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Art Scholarships

(25 Posts)
Idratherbemuckingout Sat 31-Dec-11 14:45:35

How good at art does a DC have to be to win an Art Scholarship? Anyone out there with a child who has one? My DS is excellent at drawing, but hasn't had the opportunity that a lot of children might have had with proper art departments, as he is home educated, and hasn't tried a huge variety of mediums. He's done oil pastels, acrylics, pencil drawing etc. Anyone know what they are looking for at age 11?
My DS wants to be an architect. Loves buildings, never stops drawing them, but it is hard to get him to draw a person. Also loves birds, so draws them. Very well indeed.
Any advice gratefully received.

ChocolatEtVin Sat 31-Dec-11 14:54:11

This isn't what you're after but a friend of ours has a DC who sat the A level scholarship exam at Charterhouse. IIRC they had to draw a statue and had free reign over how they did it. I can't say I know any schools that offer art scholarships at 11 but a lot definitely do at 13 and there will be a wide range of abilities I'm sure.

Idratherbemuckingout Sat 31-Dec-11 15:07:02

He is doing an Art Scholarship next week but I am getting collywobbles worrying if he is good enough.

ChocolatEtVin Sat 31-Dec-11 16:03:22

I'm sure he will be fine, did he have to prepare a portfolio because if so that would be a good indication of his ability smile

Idratherbemuckingout Sat 31-Dec-11 16:12:53

Yes, but at eleven it is pretty much a scrapbook of his drawings and paintings, so not very "polished" in appearance.
I am consoling myself that not many 11 year olds will have monster portfolios with all sorts of different mediums illustrated.
On the other hand - maybe I'm fooling myself!

ChocolatEtVin Sat 31-Dec-11 16:23:47

Very much doubt they will, as I said I've only experience of the exam for 16 year olds!

Idratherbemuckingout Sat 31-Dec-11 16:57:24

Thanks Chocolat, how good was your DS at age eleven?

ChocolatEtVin Sat 31-Dec-11 17:02:55

It wasn't my DS but a friends. He was very good, but not exactly neat and a lot of what he drew was cartoons and things. Now however he is very good, although I think a lot of it is down to the fact that the school he is at is very creative and orientated towards the arts. I expect it will be mostly girls trying for the scholarship and, at primary age a lot will probably have very similar styles and you DS will stand out from the crowd (in a good way!). Just out of interest, what school are you applying to?

Happygardening Sat 31-Dec-11 17:29:10

Those in prep schools will have well organised portfolios (I only know about the children in my old DS prep school trying to get an art scholarship at 13) and demonstrate a variety of techniques materials and and reproduce their own versions of for example Van Goughs chair. It's very prescribed. Don't be demoralised if he doesn't get it a friend of my DS didn't get one he was an outstanding talented artist an international prize winner but a free spirit although heavily influenced by the surrealists but had already developed his own extra ordinary style and couldn't wouldn't paint the still life etc required for the scholarship.

ChocolatEtVin Sat 31-Dec-11 17:52:03

I disagree Happygardening, although there will be a few with portfolios many at 11+ will be coming from either state schools or prep schools that gear up for grammar entry so will be unlikely to have a portfolio. As well as that if the OP's DS has a destinct style it might make him stand out from those who do the generic copying of artists (like the friend of your DS). But really it depends on the school. The school the lad I know went to would never let the students just sit there copying other artists work!

Happygardening Sat 31-Dec-11 18:36:33

Maybe it's different at 11+ at 13 + the portfolios were almost indentical in structure to the one my retired mother produced a couple of years ago for her AS art submission.

ChocolatEtVin Sat 31-Dec-11 18:51:44

I think that would be due to the fact that the aplicants for 13+ would mostly be coming from preps that prepare for CE and much more driven towards exams than you would see at 11+.

amerryscot Sat 31-Dec-11 19:02:22

They will expect to see a decent sized portfolio and for him to talk about what he enjoys doing.

If you don't have one already, buy a portfolio carrier (?) - A0 sized plastic bag with handles, or something fancier.

wonderlustoo Fri 22-Mar-13 11:27:24

Hi there,

Is there a website where I could get an idea of art knowledge levels/abilities for art scholarships, please?

Thanks! smile

janinlondon Fri 22-Mar-13 12:13:08

Not that I know of Wonderlustoo. It will differ wildly between schools and according to the age you are considering.

apatchylass Sat 23-Mar-13 20:23:33


DS2 won an art scholarship. The most important things would be drawing skills and enthusiasm for the subject at this stage.

If he has some pieces that show he's experimented a bit, that would be good. DS goes to an art club so had some mosaic work, some canvases, and used some of his photography, but most of his work was sketches and pencil drawings he'd done at home.

However, it is worth putting some effort into making the most of some of these. Can you mount or frame some of his best work? Does he have any good but incomplete pieces that would benefit from some colour or background detail?

DS had two canvases - one was oil and the other was a pencil drawing of the same subject that he had been so proud of when he first did it he refused to paint over it, but it looked a bit pale and thin. He worked it up with pastels in the end, giving it shade and block colour, and it looked good as a companion piece to the oil canvas.

If he's home schooled, you have lots of time. Spend a week making sure that his 10-12 favourite pieces of work are finished and well presented. Don't feel he has to show very traditional work. DS showed lots of comic strip, manga stuff as that is his big ambition, and that was fine.

The school seemed most impressed by his photography and his cartoon strips!

Coconutty Sun 24-Mar-13 18:09:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

apatchylass Sun 24-Mar-13 19:16:14

I cross posted with others. Not sure I agree with Happy about the traditional take. DS's art teacher said avoid paintings that look like parents or teachers drilled them to do the work. Show pieces he did because he loved them.

What we did was pull out some of his favourite pieces and spend time making sure he really polished them - definition, light and shade, great colour, properly mounted etc. Also he did a few studies.
Life drawing is essential of course, in some form, but as long as he has about three or four really strong life/ figurative/landscape pieces, the rest can be whatever excites him as an artist.

Good luck.

janinlondon Mon 25-Mar-13 09:50:57

DD also won an art scholarship - her portfolio was important, but her journal was the keystone. Little sketches done on the fly; photos of things she found inspirational; notes on exhibitions she had seen; pictures of her with installations she particularly liked; postcards of her favourite pieces from different galleries. Those were the things that the interviews focussed on, and she found it easy to talk to these items. The exam for the scholarship (only offered to those who had already passed the portfolio step) was a full day of interviews and set pieces. Seems to be standard practice for south London secondaries. Best of luck!

ZZZenAgain Mon 25-Mar-13 11:10:43

If the scholarship is very important to you and ds, I think you should try and get someone to help you compiling it. Is there a private art school of some kind which your ds could attend and/or a tutor you could employ to help him prepare generally? I wouldn't have a clue really how to compile a decent portfolio and I wouldn't know what level of attainment schools are looking for at his age.

veronicalondon Sun 16-Feb-14 02:22:29

MY DS was asked to bring a portfolio, to give a short lecture on his favourite artist and perform stilllife pencil drawing, which was a complicated mixture of objects.

veronicalondon Sun 16-Feb-14 02:32:29

Portfolio: If you collect the works of your child and just bring it in a folder - it would be enough. However, if your child was only doing pencil drawings in notebooks then bring those with you. If a child is genuinely interested in art such child, provided that you supply acrylics, oil, pastel and other materials, WOULD experiment with different materials and would be inspired by events/people/dreams to draw and paint those events/people/dreams. And you would have a whole PILE of stuff which would be easy to sort out and show his/her drawings at 5, 7, 9 etc. If your child just started to express interest in art recently, still, if this is a genuine interest, he/she is bound to make at least 40 drawings in a year. Less than one per week. So even then to make a portfolio of the 'best' 25 should not be a problem. However, we all learn inter alia by copying. If a child can't/won't copy artworks or draw stilllife I guess the scholarship would not be granted. Therefore, some pencil drawings of hands/vases/cubes etc must be practices. WEll, if this was ok for Rafael, Da Vinci, Turner and Picasso, it must be ok for an inspiring artist smile

veronicalondon Sun 16-Feb-14 02:41:51

Level of attainment: be able to do a composition, in other words, to place objects on paper in a manner that is corresponds to the stilllife objects on display. This is difficult and requires practice.
Secondly, he must be able to more or less confidently draw with the pencil, shading where necessary, so that the objects on his picture of still life do not look as if they are drawn with the same line.Candidates must present a portfolio of work one week in advance of the scholarship interview.
The portfolio should contain examples of drawing and painting from direct observation, some imaginative pieces, and examples of work where a variety of media has been used since Year 5. (Oil paintings should be dry.) Photographs of any 3D pieces are acceptable. The portfolio may contain up to 20 pieces of work.
The scholarship interview will include drawing with a pencil from still life for 30 minutes, and will be followed by an informal discussion.

Hannahadg Mon 04-Jul-16 19:24:57

My daughter did an 11+ scholarship and gave my daughter some feedback. The school was looking for BIG art projects with all the ideas behinds. The school also looked for projects on other artists work, so the children who were already at the school had copied an artists work then design their own picture with the style of the artist.
The children already at the school were encouraged to make a sketch book aswell

ThatAnneGirl Mon 04-Jul-16 19:27:18

The OPs child will almost be at university now.

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