Skills: mark making



Collage is one of my favourite processes to work on with children and I often start by asking them to create their own colourful collage papers using inks or paint.  I have a box full of ‘junk’ items that would ordinarily end up in the bin but which instead can be great for printing with.  These can range from anything from old toothbrushes and combs to scraps of textured wall paper and fabric.

I often begin by showing children images of relevant close up textures.  For example, if they are going to use the collage papers to create a landscape we would begin by looking at tree bark, grass, leaf patterns etc.  I then ask children to paint large pieces of paper with a base colour using either paint or inks and thick brushes.  Inks are great for achieving really vibrant colours.

Once the base colour has been applied the children then go onto to make marks and patterns using mark making tools from my junk box.   This can be a wonderfully expressive and exciting process…it can also be very messy so make sure children and surfaces are properly covered before you begin.

Apologies for the poor quality of some of these photos….a few technical issues!

These images are taken from a project I did with a group of  Years 3 and 4 children who created collage landscapes with drawn and painted characters added, to illustrate a story book for children.  The story is about a girl growing up with a disability in rural Bangladesh and was sold for charity.