Getting My Art On

There are many things that I can do well, and a few that I even excel at.  But, art isn’t one of them. I enjoy art. I like looking at art in galleries, and I even have a few pieces that we’ve bought over the years that bring me joy whenever I see them.  But to create art?  That’s a whole different ball game!

Of course, I do teach art, since I’m a generalist primary teacher.  I really enjoy teaching art.  I’ve been blessed to travel to some very famous art galleries across Europe, and I’m enthusiastic about artists such as Picasso, Da Vinci, Monet, Van Gogh, Dali and Warhol.

But, this time, I was way out of my comfort zone.

You see, it was Spring Fair time at Our Lady of Grace School, and all of the Villages had been asked to create a piece of artwork to be sold at the Fair.  We were asked to create an individual artwork per student, and a collaborative piece per year level.  On canvas.  Yes, that’s right, ON CANVAS!  I have never, never, painted on canvas, or taught anyone to paint on canvas.  Help!  I devoted an entire Saturday to searching the internet.  Thank goodness for YouTube, and thank goodness for my new art hero, The Art Sherpa.  I was instantly mesmerised by her hair and hats, and her simple, but beautiful paintings.  This, I could do!  This, a classroom full of 9-11 year olds could do too.  Since we have several sets of siblings in the Village, we had the Year 4s do the dandelions, and the Year 5s do the Lilacs (I chose flowers since it was the SPRING Fair.  You see what I did there?)


It was harder to find something collaborative.  I got some great ideas for the future, but since I was restricted to a canvas for this year, I had to make it work.  Eventually, I came across a couple of artworks by the same artist that looked like it had potential.  (Seriously, how did teachers survive before Pinterest and YouTube?)  Here’s the original…


And here are our versions.  I’m happy to say, that they both sold at auction on the day!

  Of course, it felt as though we did nothing but art in the lead up to the Spring Fair, much to the delight of the learners.  But, I got the last laugh, as I managed to get an art assessment, reflection and procedure writing out of them!  Since the collaborative pieces didn’t come with instructions – we were simply going off a picture, we had lots of great discussion about how to build the artwork up in layers (we learned all about layers by doing the individual artwork).  Here’s a sample of one of the Year 4’s efforts. (Just in case you want to have a go at painting it in the future!)

  1. Turn your canvas landscape and get out all of your paint tools and your canvas.
  2.  Paint the bottom third of your canvas red.
  3. Paint a third of the canvas yellow above the red you just painted and make sure you blend the two colours together to get an orange colour.
  4. Now paint the last third of your canvas green and also blend it with the yellow like you did before.
  5. Now let the coat of paint you just painted dry for 1-2 hours.
  6. Now get a black permanent marker and outline a tree that takes up almost the whole canvas. (Just draw on the thin branches on to your tree.)
  7. Now get out your black paint and paint in-between the black outline of the tree to make a fully black tree.
  8. Now you’ll need to let your tree dry for 1-2 hours before you can continue.
  9. Once your painting has dried you can paint on a two coloured swirl that looks like the swirls in the image above, also you can do this in any colour of your choice. (Keep doing this until nearly your whole canvas is full.)

Happy painting!

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One Comment

  1. Wow, the pictures the students painted are beautiful. They are way more talented than me. I might have to check out those resources as I’d love to be able to paint.

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