine textiles for colour, weave, texture, weight or pattern;
  • understand contexts and history of textile design and innovation, for example the Industrial Revolution, the linen industry, impact of world travel, the Arts and Crafts movement and developments in technology;
  • explore the approaches of a range of artists and designers and techniques from different times and cultures;
  • consider form and function in fashion, costume and textile design; or
  • explore and understand the visual elements.