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.