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Swimmers: HomeArt with Antonia McGreachan

A NEW HomeArt Activity by artist Antonia McGreachan, inspired by artist David Hockney. Make your very own abstract swimming pool following this step by step tutorial!

David Hockney, water and me, an introduction:

“Water is an essential part of us and our lives. I’ve been captivated by the sight, sound and feel of water all my life and it’s often featured in my paintings. Changing light, movement and the way it abstracts the figure make it a fascinating subject.

As a teenager in the 1980s my Mum took my Sister and I to a very small gallery/shop in London’s Covent Garden, where I saw massive wall-to-wall swimming pool paintings by the artist David Hockney. It was as if I was immersed in my own pool surrounded by colour and the show had a lasting effect on my own work. As I went about my artistic life exploring water and swimmers as a subject I naturally looked at David Hockney’s paintings whose interpretations of water are as varied as the subject of water itself. Thank you mum!”

Before you start making your pool why not take a look at his work – click here.

You will need:
⦁ A drawing pencil
⦁ A4 White card/paper
⦁ A4 dark blue paper
⦁ 2-3 different shades of blue colouring pencils
⦁ A white pencil
⦁ Glue stick
⦁ Scissors

Download the Swimmers template to use here

Step 1:
Take a breath and tune into the feeling of water, the sound and feel of it, imagine yourself floating! Or if you don’t swim just walking by it.
Watch the video I made on Ventnor Beach for inspiration.

Step 2:
Take your pencil for a walk across your paper going from one edge to the other. Make sure your paper is on a piece of card or a magazine so the lines and colouring don’t pick up what is underneath.

Step 3:
You can make 6 different shades out of your 3 colour pencils by applying different pressure. Practise on a bit of paper or in your sketchbook first.

Step 4:
Begin by outlining your pencil design in dark blue.
To get more intricate patterns you can add more lines using your dark blue pencil as you go along.

Step 5:
Start colouring in your pool. As you colour in remember to leave white areas, these are the reflections of light on the water.

Step 6:
Draw around the templates on your blue paper with a white pencil and cut them out. You may need an adult to help you. You can download the swimmers template to use here.

Step 7:
Place the swimmers on your pool, try out different arrangements
(compositions).

Step 8:

Choose your favourite composition and glue it into position.