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Manipulate colours and experiment with brushes to create a digital masterpiece

Using art and design software is a great way for children to experiment with ways of creating and manipulating images. Experimenting with the range of brushes, tools, colours and filters featured in art programs can be great fun, and the possibilities are almost endless. However, this can also present a problem: sometimes, having too many options to choose from can lead children towards dabbling in art software without making any real progress towards understanding its potential.

Be inspired

Children will make progress in art and ICT if they are set clear aims for a project and specific tasks to complete. Working towards identified outcomes will enable them to concentrate their attention on how the software can help them achieve these aims, and artists’ work can provide a valuable starting point for their experiments. The inspiration for the activities on these pages comes from paintings by Patrick Heron, a key figure in the development of abstract art in Britain in the 20th century.

Remind the children that an artist such as Heron evolved his own unique style of painting through experimenting within his work and reflecting on the results. Encourage them to follow his example, to experiment with new techniques and to work towards making pieces that are individual to them.

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