Grade 5/6 – Picasso Inspired Portraits

Its taken some time and a lot of persistence, but the Grade 5/6 students have finally completed their Picasso inspired cubist portraits.

They look amazing! I will ensure to post more as I photograph them.

Thoughts for my semester 2 classes… I love the task, but it certainly takes a lot of time and patience for students to achieve the outstanding results pictured above. I was thinking next Term I might get the students to paint their sharp, angular shapes instead. Basic dry pellet poster paints could be really effective with bold coloured pencil outlines to finish.

Grade 5/6 – Picasso inspired cubist portraits


Grade 5/6 students have been working hard on their cubist portraits. They planned their artwork in their new visual diaries before starting on their final piece.

To inspire the students I showed them a variety of Picasso works. They seemed to really enjoy viewing and discussing them.

I also gave students a ‘Picasso Portrait Guide’ handout to give them ideas for the head shape and facial details. This proved to be really useful.

The children were asked to overlay their grey led portrait with sharp, angular shapes. They are required to demonstrate their understanding of warm and cool colours and the element of tone in their final piece.

I can’t wait to post the finished results. Stay tuned!

Below is my worked example. I presented this to my students so they could see the finished outcome.



Grade 5/6 C&D – Semi abstract artworks


As promised, here are some more of the Grade 5/6 semi-abstract nature artworks. Arn’t they stunning!

Such beautiful and expressive use of colour, line and shape.

So many students excelled at this task and pushed themselves to achieve such outstanding results. These works will go up on display next week. Be sure to check them out!

Grade 5/6 C&D – Semi abstract flora

Grade 5/6 students have been learning about different types of art including still life, realism, abstract and semi-abstract.

They have also been learning about well known Australian artist Margaret Preston. Preston’s subjects ranged from bold, colourful still life paintings and prints of native and introduced Australian flowers and animals, to impressions of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

For this Unit of work, I provided students with a variety of Margaret Preston woodblock prints to use as inspiration. Below is a photograph of Preston and one of her woodblock prints – Banksia and trunk 1935.


Students learnt about the art principle of cropping and used a small frame to explore and find a section of a Preston print that they liked. After deciding on their cropped section, students drew a sketch on A3 paper of that area.

I added a bit of a twist to this task – a semi-abstract twist. Students were asked to transform their sketch into a semi-abstract artwork using portfolio pastels and a warm and cool colour scheme. With semi-abstract art, the subject remains recognizable although the forms are highly stylized in a manner derived from abstract art.

I taught the students how to apply and dry blend the portfolio pastels. Below are some photos of students applying pastel to their work. They had to decide if their subject matter would be rendered in warm or cool colours and then they had to do the opposite for the background.

I am blown away by what the students have achieved throughout this unit of work. Their finished artworks are so beautiful! They have nailed the semi-abstract brief. I can’t wait to create a display of work at school. As more students complete their pieces I will photograph and post for you to view.

Grade 5/6 A&B – ‘Blue Dog’

We have blue dogs galore on display at Monmia. These appropriations of George Rodrigue’s ‘Blue Dog’ by Grade 5/6 are just wonderful! Im so proud of the way my students embraced and approached this Unit of work. It has deffinitaly been one of my favourite to teach.

The Pop Art inspired backgrounds complement the monochromatic paintings of the dog so well. The key to these backgrounds was to keep it simple – bold colour and geometric shapes.

I love how each dog differs in looks and personality!

I’ll be teaching this Unit again with my Semester 2 Grade 5/6 students. Cant wait! I hope the students enjoy this as much as 5/6 A&B did.

Grade 5/6 A&B – Collagraph Relief Printmaking

This week Grade 5/6 A&B started producing their relief prints from the collagraph plates they created during our previous lesson.

The students really enjoyed learning about this method of printmaking and they were very excited when it was their turn to use the roller and barren to print their own edition.

Only 9 or so students from each class were able to print (3 students at a time). It was a challenge trying to keep the rest of the class on task whilst assisting students to print. Unfortunately, we don’t have the space to set up any more than 3 printmaking stations. It is really important that students who aren’t at the printing station have work to continue on with. In this case, students were adding the final details to their ‘Blue Dog’ appropriations.

I think the prints the students produced are fantastic! They are so beautiful. This is the first time I’ve taught collagraph printing. I think its such a wonderful method of printmaking – appropriate for all levels with changes to the theme/design brief.

I asked Grade 5/6 to simply base their collagraph design on the art elements of line, shape and texture. They came up with some great ideas using a variety of very basic materials. The collagraph plates are an art work in themselves. I think I will display the printing plates with a print from each students edition.

By the end of week 10 I hope all students will have had an opportunity to produce their edition of prints. I look forward to posting more photographs soon.

Grade 5/6 A&B – Collagraph Plates

This week in Visual Arts, Grade 5/6 students started learning about collagraphs and relief printmaking.

All of the students created a printing plate that explores the elements of line, shape and texture.

I can’t wait to help the students ink these plates up in our next class to create their own edition of prints. Stay tuned…

Grade 5/6 A&B – ‘Blue Dog’

A couple of the completed ‘Blue Dog’ appropriations by Grade 5/6. Students created a Pop Art inspired background for their dog using coloured paper. Then, they carefully cut out their painting and positioned the dog on the background.

These look fantastic! The students have really impressed me with their ability to paint in a monochromatic way. As soon as some more are collaged to backgrounds, I will post them here.

Grade 5/6 A&B – Monochromatic ‘Blue Dog’


Grade 5/6 students have been exploring the work of George Rodrigue. He was Born in Louisiana in the USA and is best known for his Blue Dog series of paintings. Rodrigue modelled the Blue Dog after his own pet named Tiffany.

Students are learning about tints and shades in order to paint an appropriation of ‘Blue Dog’ in a monochromatic way. For a traditional monochrome painting, only a single colour of paint, and black and white are used to create different colour tint and shade values in an image.

I’m looking really forward to seeing the students finished paintings. Stay tuned!