One of the things that I would love for my students to take away from art class is that there are always more than one way to solve a problem. I have noticed recently that I assign rather large projects that take us a considerable amount of time to complete. A project can take three to four weeks when I only see the students for a single 50 minute class a week. I have been trying to plan some little activities that will encourage the kiddos to think of multiple design solutions in a short amount of time.
Last week, when students were done with their main artwork, I gave them some free draw paper and had them draw some quick portraits. I encouraged them to make as many as possible in a short amount of time.
This weekend, I stumbled upon a similar quick draw activity that ties in to one of my hobbies. Generation Q, a quilting magazine, offers its readers a fun activity called Block Builder. Click on the link to go to their page for a template. The template has a starter quilt block (a square with a few scattered lines) that is repeated six times on the page. The game is to add lines and colors to finish the block. I printed off a couple of copies of the starters to take with me to pass the time while I was waited at an appointment. I added lines first with a pen and even used some of the toys from the kiddie area of the waiting room to make the curves.
After I colored them in I couldn't help but imagine what the squares would look like if they were repeated and arranged like a quilt top. I took some time to scan them to my computer and create some quilt top mock ups. It was a fun challenge, and allowed me to look at many different design solutions without being afraid of making a mistake. In the end there were designs I really liked and some that I did not, and that is OK!