15 May 2009

Drawing on the white chalk with the black board

By now, Barney and Stig (remember?) are good friends and Barney is spending as much time as he can in Stig’s now beautifully smoke-free cave.  Yes, the smoky problem has been solved with an ingeniously executed chimney system, made using those ‘ruined’ tin cans and an upside-down bath tub, of all things.  And Stig has also been introduced to matches and learnt the ease with which it is now possible to light a piece of paper (imagine the fun we had acting that out with a partner!) race outside to see the smoke curling up out of the new chimney, before careering back inside again to repeat the exercise.  Over and over.

Anyway, on a subsequent visit, Barney discovers that Stig has been creative, using a piece of charred, blackened board to draw on the white, chalk walls of his cave.  He has drawn a hunting scene, with stags fleeing in fear from humans brandishing flint-tipped spears.

So of course we had to have a go ourselves.  Though not on the walls.  We did use burnt wood though.  Or charcoal to be more precise.

First, we taped a piece of paper to the desk (you’ll see why later).


Next we had enormous fun taking a perfectly good piece of drawing charcoal and bashing it to smithereens with a wooden spoon (improvisation; it was all we could find!)  We needed charcoal powder you see.


Then we squished up a paper towel, dipped it into the charcoal powder…..


before using it to turn the white paper a soft pale grey.  Our chalk wall.

Next we learned the technique of using drawing charcoal; there is a special way to hold it to stop it snapping (drawing charcoal is thin and brittle).


Then we used a combination of charcoal…..


and chalk to create our very own ‘authentic’ cave painting.


In spite of some impressive black hands…..


I think that if you come to the classroom to take a closer look, you too will be amazed, not only by our hunting scenes, but also by the perfect white frames around them.


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