Artist, kids have fun with art

ANGELA CROMPTON
Last updated 13:22 25/01/2013
Mieke Hilhorst
Tutor Mieke Hilhorst, Shae Ridder, 11 and Jessie Dentice, 12.

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Children's artwork has been extended in Drawing for Fun workshops held at the Millennium Art Gallery in Blenheim this week.

Ninety-minute classes for 6 to 9-year-olds and 10 to 13-year-olds have been held during three days and the youngsters were encouraged to to "think outside the box" by tutor and portrait artist Mieke Hilhorst.

She had pupils "loosen up" by doing "crazy mark making" on paper, then they settled them down to "blind contour line drawing".

Each child had to draw the face of someone else, but was forbidden to look at the paper.

They also had to keep their pencil on the paper, moving it slowly from detail to detail, including each feature of the face, Hilhorst said.

"[The portraits] ended up looking like aliens!" she laughed, but the exercise helped children feel less precious about their works.

"We were exposing them to techniques they normally would not get at their age, perhaps, and it's just a lot of fun."

The Drawing for Fun holiday programme complements the touring biennial Adam Portraiture Awards exhibition showing at the Millennium Art Gallery. Among its 45 portraits is one Hilhorst painted of her grandmother, which was named the "people's choice" at last year's awards.

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- The Marlborough Express

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