Blind Art Workshop

Art activities for the Blind Using techniques described in PAINTING IN THE DARK: ESREF ARMAGAN, BLIND ARTIST



Art activities for the Blind
Using techniques described in 
PAINTING IN THE DARK: ESREF ARMAGAN, BLIND ARTIST
*Before the workshop, read the book, discuss the scientific research, and allow time for Q&A
For sighted students, have them try the activities using blindfolds
#1 GROOVED LINE DRAWINGS
Painting in the Dark, by Rachelle Burk

Esref taught himself to draw by carving shapes into cardboard with a nail.
SUPPLIES:
*Thick CARDBOARD and/or FOAM meat/vegetable trays from supermarket (foam requires less pencil pressure than cardboard)
*PENCILS, PENS OR NAILS
~You may want to start by having the blind student feel and identify a simple drawing, such as a heart, butterfly or flower, created in the cardboard or foam by a sighted assistant. Then have the student create a drawing of their own.
 Create a tactile picture (directly into the board, or onto paper taped on the board) by pressing hard enough to create indentation.

#1B: Next, DRAW ON PAPER.
*secure paper over the cardboard/foam board with tape or push pins.
àCreate a tactile picture by pressing hard enough to create indentation, but not so hard as to tear through the paper.
àColor the picture using techniques in #8 below.
#2  RAISED LINE BORDERS
Painting in the Dark, by Rachelle Burk
Esref developed ways to create tactile borders for images in his paintings
*String or yarn
*Scissors
* White (elmers) glue
*Paper
*Coffee stirrers or toothpicks (to help get string from fingers to paper, and to move string into position on the paper)
à Pour a small amount of glue onto a paper plate or other container. Have students coat short pieces of string with glue by dipping thumb and forefinger into the glue and then sliding fingers down the length of string. Shape it onto paper to form outlines of flowers, butterflies, hearts or other simple (or random) shapes. When dry, color or paint inside the raised lines created by the string.
For students with some sight: adding a bit of dark paint to the glue will darken the string and provide contrast against the white paper. You can also use dark yarn instead but it tends to stick more to the fingers and so might be a harder to work with unless you water down the glue a bit.
from: Painting in the Dark, by Rachelle Burk
Esref also used CLAY to shape outlines on the paper prior to painting so he could feel the shapes, and then something similar to Wiki sticks,
to create a relief-type painting
#3. STENCILS
from: Painting in the Dark, by Rachelle Burk
Esref handcrafted STENCILS to create repeated patterns in a painting
*Stencils (can create custom shapes by cutting cardboard)
*Pencil, pen, or nail
*Crayons and/or color pencils
*Paper placed on cardboard, foam, or raised drawing board
Have the student first plan out the picture in their head, then dry it using stencils. Examples: 4 repeated oval or teardrop shapes can be drawn to create butterfly. Circle surrounded with teardrops for a flower. 3 or 4 small triangles atop a larger, longer one makes a windmill. A fish can be made with a teardrop (body)  and triangle (tail). Fill in with colors or glued mixed media (rice, sand, glitter, etc)
Esref painted this picture with the aid of handcrafted stencils

#4   PORTRAITS
from: Painting in the Dark, by Rachelle Burk
*Large, close-up photos of faces (from photographs, magazine images, coloring books)
-->Have sighted assistant outline the facial features using paper placed on foam or cardboard. The students can then feel the lines and understand the features.
Describe colors of eyes, hair, skin, so student can color then in. (can outline the features with glued string as well before coloring)
#5.   SCENES
Painting by Esref Armagan
*coloring books, photos, magazine pictures
àUsing Same technique as portraits (above, #4), create scenes or other objects and describe colors to the student.






#7.  FEEL AND DRAW *figurines with distinct features, stuffed animals, or common objects such as a pencil or scissors, etc.
-->Have students study the shape and draw it using techniques described in # 1 or #2 above
#8.  Color Your Pictures!

After creating a picture using the techniques above, color within the lines with colored pencils, crayons, markers, or paint by feeling the borders of the picture. If using paint, it is easier to apply using the fingers the way Esref does.


#9.  TECHNIQUES TO INDEPENDENTLY CHOOSE DESIRED COLORS
     Esref memorized his preferred order for lining up his paints. Determine your order (I suggest the color wheel-rainbow : purple red orange yellow green blue, white, black) and place crayons/colored pencils/paints in this order on a tray. Memorize!
     Use scented markers. The student can identify colors based on their smell. For instance, yellow markers smell like lemon, red is strawberry, etc.


     Braille Crayon Organizer: you can make your own tray for colored pencil/marker/crayons. Use a braille labeler) to label the tray or individual paint containers. You can also create a tray by cutting slots into cardboard or foam board for each item, and glue this board on top another one as a base https://www.nbp.org/ic/nbp/BC1504-CRAYONS.html
MORE!

MIXED MEDIA ART
Create mixed media tactile art by gluing cardboard cutouts, macaroni, salt, beans, glitter, sand, rice, buttons, popsicle sticks, yarn, string,  etc. Spread glue on paper plate and add various craft items to create a picture.​






STRING ART
Place several push pins or thin nails into cardboard. Weave yarn around and between the pins to create a picture.
SPECIALIZED BLIND ART SUPPLIES
Take a look at The Braille Superstore

** RAISED LINE DRAWING BOARD. Eliminates need for drawing atop cardboard or foam: http://www.braillebookstore.com/Raised--Line-Drawing-Board.1
For more art programs and ideas for blind students, visit Art Beyond Sight

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Photos from Rachelle's Blind Artist Workshop
(under construction...stay tuned!)

Ryan is a deaf–blind student and a very talented artist.
click here for a video 
of Ryan drawing the Star Wars "Tie Fighter." The paper is set atop a foam meat tray so that he can feel the grooves created by his pencil. 













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