Over the next few days I am sure a number of you will be looking for ways to create firework themed images with your pupils, be it via the use of ICT or not. Here are just a few ideas you could use in your classroom.
My first pick would be to use the Splash tool on 2Paint a Picture – it’s more versatile than you think! Use the brush on a large setting to fill the background with a nice dark night sky and the use a smaller brush setting (getting the children to vary the sizes works best) for the fireworks. There a number of techniques you could show the children: just clicking the mouse once gives a nice explosion effect, but you can also add a second splash, preferably in a different colour, to make it more dynamic and 3D looking. Clicking the mouse while dragging gives a lovely ‘whooshing’ type image and by using variety in the speed of your drag and the size of your brush can give you a range of firework styles that look very effective.
For older children you could use the All Tools setting as this gives pupils the option of developing a background scene and some foreground action or interest. Drawing characters looks nice but a street scene of houses with fireworks overhead can look equally effective. If you wanted to go in a different direction entirely you could also use the Slice tool to create Catherine wheel effect art, which look lovely cut out on a display.
Not everyone, however, has access to 2Paint a Picture so it’s worth looking around for alternatives to use. The best free piece of kit for this that I have found is Brushster: it has a large number of different brush styles and a full colour palette and is easy enough to use. You can set a black background and add colours on top and it looks very pleasing, albeit a bit more muted in tone than the 2Paint a Picture images. You will need to play around with it though – not all the brush styles are suitable and it might take a bit of time and error to get the look you want. It’ll be worth it in the end though.