St Edward’s was all abuzz yesterday as we welcomed the illustrator Korky Paul, most famous for the Winnie the Witch books. Once he had cut the ribbon to officially open our beautiful new library, Korky joined the whole school on the decking in the spring sunshine. Here Mr Morgan-Nash formally welcomed Korky Paul, thanked Mrs Daley-Franks for arranging the visit, and Mrs Andrew received huge applause for all her hard work with the library.
The day moved swiftly onto class workshops, starting with Year 3. Korky asked them to list all the things they thought they might need to make a good picture: pens, pencils, rubber, paper, felts, pastels, paints. But what else? An imagination! The boys closed their eyes and started to picture their creature. Korky sat at his easle with a Sharpie, and drew a pair of eyes.
“What kind of nose shall we have?”, he asked.
“A pig nose”, replied one boy. “A long, pointy nose,” said another.
Korky looked delighted. “Let’s have both!”, and he started to draw.
The boys decided on floppy ears, fang teeth, a fluffy tail and chicken legs with Winnie the Witch stripes! Together, they had created a fabulous creature. Maybe next week they will continue this imaginative work and write a story for Dorky Doorrlle!
Year 4 created a Klorky Claw with a huge nose, a horn, cat ears, crocodile teeth, stripey chicken legs and a skateboard with a horn!
Year 2 watched Korky create Winnie the Witch but they decided she should be flying on a banana broomstick with poor Wilbur the cat hanging on for dear life!
A Snorky Snorlle for Year 5. A long wiggly trunk nose, pointy ears, a big mouth with spiky teeth, spines down his back and short stout legs. There was just time to add a wriggly worm for his lunch!
Korky read the Early Years classes a story. Winnie had to cast a spell to create a multi coloured Wilbur the cat because she kept falling over her black cat in her black house. Then he drew and painted a fabulous Wilbur for them.
Year 1 asked for a grumpy Winnie on a pizza broomstick! Wilbur is hanging on again.
Walky Talle was created by our lively Year 6 boys whose imaginations were certainly running free. They asked for a long, square, pig nose with mini horns, spiky ears, spiny back, chicken body and banana legs! They finished off by suggesting their Walky Talle should eat some caterpillars.
Every class took their picture back to their class to display, and Korky was kind enough to draw a special Winnie and Wilbur for the library!
As he painted, Korky gave the boys tip on working with water colours:
- Water colours love clean water
- Work quickly and broadly – no scrubbing
- Use different sized brushes
- Have two pots of water. One to paint with and one to clean your brushes
- Prime the paper with water so the colour goes on easily
- Mix your colours on the paper when it’s wet
- Black is a ‘dead’ colour, so mix blue into it to give it life
- Don’t feel you have to cover every bit of white paper. Little bits of plain page give the picture life.
- Cartoonists often leave the eyes and mouth white so they stand out and you can see the emotions clearly
The boys and staff thoroughly enjoyed their time with Korky; every session was peppered with comments like “Wow!”, “Cool!”, “This is brilliant!”. Korky Paul delighted the boys with his energy, humour and incredible artistic skill. What a fabulous day!
A little bit about Korky Paul
Over lunch, I learned more about South African, Korky. Long before he started to draw professionally, Korky was conscripted into the army and served as a tank driver in the Angolan war. With his duty done, he left South Africa to drive around Europe, visiting every art gallery and museum he possibly could, before running out of money in Greece. He sold his camper van to buy himself a suit and got himself a job in an advertising agency, where his artistic flare would flourish. Korky has had a house in Greece for the last 30 years and after raising his family there, he spends every summer working and relaxing under the beautiful Greek sun.