This was one of those projects. I looked at the outcome and sighed with delight as it looks just like primary school art used should and used to when I was little with my favourite art teacher, Mrs Marais.

Crunchy powder paint with the colossal use of oil pastel over it.  Little faces staring out of pages all different sizes, shapes and colours.  Just bursting with originality and variety.  Every child expressed in their own piece.

In this project the Grade 5’s were asked to paint the person across the table from them.  They had to start in paint not pencil and either accept the mistakes they made or work with them.

My children have two chances when it comes to paper – the front and the back.  I do not like to give new paper as I feel it encourages carelessness and does not develop perseverance.  When they ask for a new piece I relate the paper to life saying that we are given only one life.  If we mess it up or make mistakes we do not get a new one to try again.  We have to work with the mistakes and accept the faults and keep going till the end making it as beautiful and worth while as we can regardless of the mistakes we have made.  The kids don’t really like the idea but they still will not be getting a new page.

The pastel is used to touch up or make rough paint edges smooth and clean-looking.  It’s for adding that tiny detail they struggle with, for example the eyelashes.  It’s great for adding pattern to clothing and backgrounds.  And often makes writing their name, surname and class on the front easier.

I do not enjoy mixing powder paint or the cleanup after but the kids enjoy it so much that it’s always worth it.