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Ways to explore art in your classroom

This series of lessons take their inspiration from 20 artworks exhibited at the 2019 Operation Art Exhibition. The artworks have been created by students in Stages ES1 through to S3 in the classroom. Each lesson contains syllabus outcomes and indicators directly linked to teaching and learning activities with suggestions for formative assessment. There are recommendations for artist studies and step by step instructions on how to create artworks in your classroom.

View lessons
Visit NSW Department of Education – Key learning areas – Early Stage 1 to Stage 3 for more information.

Contacts

Heidi Windeisen
Operation Art Project Officer
heidi.windeisen@det.nsw.edu.au

Julia Brennan
Creative Arts Advisor, K-6
Early Learning and Primary Education – Learning and teaching
julia.m.brennan@det.nsw.edu.au

Touring Exhibition details

Visit The Arts Unit website for exhibition dates and locations.

Gallery

Select the image to view the entire artwork.

Stage 3

Lessons

Select the name of the artwork to display the lesson associated with that work.

To print out the lessons, please select the ‘Print this page’ button at the bottom of this screen.

Early stage 1 – Chicken

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Title or subject matter: Chicken (190727)

Unit duration: 1 lesson

Artmaking practices or concepts:

  • shape and form
  • drawing

Resources or materials

  • A3 coloured paper, lead pencils, crayons, textas, buttons or plastic eyes, various paper textures and colours, feathers or any other materials to add detail.
  • image of The Snail by Henri Matisse 1953
  • various chicken photos taken from internet depicting different colours and breeds
Content
Outcomes
Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p.28)
Making
VAES1.1: Makes simple pictures and other kinds of artworks about things and experiences.
  • explores the characteristics of pets and other living things such as where they are kept or live, what they like doing, where they sleep, what they eat. For example, guinea pigs, fish, birds, cats, dogs, horses, elephants, giraffes, kangaroos, koalas
  • talks about significant features and relationships within their artworks.
Making
VAES1.2: Experiments with a range of media in selected forms.
  • uses scissors to cut regular and irregular shapes from papers and cardboards and assembles these in a variety of ways by overlapping, repeating, layering patterns, gluing, and sticking
Appreciating
VAES1.3: Recognises some of the qualities of different artworks and begins to realise that artists make artworks.
  • identifies different colours, shapes, textures and other things of interest in artworks.
Appreciating
VAES1.4: Communicates their ideas about pictures and other kinds of artworks.
  • describes and responds to what artworks are about

Outcomes

Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p. 28)

Making

VAES1.1: Makes simple pictures and other kinds of artworks about things and experiences.

  • explores the characteristics of pets and other living things such as where they are kept or live, what they like doing, where they sleep, what they eat. For example, guinea pigs, fish, birds, cats, dogs, horses, elephants, giraffes, kangaroos, koalas
  • talks about significant features and relationships within their artworks.

VAES1.2: Experiments with a range of media in selected forms.

  • uses scissors to cut regular and irregular shapes from papers and cardboards and assembles these in a variety of ways by overlapping, repeating, layering patterns, gluing, and sticking

Appreciating

VAES1.3: Recognises some of the qualities of different artworks and begins to realise that artists make artworks.

  • identifies different colours, shapes, textures and other things of interest in artworks.

VAES1.4: Communicates their ideas about pictures and other kinds of artworks.

  • describes and responds to what artworks are about

Sequence of learning experiences

  1. Show students image of Henri Matisse ‘The Snail’ 1953. Discuss the basic spiral of the shapes to indicate the snail shell and use of paper shapes to create an image.
  2. Explain that students will explore chickens and use drawing and paper shapes to create an image. Link this to a discussion of 2D shapes from mathematics and identify or draw a variety of shapes especially a variety of triangles.
  3. Show various chicken photos. Observe features such as beaks, comb, feathers and so on. Discuss shape of chicken bodies and body parts.
  4. Draw a large triangle to represent the body shape of a chicken to fill the majority of A3 paper.
  5. With lead pencil, students draw triangle body of chicken to begin their drawing. Emphasise that no lines are mistakes, just draw another line if you are not happy with the first attempt.
  6. Guide students to add chicken body features to their drawings. Include a beak, eyes, comb (the floppy skin atop the head), wattle (floppy skin under beak), wings, legs, feet.
  7. Allow students to select colours from crayons to represent the chicken they are referencing from the displayed chickens and then colour the body and parts.
  8. Discuss features of the environment where chickens are found. Rely on student’s experiences where available. Use coloured papers to create environment for chickens. Encourage cutting of different shapes and glue onto image to create environment.
  9. Use texta to outline chicken image to highlight it. Add a button or plastic eye for extra effect.

Assessment

  • Discusses significant features of chickens and their environments within their artworks and the artworks of others.
  • Identifies and uses different colours, shapes, and textures in their artworks and those of others that relate to and represent the features of chickens as identified.
  • Assembles an artwork using a variety of techniques and materials such as drawing, using glue, cutting regular and irregular shapes from paper with scissors.
  • Identifies and uses a variety of shapes by overlapping, repeating, layering patterns and gluing to represent the identified features of a chicken.
  • Describes and responds to artworks by expressing opinions about the use of shapes and other artmaking practices and elements to create images

Early stage 1 – Aquatic Animals

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Title or subject matter: Aquatic Animals (190753)

Unit duration: 1 lesson

Artmaking practices or concepts: Painting, colour

Resources or materials

  • art paper, lead pencils, crayons, water colour paints, brushes, salt (plain table salt is fine), water dishes
  • various frog images by Australian artist John Olsen
  • various aquatic animal photos taken from internet depicting different animals, colours and types.
Content
Outcomes
Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p.28)
Making
VAES1.1: Makes simple pictures and other kinds of artworks about things and experiences.
  • explores the characteristics of pets and other living things such as where they are kept or live, what they like doing, where they sleep, what they eat. For example, guinea pigs, fish, birds, cats, dogs, horses, elephants, giraffes, kangaroos, koalas
  • talks about significant features and relationships within their artworks.
Making
VAES1.2: Experiments with a range of media in selected forms.
  • explores the qualities of paint, recognising qualities such as transparency and opacity and uses brushes and other tools, for example, sponges, rollers, scrapers to apply paint to different surfaces to create textures, patterns, areas of colour.
Appreciating
VAES1.3: Recognises some of the qualities of different artworks and begins to realise that artists make artworks.
  • distinguishes a drawing from a painting, sculpture or photograph and talks about different materials artists use.
Appreciating
VAES1.4: Communicates their ideas about pictures and other kinds of artworks.
  • identifies features in the works that are significant to them and makes links with their experience

Sequence of learning experiences

  1. Show students images of John Olsen’s frogs using the link provided. Discuss the playfulness of Olsen’s frogs and the use of watercolours to create an image. Ask students what they think John Olsen’s feelings are of frogs, based on his images.
  2. Explain that students will explore animals that live in water and use drawing and painting to create an image. This could be an opportunity to use the lesson to focus on particular aquatic animals that are being studied in Science and Technology.
  3. Research aquatic animals, both as pets and in ponds, rivers, and the ocean. Discuss features such as eyes, fins, tails and so on. Discuss the shape of bodies and various body parts. Show a range of aquatic animal photos.
  4. Demonstrate a basic geometrical shape such as a circle or triangle to represent the animal’s body shape to fill the majority of art paper using a lead pencil.
  5. With lead pencil, students draw a shape to represent the body of their chosen aquatic animal to begin their drawing. Emphasise that no lines are mistakes, just draw another line if you are not happy with the first attempt.
  6. Guide the students to add body features to their drawings such as eyes, lips, fins and so on.
  7. Allow students to select colours from watercolours to colour the body and parts using brushes and paints. Avoid green and blue colours that will be used in the background.
  8. For the background, apply green and blue water colours liberally and sprinkle salt crystals sparingly while the paint is wet. Leave flat to dry. The salt crystals will create a wavy effect with the wet watercolour paint.
  9. Outline the animal with a bold crayon once background is dry. This will highlight the image.

Assessment

  • Describes the characteristics of aquatic animals such as where they are kept or live, what they look like then uses these appropriately in their artwork.
  • Discusses and demonstrates the purpose, features and effects of water colour with added salt within their artworks and what they represent for the viewer.
  • Distinguishes between drawing and painting techniques and the materials used for each by using them appropriately and accurately.
  • Identifies and uses different colours, shapes and textures in their artworks and can recognise and discuss the same in the works of others.

Stage 1 – Dragon

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Title or subject matter: Dragon (190043)

Unit duration: 1 lesson

Artmaking practices or concepts:

  • shape and form
  • colour
  • drawing

Resources or materials

Content
Outcomes
Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p.29)
Making
VAS1.1: Makes artworks in a particular way about experiences of real and imaginary things.
  • explores narrative devices by creating comic strips and illustrated stories derived from their experience and imaginative and other events in their lives, drawing on ideas from artworks, cartoons, illustrated books and other books, videos and films
Making
VAS1.2: Uses the forms to make artworks according to varying requirements.
  • thinks about how they can interpret the teacher’s or others’ requirements for artmaking (for example use of materials, investigation of subject matter, scale and purpose of the work)
Appreciating
VAS1.3: Realises what artists do, who they are and what they make.
  • talks about some of the symbols and techniques artists use in their making of art
Appreciating
VAS1.4: Begins to interpret the meaning of artworks, acknowledging the roles of artist and audience.
  • recognises that artists may account for their work in different ways to an audience

Sequence of learning experiences

  1. Study Kate Beynon images from the link provided and discuss the use of dragons. Point out that dragons are imaginary and mythical and that the artist is free to interpret them as they wish.
  2. Discuss the features of dragons that are conventional (scales, teeth, and so on) and also unconventional features, challenging students to use their imagination to make their dragons uniquely individual. Create a list for the students to refer to.
  3. Explore the use of motifs both in Kate Beynon’s work and the Operation Art image by Lachlan. Explain that motifs are personal and may be anything to represent personal thoughts or feelings. Discuss and create a list of ideas for the students to use in their images around their dragon.
  4. Demonstrate a basic curved line or geometrical shapes such as triangle and trapeziums to form a dragon shape to show the students how to place a dragon on their art paper.
  5. Use the list of features created in step 2 to lead the students through the drawing details  onto the base shape of the dragon.
  6. Use thin watercolours to fill in a base background colour and a different base colour for the dragon. The aim here is to eliminate any white of the paper showing through the final image.
  7. Apply acrylic paints with various tools to dragon. Ask the students to think about complimentary colour combinations. These are colours that sit next to each other on the colour wheel. For example, blue or green, red or orange, and so on). Apply acrylic paint using the tools to produce different paint effects. Card can be scraped, sponges can be dabbed, rags can be scrunched and dabbed, brushes can twist or stroke.
  8. Move onto the background and motifs using the same applications of paint but varying the complimentary colour combinations. The image may be used as a stimulus for descriptive writing in English. Students can write descriptions of their dragon, motifs, colour choices, and so on.
  9. Optional: splatter effect of black and/or white using old toothbrushes with acrylic paint and running thumb over bristles to splatter paint over image to create mythical feeling to artwork. This step will depend on the ability of your students and should be considered before deciding on this step. Do not offer to complete this step as the adult. Students need to own their work as their own and be pleased with their achievements.
  10. Allow the pieces to dry and then use bold texta to outline the dragon to create a highlight for the image. This does not have to be black texta, it can be any strong colour.

Assessment

  • Explores mythical creatures and symbols by creating dragon and motifs derived from imaginative and other events in their lives, drawing on ideas from artworks.
  • Interprets the suggested requirements for artmaking by use of materials, investigation of subject matter, scale and purpose of the work.
  • Discusses the symbols and techniques used in their making a dragon artwork.
  • Writes a descriptive text recognising that artists may view the subject matter in different ways to an audience.

Stage 1 – Bees

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Title or subject matter: Bees (190161)

Unit duration: 2 lessons

Artmaking practices or concepts:

  • texture
  • colour
  • printmaking

Resources or materials

Content
Outcomes
Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p.29)
Making
VAS1.1: Makes artworks in a particular way about experiences of real and imaginary things.
  • investigates details of objects, places and spaces and other living things (for example, windows and doorways in old or new buildings, the shapes of shadows, patterns of shells, animals kept in captivity or in the wild)
Making
VAS1.2: Uses the forms to make artworks according to varying requirements.
  • explores various printmaking techniques (for example, monoprints and paper stencil techniques in silk screen printing) to create one-offs and multiples
Appreciating
VAS1.3: Realises what artists do, who they are and what they make.
  • talks about some of the symbols and techniques artists use in their making of art
Appreciating
VAS1.4: Begins to interpret the meaning of artworks, acknowledging the roles of artist and audience.
  • recognises that artists explore the world in particular ways in how they approach their artmaking and in the artworks they make.

Sequence of learning experiences

Lesson 1
  1. Study MC Escher images provided in the link and discuss the use of patterns in creating worlds for insects. Point out the use of repetition and patterns not only in the background but also in the insects. Discuss features of bees and their environments as your focus insect.
  2. Explore the idea of ‘bee colours’. These are colours associated with bees and make them distinguishable from other insects. Explain that this is why yellow and black will be the only colours used in creating your mixed media piece. Explain that mixed media is a term used to describe artworks composed from a combination of different materials
  3. Begin background by setting up print stations. Number of print stations will be determined by teacher considering classroom space and management. A print station will consist of an A3 piece of bubble wrap, a sponge and yellow paint.
  4. Students use sponges to apply yellow acrylic paint to the bubble wrap and lay it flat on table. Next, place A3 photocopy face down on the painted bubble wrap. Press gently with hands to transfer paint to the paper. Peel paper off and place to dry.
  5. Create a list of bee body parts. Explain to students that this step only needs a head and body. Other parts will be added in the next lesson. Demonstrate the size of head and body for students to draw that will be suitable for adding to the background. This size would be approximately the size of the palm of their hand.
  6. On a piece of art paper, the students draw bee heads and bodies. Emphasise the need for stripes on the bodies. Paint using the yellow and black acrylic paints. Set aside to dry.
Lesson 2
  1. Collect the background and the bees from lesson 1. Recap the created list of the bee body parts. Highlight the ones that will be added to the bodies this lesson (legs, antennae, wings and sting).
  2. Use scissors to cut out the bee heads and bodies. The students align cut images on their printed background piece without gluing. Encourage the students to align the pieces to allow the addition of the listed body parts.
  3. Glue the bees in place once the students are happy with the setting for their scene. Use textas and/or felt tip pens to draw on the remaining body parts.
  4. Take a small piece of yellow cellophane (pre-cut by teacher) to construct the wings. Twist in the middle and glue to the bees where the students have drawn the wings creating an overlay.
  5. Add the plastic eyes and sequins or rhinestones to complete work and add highlights.
  6. Students research and create fact file for bees. Display these alongside artworks.

Assessment

  • Investigates details of bees and their hives and includes these details in their artwork.
  • Explores monoprint printmaking techniques to create one-off background print.
  • Discusses and identifies symbols and techniques MC Escher uses in this making of his insect based artworks.
  • Recognises that MC Escher explored the world in particular ways through the artworks he created by discussing the features used.

Stage 1 – Fantasy Scene

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Title or subject matter: Fantasy Scene (1900653)

Unit duration: 2 lessons

Artmaking practices or concepts:

  • shape and form
  • colour
  • line
  • drawing
  • collage
  • painting

Resources or materials

Content
Outcomes
Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p.29)
Making
VAS1.1: Makes artworks in a particular way about experiences of real and imaginary things.
  • explores narrative devices by creating comic strips and illustrated stories derived from their experience and imaginative and other events in their lives, drawing on ideas from artworks, cartoons, illustrated books and other books, videos and films
Making
VAS1.2: Uses the forms to make artworks according to varying requirements.
  • experiments with the properties of different drawing and paint media and tools such as graphite (‘lead’) and colour pencils, fibre tip pens, crayons, paint, brushes, rollers, scrapers, sticks and computer applications in drawing to create particular effects in an attempt to capture likenesses of things depicted
Appreciating
VAS1.3: Realises what artists do, who they are and what they make.
  • talks about and writes about the artworks made by particular artists and areas of interest that artists have, recognising that artists gain ideas in a variety of ways
Appreciating
VAS1.4: Begins to interpret the meaning of artworks, acknowledging the roles of artist and audience.
  • recognises that artists explore the world in particular ways in how they approach their artmaking and in the artworks they make.

Sequence of learning experiences

Lesson 1
  1. Study Shaun Tan images using the link provided and discuss the use of imagination in creating worlds and characters. Point out that the characters orcreatures are imaginary and that the artist is free to create them as they wish.
  2. Explore the idea of complementary colours. These are colours that sit next to each other on the colour wheel. For example, purple, blue and green, red, orange and yellow, and so on). Make lists of complementary colour combinations for the students to use. In the Operation Art example, the student has used aqua, green, blue and purple. Black has also been added.
  3. Give each student two pieces of art paper, one as a background piece and one as a feature piece. Use complementary colour combinations of acrylic paints and sponges to completely cover the background piece in by sponging individual colours in different sections of the paper. Overlap sections slightly to ensure no white of the paper is showing through. Set aside to dry.
  4. Take the feature piece of art paper and repeat sponging, this time only covering approximately half of the paper randomly in the lighter colours from the complementary colour selection. When dry, this piece will have the student’s creatures and characters drawn onto it. Set aside to dry.
  5. Discuss different categories of characters and features to be drawn. Categories may be walking, crawling, flying characters, machines that move differently, and so on.
  6. Begin draft drawings of characters and features. Encourage a variety of draft drawings across a number of categories.
Lesson 2
  1. Use the draft drawings from the previous lesson to draw 7 - 8 different characters onto the prepared feature piece of paper from lesson 1 using felt tip pens and textas. Encourage the students to draw over the coloured areas as well as the white areas.
  2. Use scissors to cut out the drawn characters. The pieces do not need to be precisely cut ‘on the line’. They can be cut out with some edging. Have the students align the cut images on the background piece without gluing. Encourage the students to align the pieces to create a narrative scene that can be related to the viewing audience. Have students compose and discuss a narrative to explain and out into context the image they have created.
  3. Glue the characters in place once the students are happy with the setting of their narrative scene.

Assessment

  • Creates and discusses illustrated stories relating to ideas from their created artwork.
  • Experiments with the properties of different drawing, paint media and tools such as graphite (‘lead’) pencils, fibre tip pens, rollers and sponges to create particular effects using correct techniques
  • Discusses own artworks, recognising that artists gain and share ideas in a variety of ways.
  • Recognises that artists explore and share imaginative worlds in the artworks they create and uses this as the basis of their own artworks.

Stage 2 – Flowers

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Title or subject matter: Flowers (190051)

Unit duration: 1 lesson

Artmaking practices or concepts:

  • drawing
  • shape and form
  • colour
  • proportion

Resources or materials

Content
Outcomes
Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p.29)
Making
VAS2.1: Represents the qualities of experiences and things that are interesting or beautiful by choosing among aspects of subject matter.
  • talks about and thinks about their intentions for artmaking and recognises how these affect their selection of ideas, materials, tools and techniques and methods of working
Making
VAS2.2: Uses the forms to suggest the qualities of subject matter.
  • experiments with techniques in painting, drawing, photography, digital and video to create particular effects to suggest such things as close-ups, middle distance and long distance views, mood and atmosphere, light and dark suited to how subject matter may be interpreted
Appreciating
VAS2.3: Acknowledges that artists make artworks for different reasons and that various interpretations are possible.
  • discusses reasons why artists make artworks focusing on who, where, when, why and how
Appreciating
VAS2.4: Identifies connections between subject matter in artworks and what they refer to, and appreciates the use of particular techniques.
  • identifies resemblances between subject matter in artworks and the features of things as they exist in the world, recognising similarities and differences in how things are represented in the artworks

Sequence of learning experiences

  1. Research Margaret Preston as a prominent Australian and the ways she approached her artmaking using the link provided.
  2. Study and discuss a variety of still life images by Margaret Preston. Many of these are woodcut prints that print the black and then are hand coloured with paints. Discuss the boldness the black outline gives the overall images as well as the individual colours contrasting against the black.
  3. Arrange flowers on a central table (with cloth) in the classroom to provide views to all students from different angles.
  4. Explain to the students that they are to draw lightly in lead pencil. This will require a demonstration by the teacher and allow students to practice so to obtain a light touch on paper.
  5. Explain to the students that a still life is an image of something that does not move and can be used to celebrate the joy an object brings, in this case, flowers. Construct a drawing of the still life setting. Encourage students to use informal units of measurement to gain the correct proportions of flowers, stem and vase. For example, seeing that a stem is the same height as a vase and transferring that same proportion to their drawing.
  6. Outline drawing using felt pens and textas. Leave spaces for colour, so as to create a strong, solid black base to the image.
  7. Use coloured pastels to introduce colour to the still life. Experiment with different pressures to produce a variety of effects and also blending colours to create new colours.
  8. Select a soft colour pastel to fill in the background with the aim of eliminating any white from the image.

Assessment

  • Discusses their intentions for artmaking and recognises how these affect their use of materials, tools and techniques and methods of working in creating art.
  • Experiments with techniques in drawing to create mood and atmosphere, using light and dark tones to manipulate how others may view the work.
  • Discusses who Margaret Preston was and why she made artworks, focusing on where, when, why and how she created images.
  • Identifies and discusses resemblances between flowers in own artworks and the features of flowers as they exist in the world.

Stage 2 – Landscape

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Title or subject matter: Landscape (190064)

Unit duration: 1 lesson

Artmaking practices or concepts:

  • painting
  • shape and form
  • colour and value

Resources or materials

Content
Outcomes
Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p.30)
Making
VAS2.1: Represents the qualities of experiences and things that are interesting or beautiful by choosing among aspects of subject matter.
  • seeks to investigate traditions in art suited to different subject matter (for example the landscape, the figure, the narrative, formal and abstract properties, the use of symbols) and uses these in their artmaking.
Making
VAS2.2: Uses the forms to suggest the qualities of subject matter.
  • experiments with techniques in painting, drawing, photography, digital and video to create particular effects to suggest such things as close-ups, middle distance and long distance views, mood and atmosphere, light and dark suited to how subject matter may be interpreted
Appreciating
VAS2.3: Acknowledges that artists make artworks for different reasons and that various interpretations are possible.
  • discusses reasons why artists make artworks focusing on who, where, when, why and how
Appreciating
VAS2.4: Identifies connections between subject matter in artworks and what they refer to, and appreciates the use of particular techniques.
  • identifies resemblances between subject matter in artworks and the features of things as they exist in the world, recognising similarities and differences in how things are represented in the artworks

Sequence of learning experiences

  1. Study and discuss a variety of landscape images by Aboriginal artist Sarrita King using the link provided. Many of these images are of country where Sarrita grew up and the Country where her father grew up. Discuss the idea with the students that many of her works are monotone (one colour with varying values). Emphasise that King’s work is contemporary work, not ancient work and that Aboriginal art and culture whilst having a long history, is often contemporary (meaning today).
  2. Discuss the idea that many Aboriginal artworks depicting landscapes are painted from an overhead or aerial (bird’s eye) view of the country. Challenge the students to think of an area that they know well and imagine what it would look like from far above. This could be their neighbourhood, a favourite holiday place, the school area, somewhere that is important to them and their sense of belonging.
  3. Create a list of basic shapes that the children are imagining from their birds eye view of their chosen area. These shapes are representational and not literal. A square could be a building, a sports field, a group of trees. Explore shapes imagined and discuss their geometrical properties. Investigate which shapes can tesselate to create new images.
  4. Record and draw these shapes as a class list. Note: these shapes can be any shapes, they do not have to align with Sarrita King or any other Aboriginal works. The aim is not to copy (appropriate) Aboriginal art but understand it and use it as a reference to create the student’s own style of art.
  5. Explain to the students that they will lay down larger shapes on the paper using watercolour and then detail those shapes with acrylic paints using smaller shapes repeatedly to create their landscape.
  6. Have the students use the watercolours to start with base shapes in the central area of the art paper and build outwards using colours that are complementary (colours that are placed next to each other on the colour wheel). For example, yellows through to greens to blues, with varying tones. The colours in the Operation Art piece transition through the complementary colours of red to orange through to yellow. Allow the painting of the shapes to merge into other shapes as they collide.
  7. Use smaller brushes and acrylic paints to detail the base shapes with repetition of smaller shapes taken from the created list until all major shapes have been detailed.

Assessment

  • Investigates and recognises traditions and techniques used in Aboriginal artmaking practices related to the landscape.
  • Experiments with techniques in painting to create particular effects to suggest such things as overhead or aerial views, mood and atmosphere, colour values and hues and light and dark.
  • Discusses reasons why artists such as Sarrita King make artworks focusing on where, when, why and how the are made. References similarities to creating their own works.
  • Identifies and discusses resemblances between landscape features in the student’s own artworks and the features of things as they exist in the world. Recognises similarities and differences in how things are represented in their artworks and the works of others.

Stage 2 – Bird Print

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Title or subject matter: Bird Print (190372)

Unit duration: 2 lessons

Artmaking practices or concepts:

  • printmaking

Resources or materials

  • lead pencils
  • A4 paper cut into A5 (half), A4 print foam pieces cut into A5
  • glue
  • Kate Hudson bird print images
  • selection of photos of birds
  • selection of tissue paper colours
  • ink trays (can be baking trays or similar), brayer rollers, black block ink, newspaper, spoons
Content
Outcomes
Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p.30)
Making
VAS2.1: Represents the qualities of experiences and things that are interesting or beautiful by choosing among aspects of subject matter.
  • seeks to investigate traditions in art suited to different subject matter (for example the landscape, the figure, the narrative, formal and abstract properties, the use of symbols) and uses these in their artmaking.
Making
VAS2.2: Uses the forms to suggest the qualities of subject matter.
  • experiments with techniques in painting, drawing, photography, digital and video to create particular effects to suggest such things as close-ups, middle distance and long distance views, mood and atmosphere, light and dark suited to how subject matter may be interpreted
Appreciating
VAS2.3: Acknowledges that artists make artworks for different reasons and that various interpretations are possible.
  • discusses reasons why artists make artworks focusing on who, where, when, why and how
Appreciating
VAS2.4: Identifies connections between subject matter in artworks and what they refer to, and appreciates the use of particular techniques.
  • identifies resemblances between subject matter in artworks and the features of things as they exist in the world, recognising similarities and differences in how things are represented in the artworks

Sequence of learning experiences

Lesson 1
  1. Study and discuss a variety of bird print images by Kate Hudson using the link provided. Explain that printmaking is the transfer of ink to paper from an etched surface. This may be metal, wood, linoleum, and so on. The students will be using print foam (also known as scratch foam).
  2. Research native birds of a particular geographical area as a stimulus and later use the prints to present research findings. Collect photos from books and the internet.
  3. Study the bird photos and have the students make basic sketches on A5 paper, using as much space on the paper as they can. Emphasise that the drawings include no shading, only lines (lines as shading is acceptable). Demonstrate different composition options for the students. The drawings could be close up images of just the head and shoulders or views taking in the whole body of the bird.
  4. Investigate options for background motifs for the bird drawings. Motifs are symbols that represent feelings and connections to the subject. For example, leaves, branches, and so on. Use Kate Hudson’s work as references.
  5. Add motifs to the bird drawings. Remind the students that anywhere on the drawing that doesn’t have lines will be covered in ink once it is printed. The more lines on the drawing, the more effective it will be.
  6. Use a fresh piece of A5 paper. Tear strips of coloured tissue paper and glue onto the A5 paper. Experiment with how much of the A5 sheet is covered by the tissue paper. This is the sheet that the students will print their bird images onto. The student should make multiple sheets to print onto as not every print is 100% effective. Set aside the sheets for next lesson.
Lesson 2
  1. Set up the print station. The number of print stations will depend on space and management resources. The teacher will need to make this decision to suit their situation. The print station will consist of the print tray, a newspaper pad (at least 6 sheets thick), 2 brayer rollers and block ink and spoon.
  2. Issue the students with their bird drawings, a prepared print sheet (with tissue paper glued onto it)  a lead pencil and a piece of A5 print foam.
  3. Demonstrate to the students how to draw and carve into the print foam. Explain that a lead pencil can be used to draw the bird image onto the print foam. The image should be deep enough to be clearly felt with fingers without tearing the foam or going right through the foam (think tyre tread). Teachers should trial this themselves previously if they haven’t used print foam before. Angling the pencil whilst drawing into the foam is helpful, as is not having a pencil that is too sharp.
  4. Students then draw the bird image, patterns (feathers, shading lines) and background motifs into the print foam carefully.
  5. Demonstrate to class how to use the drawn print foam and block ink to create a print. Lay the print foam adjacent to the ink tray on the newspaper. The ink tray has block ink spooned onto it (approximately a tablespoon amount). Use one brayer roller to roll the ink over the tray until a sticky, puckered sound is created by the ink and the roller is covered in ink. Roll the inked brayer over the print foam until the A5 sheet is well covered. Start lightly as you do not want ink to enter into the drawn grooves. Place the A5 print sheet with tissue paper squarely face down onto the inked print foam. Using a clean roller, firmly roll the back of the paper in all directions to transfer the ink to the paper. The correct amount of ink and pressure will become clear after one or two attempts at this process (practice before attempting with class). Peel the paper from print foam to reveal the printed image. The coloured tissue paper now randomly provides colour through the printed image.
  6. The print foam can be used again for additional prints. There is some trial and error to this process and students may need to wash the print foam to remove the ink and deepen grooves if first print is not successful.

Assessment

  • Investigates printmaking examples and styles suited to birds as the subject matter and uses these styles in their own artmaking such as line patterns and background motifs.
  • Experiments with techniques in drawing and printmaking to create particular effects in their own artworks.
  • Discusses reasons why Kate Hudson makes artworks. Discussions should focus on why and how her artworks are created.
  • Identifies and discusses resemblances between printed birds in Hudson’s artworks and birds as they exist in the world, recognising similarities and differences.

Stage 2 – Abstract

Title or subject matter: Abstract (190578)

Unit duration: 1 lesson

Artmaking practices or concepts:

  • shape and form
  • colour

Resources or materials

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Content
Outcomes
Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p.30)
Making
VAS2.1: Represents the qualities of experiences and things that are interesting or beautiful by choosing among aspects of subject matter.
  • seeks to investigate traditions in art suited to different subject matter (for example the landscape, the figure, the narrative, formal and abstract properties, the use of symbols) and uses these in their artmaking.
Making
VAS2.2: Uses the forms to suggest the qualities of subject matter.
  • emphasises or exaggerates certain qualities of selected subject matter by focusing on details, using distortion and elongation, changing viewpoint or enlarging or reducing the scale (for example, in drawing, painting, digital works, video, sculpture)
Appreciating
VAS2.3: Acknowledges that artists make artworks for different reasons and that various interpretations are possible.
  • recognises that people have different views about artworks and their meanings that are informed by their understanding of such things as the circumstances of the work, the artist’s intentions and skill, and what the work is about.
Appreciating
VAS2.4: Identifies connections between subject matter in artworks and what they refer to, and appreciates the use of particular techniques.
  • expresses opinions about how well subject matter that is represented in particular forms refers to the world, and appreciates the skills involved to achieve these effects

Sequence of learning experiences

  1. Study and discuss a variety of abstract images by Wassily Kandisnsky from the provided link. Discuss that Kandisnsky’s work is abstract art. Abstract art is art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead use shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect.
  2. List basic shapes and forms that the students can see in Kandisnsky’s works. Record these for class use in later steps. Discuss the colour combinations that can reflect different situations and feelings. Greens and blues may symbolise water, reds and yellow for heat, playful colours and sad colours to reflect emotions. Record a list for the class.
  3. Explain to the students that they will create larger features on their paper using ruled dark crayon lines following your instructions.
  4. Give instructions to create lines and shapes listed in step 2 using black crayons. Use different measurement units to create the features. For example, a straight line that is 15cm long, three parallel lines 130mm long, a scalene triangle with one side twice as long as one of the others, two trapeziums, and so on. These instructions will invite mathematical discussion and demonstrations.
  5. The students then use the crayon colours from the list created in step 2 to complete some colourful spaces formed by the dark lines. Encourage the students to use colour combinations to create an effect that the viewer can interpret. Leave some clear spaces for inks or watercolour drips.
  6. Using varying sized brushes, the students use watercolours or inks to drip colour onto white spaces. The colours should align with the same colour scheme as used with the crayons. For example, happy colours such as pinks can be matched with other happy colours such as purple or yellow. These drips can be left to dry flat or the students can experiment by tilting the paper to allow the drips to run for a different effect.

Assessment

  • Investigates abstract art suited to a subject matter of the student’s choice. For example, the landscape, the figure, abstract properties and symbols.
  • Emphasises or exaggerates certain qualities of abstract subject matter by focusing on using distortion and elongation of lines.
  • Recognises that people have different views about abstract artworks and their meanings through discussions.
  • Expresses opinions about subject matter that is represented in abstract form refers to the world, and appreciates the skills involved to achieve these effects.

Stage 2 – Cartoon Animals

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Title or subject matter: Cartoon Animals (190598)

Unit duration: 1 lesson

Artmaking practices or concepts:

  • drawing
  • line
  • proportion

Resources or materials

  • A3 coloured paper for mounting, art paper
  • Dr Seuss animal images
  • lead pencils, oil pastel crayons
  • A4 photocopied sheets of music or text from book
  • Scissors and glue
  • photo images of a variety of popular animals.
Content
Outcomes
Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p.30)
Making
VAS2.1: Represents the qualities of experiences and things that are interesting or beautiful by choosing among aspects of subject matter.
  • focuses on details of subject matter and areas of beauty, interest, awe, wonder and delight, for example,
    • facial expressions, body positions and body angles
    • activities people are involved in
    • the grace and speed of moving animals, birds, reptiles and fish
    • contrasts in a streetscape and/or natural environments
    • interior and exterior views
Making
VAS2.2: Uses the forms to suggest the qualities of subject matter.
  • emphasises or exaggerates certain qualities of selected subject matter by focusing on details, using distortion and elongation, changing viewpoint or enlarging or reducing the scale (for example in drawing, painting, digital works, video, sculpture)
Appreciating
VAS2.3: Acknowledges that artists make artworks for different reasons and that various interpretations are possible.
  • discusses reasons why artists make artworks focusing on who, where, when, why and how
Appreciating
VAS2.4: Identifies connections between subject matter in artworks and what they refer to, and appreciates the use of particular techniques.
  • talks and writes about the meaning of artworks in terms of how subject matter realistically represents things in the world.

Sequence of learning experiences

  1. Study and discuss a variety of animal images by Dr Seuss from the link provided. Discuss the construction of these images using strong, dark lines and simple colour fill to complete the image. Emphasise that the characters have larger than real life eyes and mouths. This is a technique used in many styles of cartoon and illustration to add expression to the characters.
  2. Study the Operation Art Cartoon Animals image and point out the layering of paper to build the image. Also highlight how the animal images are busts. Busts are images that only take in the head and shoulders of the subject. Inform the students that they will draw busts of their selected animals.
  3. Students take two sheets of art paper. Demonstrate how to fold both the sheets into four vertical sections that will eventually be mounted onto the coloured A3 paper. Set one folded sheet aside for the animal busts to be drawn later. Take the other sheet for the background and cut along the folds to give four sections. Glue torn strips of the photocopied sheet music/text flat across each of the four sections.
  4. To add to their background, the students will use texture rubbings. Demonstrate using a black crayon on a textured surface such as a lego base. Using the black crayon will allow the colours to contrast and stand out more once the whole artwork is completed. Allow the students to find four different textures to complete the rubbings for the four sections. Set aside.
  5. Cut the animal bust folded sheet into four sections. Use the sections to draw cartoon animal busts in lead pencil. To draw the animal busts, observe the basic geometrical shape of the subject animal. Start the drawing with this shape and build features and details of the subject animal onto these base shapes. Use Dr Seuss images as inspiration or a guide for animal drawings. Emphasise the use of larger eyes for expression.
  6. Use coloured crayons to colour fill the drawn cartoon animal and then outline the animal smoothly in black crayon (tip-using black outline after the colour will lessen smudging of black). Students now have four different characters to invent. They can make character studies giving each animal a name, setting, personality, and so on.
  7. Cut the busts from the panels and glue onto the background pieces. Mount the completed panels onto the coloured A3 paper to complete the mixed media image.

Assessment

  • Focuses on the details of selected animals and reflects this knowledge in an artwork.
  • Emphasises or exaggerates facial expressions of animals by focusing on details, using distortion and elongation to create a comical visage.
  • Discusses reasons why artists make comical artworks and illustrations focusing on why and how.
  • Relates the meaning of their own cartoon artworks in terms of how the subject matter realistically represents animals in the real world.

Stage 2 – Cat

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Title or subject matter: Cat (190634)

Unit duration: 1 lesson

Artmaking practices or concepts:

  • drawing

Resources or materials

Content
Outcomes
Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p.30)
Making
VAS2.1: Represents the qualities of experiences and things that are interesting or beautiful by choosing among aspects of subject matter.
  • talks about and thinks about their intentions for artmaking and recognises how these affect their selection of ideas, materials, tools and techniques and methods of working
Making
VAS2.2: Uses the forms to suggest the qualities of subject matter.
  • experiments with techniques in painting, drawing, photography, digital and video to create particular effects to suggest such things as close-ups, middle distance and long distance views, mood and atmosphere, light and dark suited to how subject matter may be interpreted
Appreciating
VAS2.3: Acknowledges that artists make artworks for different reasons and that various interpretations are possible.
  • recognises that people have different views about artworks and their meanings that are informed by their understanding of such things as the circumstances of the work, the artist’s intentions and skill, and what the work is about.
Appreciating
VAS2.4: Identifies connections between subject matter in artworks and what they refer to, and appreciates the use of particular techniques.
  • expresses opinions about how well subject matter that is represented in particular forms refers to the world, and appreciates the skills involved to achieve these effects

Sequence of learning experiences

Warning: some of Lindsay’s work is inappropriate for students. Always take care to select appropriate images.

  1. Study and discuss a variety of cat images by Norman Lindsay provided in the link. Include cat drawings that show the working lines from Lindsay. Discuss the idea that drawing is like writing, we draft and edit and improve before settling on a final product.
  2. Norman Lindsay was an author as well as an artist. The students can compose a poem related to cats as a stimulus for their drawings.
  3. Study the cat photographs. Using the photocopies of cats, and have the students trace over the photocopied cats only using geometrical shapes. The idea is to become aware of the shapes involved in drawing the body and head structure and to move away from sausage shaped bodies and straight lines for the legs. Think of the shapes representing the skeletal sections of the body such as the head, shoulder, spine and hips.
  4. Using lead pencil, the students can draft drawings of cats using light lines that can later be darkened in. This may need demonstrating by the teacher and practice by the students to control the pencil. Use the link provided to watch a tutorial on this method of drawing. Combine shapes to build and draft features such as circles and triangles for the head, ears and snout. Encourage the students to observe the cat photos closely to find details and shapes and not to draw what they think a cat looks like, but what they actually see. Softer, rounded lines can be applied around the shapes to enhance the drawing once the basic shapes have formed the body.
  5. The students can repeat process of drawings by changing the cat photo stimulus so that the body positions and the angle of viewing is different. Reference Lindsay’s drawings that show the line of the backbone being important to the pose.
  6. After drawing a number of images, the students may select their favourite draft drawing to use as their primary image. This image can be redrawn on a fresh sheet of paper or the draft drawing may be used. Students should darken in the lines of the draft that are the most favourable as in the link provided.
  7. To add to their background, the students can place a horizon line behind the cat, as in the Operation Art example. This will create a setting for the cat. The setting could be an interior view with a wall as background or an exterior view with fencing or a yard in view. Reference Lindsay’s drawings to see how he places some shading around the cat to create depth.
  8. Use a selection of the materials available to add colour to the image. Encourage the students to use colour to add to the setting by using light and dark tones to create light and shadows within the setting.

Assessment

  • Discusses their selection of tools, techniques and methods of working in completing a drawing study of cats.
  • Experiments with techniques in drawing to create light and shadow effects in artworks.
  • Discusses reasons why Norman Lindsay made artworks. Discussions should focus on why and how his artworks were created.
  • Identifies and discusses resemblances between cats in Norman Lindsay’s drawings and cats as they exist in the world, recognising similarities and differences.

Stage 3 – Reflection

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Title or subject matter: Reflection (190102)

Unit duration: 1 lesson

Artmaking practices or concepts:

  • painting
  • proportion
  • position
  • scale
  • composition
  • drawing
  • balance

Resources or materials

Content
Outcomes
Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p.31)
Making
VAS3.1: Investigates subject matter in an attempt to represent likenesses of things in the world.
  • closely observes details of things in the world and seeks to make artworks about these using various techniques such as proportion, perspective, composition, foreshortening
Making
VAS3.2: Makes artworks for different audiences assembling materials in a variety of ways.
  • examines a range of concepts and their relationships to selected forms and experiments with such things as the expressive use of colour in painting or drawing, the abstract and/or monumental qualities of sculpture, the sequencing of events in a video, digital work or cartoon, the use of found objects and other objects in an installation or sculptural work
Appreciating
VAS3.3: Acknowledges that audiences respond in different ways to artworks and that there are different opinions about the value of artworks.
  • talks about and writes about the meaning of artworks recognising how artworks, can be valued in different ways by themselves as audience members, and by others
Appreciating
VAS3.4: Communicates about the ways in which subject matter is represented in artworks.
  • discusses the artist’s intention and/or the use of styles and techniques in selected works and considers the possible meanings of these works

Sequence of learning experiences

  1. Study Ben Quilty’s Rorschach landscape artwork using the link provided. Compare it to the Operation Art landscape example. Find the similarities in the use of the of reflection in the composition of both images. Identify features in each painting, such as trees, mountains and so on, and discuss the use of symmetry as a visual technique to show objects reflected. Discuss the Rorschach technique which is the folding of a wet image to monoprint the image onto the other side of the paper. Reference the possibility that the students had done this previously in creating butterflies at a younger age. Note that Ben Quilty’s line of symmetry is vertical not horizontal as in the Operation Art example.
  2. Have prepared images of landscape reflections from the link provided. Discuss with the students how they feel about the areas in the images. Have the students select a landscape photo which they will paint. Ensure they can clearly identify the line of symmetry in the image. At this point, the students may choose to follow Ben Quilty’s technique of using a vertical line of symmetry.
  3. To begin the landscape, the students use lead pencil to draw or fold the line of symmetry across the whole paper.
  4. Using light construction lines, draw in the details of the landscape into one half of their divided paper.
  5. Paint the image using acrylic colours. Students will need to apply generous amounts of paint promptly to ensure the paint stays wet. Work from the background forward to the foreground as this makes it easier to join the sections of the composition by overlapping the paint.
  6. Before the paint dries, fold the blank half of the paper over to make contact with the painted side of the paper. Have students carefully use hand pressure to transfer the paint to the blank side. Peel apart. The original image will now have a slightly distorted appearance matching the printed side.
  7. Students may take the opportunity to paint back into the image with minor additions to add detail to the landscape.

Assessment

  • Observes details of landscape and creates artworks containing these details using techniques such as symmetry and composition.
  • Discusses the concepts and techniques related to experimenting with painting and printing landscapes using the Rorschach technique. Explores how this can inform their own artmaking.
  • Identifies and discusses artmaking practices, techniques and concepts in which Ben Quilty as an artist depicts landscapes as depicted in his Rorschach style painting.
  • Describes the impact of the techniques used by Ben Quilty in them as an audience member.

Stage 3 – Pop Art

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Title or subject matter: Pop Art (190140)

Unit duration: 1 lesson

Artmaking practices or concepts:

  • painting
  • shape and form
  • scale
  • composition
  • colour and value

Resources or materials

  • Andy Warhol food artworks
  • photos or examples of food and drink packaging
  • art paper, cardboard sheets, lead pencils, acrylic paints, scissors, brushes and glue.
Content
Outcomes
Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p.31)
Making
VAS3.1: Investigates subject matter in an attempt to represent likenesses of things in the world.
  • closely observes details of things in the world and seeks to make artworks about these using various techniques such as proportion, perspective, composition, foreshortening
Making
VAS3.2: Makes artworks for different audiences assembling materials in a variety of ways.
  • recognises how an audience has an influence on the kinds of works they make, and seeks to clarify the purpose of their works, and suggests alternatives about how they may proceed
Appreciating
VAS3.3: Acknowledges that audiences respond in different ways to artworks and that there are different opinions about the value of artworks.
  • identifies some of the reasons why artworks are made (for example, the artist’s personal interest and experience, a work commissioned for a site, a work made to commemorate an event in a community)
Appreciating
VAS3.4: Communicates about the ways in which subject matter is represented in artworks.
  • discusses the artist’s intention and/or the use of styles and techniques in selected works and considers the possible meanings of these works

Sequence of learning experiences

  1. Study Andy Warhol’s artworks using the link provided. Compare them to the Operation Art landscape example. Find the similarities in the use of the of colour and scale in the composition of the images. Inform the students that Andy Warhol had a background in advertising artwork before becoming a famous artist.
  2. Have prepared images or examples food and drink packaging. Ask the students which products appeal to them and if there are any visual elements in the packaging of the products that appeal to them. Discuss the appeal of these elements. Have the students select a number of products to represent in their collage artwork.
  3. The students will have to consider the composition of their artwork. Have the students consider if they will have a person in their work, how they will position the products across their paper, will they have the food or drink out of the packaging and so on. Inform students that artists always have to make compositional decisions in their works and that they may consider who their viewing audience will be and decide if this influences their decision making.
  4. Using light construction lines, draw each of the products and any characters onto the cardboard ensuring the use of appropriate proportion to align with the planned composition of the image. Use rulers to measure for accuracy of the proportions of the products.
  5. Paint the images using bold acrylic colours. Work from the background forward to the foreground as this makes it easier to join the sections of the composition by overlapping the paint.
  6. Once the painted images are dry, have students cut images and glue them on the art paper to construct the composition of their collage. Encourage the students to experiment with the form of the cardboard pieces to represent the food product. For example, a can may be rounded before gluing, chips may have curve to them, packets may be folded or wrinkled to show depth.

Assessment

  • Closely observes details of food and drink packaging and creates artworks containing these details using techniques such as form, scale and composition.
  • Discusses the possible audience for their food and drink artwork and how they have attempted to engage the viewer.
  • Identifies and discusses artistic techniques used in the packaging of food and drinks. Relates these to own artworks.
  • Identifies and describes the use of different materials and techniques in Andy Warhol’s artworks.

Stage 3 – Insect

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Title or subject matter: Insect (190157)

Unit duration: 1 lesson

Artmaking practices or concepts:

  • drawing
  • line
  • shape and form
  • colour
  • texture

Resources or materials

  • Pro Hart dragonfly paintings
  • Lord Howe phasmid photos
  • art paper
  • acrylic paints, water colour paints, brushes, sponges, cardboard strips, scrunched balls of newspaper, paper drinking straws and bottle lids
  • lead pencils and felt tip pens
  • squeezable sauce bottles containing black acrylic paint
Content
Outcomes
Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p.31)
Making
VAS3.1: Investigates subject matter in an attempt to represent likenesses of things in the world.
  • uses different artistic concepts (for example, colour, tone, light, scale, abstract), and explores how symbols may be used in their interpretation of selected subject matter
Making
VAS3.2: Makes artworks for different audiences assembling materials in a variety of ways.
  • examines a range of concepts and their relationships to selected forms and experiments with such things as the expressive use of colour in painting or drawing, the abstract and/or monumental qualities of sculpture, the sequencing of events in a video, digital work or cartoon, the use of found objects and other objects in an installation or sculptural work
Appreciating
VAS3.3: Acknowledges that audiences respond in different ways to artworks and that there are different opinions about the value of artworks.
  • talks about and writes about the meaning of artworks recognising how artworks, can be valued in different ways by themselves as audience members, and by others
Appreciating
VAS3.4: Communicates about the ways in which subject matter is represented in artworks.
  • discusses the artist’s intention and/or the use of styles and techniques in selected works and considers the possible meanings of these works

Sequence of learning experiences

  1. Study and discuss a variety of dragonfly images by Pro Hart from the link provided. Discuss how the dragonflies are positioned and how much of the artwork is taken up by the image. Discuss the different techniques employed by Pro Hart across his dragonfly paintings.
  2. Study the phasmid photographs from the link provided and to become aware of the shapes involved in building the body and head structure and the number of sections to the legs. Think of the shapes representing the sections of the body, head and legs.
  3. Students use lead pencils to draft drawings, based on the phasmid photographs, using light lines that can later be darkened in. Encourage looking closely at the photographs to find lines and shapes and not to draw what they think the insect looks like, but what they actually see.
  4. Once the students have drawn the phasmid, paint the background liberally with light water colour paint, covering the entire background.
  5. Have students drip stronger water colour droplets onto the background. Use colours complementary of the background colour (colours that are next to each on the on the colour wheel) and use the paper straws to blow the wet droplets in different directions. Express clear expectations on safety and appropriate use of materials.
  6. The drawn phasmid image should still be visible under the watercolours. Have students experiment with a variety of available materials to apply the acrylic paints to define the sections of the phasmid’s body, head and legs. Use colours that contrast (sit opposite each other on the colour wheel) with the background colours to create the phasmid.
  7. Encourage the students to add details and motifs to the background by using dark felt tip pens.
  8. Use the squeezable sauce bottles to loosely apply the black acrylic paint around the phasmid image as an outline. The consistency of the paint may need to be watered down to allow it to flow smoothly. Trial this before allowing students to apply to their paintings.

Assessment

  • Demonstrates the artistic concepts of colour, line and texture in their creation of an insect portrait using colour droplets and other watercolour techniques.
  • Experiments with and explains the use of a range of techniques in the creation their own artworks including drawing and painting styles.
  • Discusses the value of their artworks, recognising that artworks can be viewed differently by audience members who didn’t participate in the enjoyment of the artmaking experience.
  • Describes the use of colour, materials and drawing techniques in Hart’s artworks and uses these as the basis of their own artmaking.

Stage 3 – Portrait

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Title or subject matter: Portrait (190481)

Unit duration: 1 lesson

Artmaking practices or concepts:

  • drawing
  • painting

Resources or materials

Content
Outcomes
Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p.31)
Making
VAS3.1: Investigates subject matter in an attempt to represent likenesses of things in the world.
  • closely observes details of things in the world and seeks to make artworks about these using various techniques such as proportion, perspective, composition, foreshortening
Making
VAS3.2: Makes artworks for different audiences assembling materials in a variety of ways.
  • discusses the conditions and requirements of artworks that are made for particular purposes, sites or events and how those conditions and requirements can affect how they might go about their own artmaking.
Appreciating
VAS3.3: Acknowledges that audiences respond in different ways to artworks and that there are different opinions about the value of artworks.
  • identifies some of the reasons why artworks are made (for example, the artist’s personal interest and experience, a work commissioned for a site, a work made to commemorate an event in a community)
Appreciating
VAS3.4: Communicates about the ways in which subject matter is represented in artworks.
  • identifies and describes the properties of different forms, materials and techniques in artworks and comments on how these are employed in the representation of subject matter

Sequence of learning experiences

  1. Study Ahn Do’s portrait’s using the link provided.
  2. Ensure the students do not complete their own portrait. Distribute the expressive photograph images of students prepared before the lesson to classmates for creation of portraits. Discuss how they feel as both the artist and subject.
  3. To begin the portrait, the students use lead pencil to draw the head shape outline filling the majority of the art paper. Head shapes can be constructed by drawing an oval shape lying horizontally to represent the cranium and a trapezium joined to the base of the oval to form the jaw. The cranium is the widest part of a skull. Use the link provided to demonstrate this technique. Draw the head shape large enough to comfortably add in the facial details.
  4. Draw light construction lines to divide the head shape in half vertically and horizontally.
  5. Studying the expressive student photos, students use the construction lines as a guide to place the facial details in their drawing. Eyes sit on the horizontal construction line. The idea that the eyes are halfway up our faces is a difficult concept for some students to grasp. The hair sits over the skull, not growing up from the top of the head. The eyes are divided by the width of the nose at the nostrils. Ears sit on the same horizontal construction line. Use the vertical construction line to position the line of the mouth, the jawline and lips to complete face.
  6. Discuss with students, the colours in Ahn Do’s portraits. Observe that Ahn Do doesn’t always use realistic colour matches, rather matching tones to create shadows and highlights on the face. Lighter tones bring features such as the nose, chin and forehead forward whilst darker tones sink features such as creases, shadows eyes and the top lip back into the face. Encourage students to pay attention to the shapes and lines that create the expression in the face. These will predominately be the eyes, eyebrows and mouth.
  7. When the facial drawing is complete, prepare a palette of acrylic paints avoiding black. Allow students to mix colours whilst painting using a tray or plate.
  8. Students mix colours to produce light and dark effects and paint faces with short controlled strokes that follow the contours of the face. Discourage flat areas of painting that are used as colouring in.
  9. Discuss how the students would paint the portraits differently if their subjects were historical figures.

Assessment

  • Closely observes details of faces and creates artworks containing these details using expressive drawing techniques.
  • Discusses the aims of being an artist painting a portrait and how this can affect how they might go about their own artmaking.
  • Identifies some of the reasons why portraits are made and have been made in the past. For example, the artist’s personal interest, a work commissioned for a sitter or a work made to commemorate a person in a community.
  • Identifies and describes the properties of different materials and techniques in artworks and comments on how these are employed in the representation of portraits.

Stage 3 – Animal Portrait

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Title or subject matter: Animal Portrait (190584)

Unit duration: 1 lesson

Artmaking practices or concepts:

  • drawing
  • line

Resources or materials

Content
Outcomes
Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p.31)
Making
VAS3.1: Investigates subject matter in an attempt to represent likenesses of things in the world.
  • uses different artistic concepts (for example, colour, tone, light, scale, abstract), and explores how symbols may be used in their interpretation of selected subject matter
Making
VAS3.2: Makes artworks for different audiences assembling materials in a variety of ways.
  • discusses the conditions and requirements of artworks that are made for particular purposes, sites or events and how those conditions and requirements can affect how they might go about their own artmaking.
Appreciating
VAS3.3: Acknowledges that audiences respond in different ways to artworks and that there are different opinions about the value of artworks.
  • talks about and writes about the meaning of artworks recognising how artworks, can be valued in different ways by themselves as audience members, and by others
Appreciating
VAS3.4: Communicates about the ways in which subject matter is represented in artworks.
  • discusses the artist’s intention and/or the use of styles and techniques in selected works and considers the possible meanings of these works

Sequence of learning experiences

  1. Study and discuss a variety of animal images of Albrecht Durer from the link provided. Discuss the idea that drawing is like writing, we draft and edit and improve before settling on a final product. Discuss how the animals are positioned and how much of the artwork is taken up by the image. Discuss why someone would want a portrait of their pet. Discuss why an artist would draw a pet portrait.
  2. Study the pet animal photos and using the photocopies of pets, the students use coloured pencils to trace over the photocopied animals only using geometrical shapes. The idea here is to become aware of the shapes involved in building the body and head structure and to move away from sausage shaped animal bodies and straight line legs. Think of the shapes representing the skeletal sections of the body, head, shoulder, hips, ribcage and limbs all joined to the line of the spine.
  3. Explain that working with charcoal produces a monotone image. Monotone in art is the use of one colour, varying the shades to darken and tints to lighten. Use Durer’s monotone images as examples of this.
  4. Students use charcoal to draft drawings, based on the photocopied animal photos, using light lines that can later be darkened in. This may need demonstrating and practice. To draft, combine the shapes to build features such as circles and triangles for the head, ears and snout. Encourage looking closely at the pet photos to find details and shapes and not to draw what they think the pet looks like, but what they actually see.
  5. Once shapes have formed the body the students use softer, rounded lines around the shapes to enhance the drawing.
  6. Repeat the process of drafting drawings by changing pet photo stimulus so that the body positions and angle of viewing is different. Reference Durer’s drawings showing how he uses the main body shape to position the drawing.
  7. After drawing a number of images, the students select their favourite to use as their primary image. This can be redrawn on a fresh sheet of paper or the draft image may be used. Darken in the lines of the draft that are the most favourable. These are known as lines of best fit. Encourage the students to use long lines at this stage of the drawing. By varying the pressure and angle of the charcoal the thickness and quality of the line can be varied for effect.
  8. Encourage the students to add detail by using dark and light in their images. To lighten a charcoal drawing, erasers can be used as a drawing implement. By using the edge of an eraser the students will be able to lighten parts of the drawing. Light brings features forward and dark will set details back. Charcoal affords the students the chance to be very dark in the dark recesses of the drawing. The greater difference between the light and dark areas will create greater contrast and a stronger effect.
  9. Use the charcoal to shade in gradients to create the background. Challenge students to think of where light is hitting or creating shadow. Alternatively, shading can create a mood for the image by the use of dark or light shading. The mood of the image can be incorporated into a persuasive writing piece that aims to adopt out the pet featured in the portrait

Assessment

  • Uses the artistic concepts of monotone, lightening tints and darkening shades in their creation of an animal portrait.
  • Discusses why pet portraits are made for particular purposes and how requirements can affect the way artists might go about their own artmaking.
  • Discusses the meaning of portraits recognising how artworks, can be viewed differently by audience members through producing an artist statement to accompany the portrait.
  • Discusses the use of monotone, materials and drawing techniques in Durer’s artworks.

Stage 3 – Collagraph Print

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Title or subject matter: Collagraph Print (190599)

Artmaking practices or concepts:

  • shape and form
  • printmaking

Resources or materials

Content
Outcomes
Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p.31)
Making
VAS3.1: Investigates subject matter in an attempt to represent likenesses of things in the world.
  • uses different artistic concepts (for example, colour, tone, light, scale, abstract), and explores how symbols may be used in their interpretation of selected subject matter
Making
VAS3.2: Makes artworks for different audiences assembling materials in a variety of ways.
  • discusses the conditions and requirements of artworks that are made for particular purposes, sites or events and how those conditions and requirements can affect how they might go about their own artmaking.
Appreciating
VAS3.3: Acknowledges that audiences respond in different ways to artworks and that there are different opinions about the value of artworks.
  • recognises that views about artworks can change over time and are affected by different theories and beliefs.
Appreciating
VAS3.4: Communicates about the ways in which subject matter is represented in artworks.
  • identifies and describes the properties of different forms, materials and techniques in artworks and comments on how these are employed in the representation of subject matter

Sequence of learning experiences

  1. Introduce Charles Shultz and his Peanuts characters using the link provided. Discuss how popular the strip and it’s characters were during the 1960’s and 1970’s. This would be an opportunity to carry out historical research of the impact the Peanuts strip made during it’s heyday and the legacy of the strip in the 21st century.
  2. Demonstrate a simple collagraph print or view the instructional video using the link provided. Discuss the materials and techniques used.
  3. Have the students draw a variety of Peanuts’ style of images and assess which ones are simpler or more difficult to draw. Discuss and decide which will be easier to create a print with.
  4. Have the students draw a selected character onto a piece of A5 cardboard and carefully cut around the outline. Point out to the students that details can be added during the printing process.
  5. Glue the cut image onto another piece of A5 cardboard to form the print plate. Explain to the students that print plate may be used multiple times, especially if the paint is removed between prints to avoid the cardboard becoming soggy.
  6. Use paint brushes to apply the block ink or thick acrylic paints to the character image on the plate. Details such as eyes and mouth can be painted in at this stage. Use a sponge or brush to apply the ink or paint to the background.
  7. Lay a piece of art paper over the painted print plate and use gentle hand pressure to transfer the paint the paper. Peel away to view the printed image. This process may require some trial and error to achieve the best results and the students should be encouraged to experiment with multiple prints. Wipe the paint off the print plate between prints using newspaper or paper towel. Use different colours and paint application techniques to create different visual effects.
  8. Students should label and number their prints as they are printed with a lead pencil. The students can then curate their own prints to display their selection of favourite prints.

Assessment

  • Discusses how varying the colour of the collagraph prints affects the image as seen by the viewer.
  • Discusses the positives and negatives of collagraph prints and the particular purpose of this artmaking method.
  • Identifies and describes the materials and techniques used in the representation of Peanuts characters through collagraph printing.

Stage 3 – Anthropomorphism

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Title or subject matter: Anthropomorphism (190606)

Artmaking practices or concepts:

  • shape and form
  • proportion

Resources or materials

  • Rona Green images
  • printed A4 photo portraits of students
  • A4 Blank paper
  • watercolour or acrylic paints
  • paint brushes
  • glue, scissors, charcoal sticks or lead pencils
  • animal pictures
  • A3 coloured mounting paper
Content
Outcomes
Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p.31)
Making
VAS3.1: Investigates subject matter in an attempt to represent likenesses of things in the world.
  • explores subject matter of personal and social interest from particular viewpoints including issues, activities and events in the community and global environment, places and spaces, people, objects and fantasies.
Making
VAS3.2: Makes artworks for different audiences assembling materials in a variety of ways.
  • discusses the conditions and requirements of artworks that are made for particular purposes, sites or events and how those conditions and requirements can affect how they might go about their own artmaking.
Appreciating
VAS3.3: Acknowledges that audiences respond in different ways to artworks and that there are different opinions about the value of artworks.
  • talks about and writes about the meaning of artworks recognising how artworks, can be valued in different ways by themselves as audience members, and by others
Appreciating
VAS3.4: Communicates about the ways in which subject matter is represented in artworks.
  • identifies and describes the properties of different forms, materials and techniques in artworks and comments on how these are employed in the representation of subject matter

Sequence of learning experiences

  1. Prepare the student portraits A4 photocopies before lesson. Many schools have these from school photos.
  2. Discuss the term ‘Anthropomorphism’. Explain that in this context anthropomorphism relates to human qualities and characteristics being assigned to animals.
  3. List human characteristics displayed by Rona Green creations using the link provided. Study and discuss the bold lines she uses in her work.
  4. Fold the photo print vertically and fold the A4 blank sheet vertically. Unfold both and use the crease to centre both sheets. Use the classroom windows to trace head and shoulder shape from the photo print to the blank paper to form a half head and shoulder outline on the blank paper.
  5. Still tracing, locate the positions of mouth, nose and eye onto the head shape on the blank paper.
  6. Using the animal photos as a stimulus, the students draw in the animal features and details of anthropomorphic creation onto the half head shape drawn by tracing
  7. Use completed drawing to discuss two contrasting character descriptions using the two halves of the artwork. Reference superhero alter egos such as Clark Kent and Superman, Bruce Wayne and Batman as examples.
  8. Using the alter ego characters developed, the students paint to complete anthropomorphic character and original photo giving consideration to mood and feelings of each side of the character. This thinking can be extended to the background.
  9. Cut the spare paper away from the anthropomorphic panel. Keep the photo sheet as a base and mount the anthropomorphic half head over half of the photo base to complete the head shape.
  10. Mount on A3 coloured paper considering contrasting colours to highlight the creation. Contrasting colours sit opposite each other on the colour wheel and they help each other stand out. Orange and blue, red and green, purple and yellow are contrasting combinations.

Assessment

  • Explores creation of an anthropomorphic character from particular viewpoints, duel character traits and personalities.
  • Discusses the meaning of their artworks recognising how they can be viewed in different ways by themselves as audience members.
  • Able to match head shapes and animal features to identify and complete an anthropomorphic character.
  • Identifies and describes the properties of the two different forms and the use of materials and techniques in the artwork.

Stage 3 – Landscape

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Title or subject matter: Landscape (190620)

Artmaking practices or concepts:

  • painting
  • proportion
  • position
  • scale
  • composition

Resources or materials

Content
Outcomes
Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p.31)
Making
VAS3.1: Investigates subject matter in an attempt to represent likenesses of things in the world.
  • closely observes details of things in the world and seeks to make artworks about these using various techniques such as proportion, perspective, composition, foreshortening
Making
VAS3.2: Makes artworks for different audiences assembling materials in a variety of ways.
  • discusses the conditions and requirements of artworks that are made for particular purposes, sites or events and how those conditions and requirements can affect how they might go about their own artmaking.
Appreciating
VAS3.3: Acknowledges that audiences respond in different ways to artworks and that there are different opinions about the value of artworks.
  • talks about and writes about the meaning of artworks recognising how artworks, can be valued in different ways by themselves as audience members, and by others
Appreciating
VAS3.4: Communicates about the ways in which subject matter is represented in artworks.
  • discusses the artist’s intention and/or the use of styles and techniques in selected works and considers the possible meanings of these works

Sequence of learning experiences

  1. Study Elaine Russell’s Lachlan River artwork using the link provided. Compare it to the Operation Art landscape example. Find the similarities in the use of the of foreground, mid ground and background in the composition of both images. Identify features in each section, such as trees, mountains and so on, and discuss the use of proportion as a visual technique to show objects closer or further away.
  2. Have prepared images of landscape areas that the students may be studying in HSIE or familiar landscape areas close to home. Discuss with the students how they feel about the areas in the images. Have the students select a landscape photo in which they can clearly identify the foreground, mid ground and background.
  3. To begin the landscape, the students use lead pencil to draw the areas representing the foreground, mid ground and background using light, basic lines that construct the foreground, mid ground and background across the whole paper.
  4. Using light construction guidelines, draw in details into each of the foreground, mid ground and background ensuring the use of proportion to create distance in the image. Use Elaine Russell’s trees as an example for this technique.
  5. Paint the image using bold acrylic colours. Work from the background forward to the foreground as this makes it easier to join the sections of the composition by overlapping the paint.
  6. Note the use of outlining features in the landscape by Elaine Russell. She outlines the clouds, mountains, bushes and trees to add highlights to these features. Encourage the students to follow this technique and identify features that are important to them and make a colour choice for the outlines.

Assessment

  • Closely observes details of landscape and creates artworks containing these details using techniques such as proportion and composition.
  • Discusses the feelings associated with painting different landscapes and how this can affect how they might go about their own artmaking depending upon the artist’s relationship with the area being painted.
  • Identifies and discusses ways in which Elaine Russell as an artist depicts her strong feelings about the Lachlan River as depicted in her painting.
  • Identifies and describes the positive properties of different materials and techniques in Elaine Russell’s ‘Lachlan River’ artwork and comments on how these are employed in the representation of the landscape.

Stage 3 – Expressionist Animal

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Title or subject matter: Expressionist Animal (190683)

Artmaking practices or concepts:

  • painting
  • colour – value and hue
  • drawing
  • texture
  • proportion
  • position

Resources or materials

Content
Outcomes
Indicators addressed (refer to syllabus p.31)
Making
VAS3.1: Investigates subject matter in an attempt to represent likenesses of things in the world.
  • closely observes details of things in the world and seeks to make artworks about these using various techniques such as proportion, perspective, composition, foreshortening
Making
VAS3.2: Makes artworks for different audiences assembling materials in a variety of ways.
  • discusses the conditions and requirements of artworks that are made for particular purposes, sites or events and how those conditions and requirements can affect how they might go about their own artmaking.
Appreciating
VAS3.3: Acknowledges that audiences respond in different ways to artworks and that there are different opinions about the value of artworks.
  • talks about and writes about the meaning of artworks recognising how artworks, can be valued in different ways by themselves as audience members, and by others
Appreciating
VAS3.4: Communicates about the ways in which subject matter is represented in artworks.
  • discusses the artist’s intention and/or the use of styles and techniques in selected works and considers the possible meanings of these works

Sequence of learning experiences

  1. Study Franz Marc’s, ‘The Blue Fox’ using the link provided. Discuss the colours used in the fox, noting that it has more purple than blue. Discuss the possibility that he title refers to mood rather than colour. Ask the students what they think Marc was wanting the viewer to see and think about the fox.
  2. Explain to the students that this painting is an expressionist painting. Expressionism refers to art in which the image is made to be expressive of the artist’s inner feelings or ideas. In expressionist art, colour in particularly highly intense and non-naturalistic, brushwork is typically free and paint application tends to be generous and highly textured. List ways that the students can see expressionist features in Marc’s artwork.
  3. Have prepared images of animals that the students may be studying in HSIE or Science and Technology. Discuss with the students how they feel about the animals in the images. Have the students select an animal photo that they have strong feelings about. These feelings can be positive or negative. For example, a fear of snakes or a love of cats.
  4. To begin the drawing stage of the artwork, allow the students to use lead pencil to draw or trace the animal using light, basic lines that construct the body and main features of the animal. Complete the drawing by using shapes to fill the image with the background across the whole paper. Remind the students that the focus of this work is the use of colour to convey their feelings, as artists, about this animal.
  5. Discuss with the students colour combinations that convey feelings and emotions. Discuss the strength and value of colours as a technique to match emotions. A strong bold colour will give a strong bold message, whereas a muted, softer colour will convey softer feelings.
  6. Paint the image using acrylic colours. Allow the students to mix colours experimentally and assign them an emotional value or connection. Students should work from the background forward to the animal as this makes it easier to join the sections of the composition by overlapping the paint. Ensure that all of the paper has been painted as any white spaces will be stark and distracting.
  7. Note the use of outlining of the background sections by Franz Marc. He outlines the colours to highlight the colours. Encourage the students to follow this technique and to make a colour choice of their own for the outlines.

Assessment

  • Closely observes details of animals and creates artworks containing these details using drawing techniques such as the use of construction lines and tracing.
  • Discusses the feelings associated with painting animals in an expressive style and how this can affect how they might go about their own artmaking depending upon the artist’s relationship with the animal being painted. Demonstrates this in the artwork created.
  • Identifies some of the feelings why Franz Marc has about the fox as depicted in his painting. Discusses with reference to colour and position in the artwork.
  • Identifies elements of expressionism such as bold use of colour and free flowing brushstrokes as features of Franz Marc’s artwork. References these techniques in own artworks.
Visit NSW Department of Education – Key learning areas – Early Stage 1 to Stage 3 for more information.

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