In this unit children explore an issue or event in their lives. They learn how to use a viewfinder and record their observations and ideas using a variety of methods, including photography and collage. They look at and comment on the work of photographers and illustrators.

Theodore Garman ‘The Sick Child’ (pastel) GR119 (CHILDREN)

When were you ill, what do you do when you’re sick – lie on the sofa watching television, go to bed, have you been to hospital etc? Each pupil produces a picture based on their own experiences of sickness or those within their family – a sister with chicken pox, the doctor’s waiting room – exploring ways of communicating, recording and exploring ideas based on their own experiences.

Studio of Veronese ‘Page Boy’ (oil on canvas) GR247 (WORK AND LEISURE)

Have you been a pageboy or bridesmaid at a wedding? What celebrations have you attended, what part did you take in the event, (Christmas, birthdays, Diwali, christenings, parties)? What did you wear (clothing and costume are very visual and often children are bought special clothes for a special event). What would you like to wear for a special party – design an outfit.

Eugene Boudin ‘Figures on a Beach’ (watercolours) GR8 (WORK AND LEISURE)

Where do you and your family go out for fun, leisure or on holiday? Visits to restaurants, friends or relatives evoke memories and strong imagery. Holidays may involve airports, planes and hotels or possibly caravans, tents or day trips. Leisure could be out playing football, going swimming, skateboarding, getting out of the house and doing an activity for fun.

Bernard Buffet ‘Small Girl reading a Book’ (oil) GR11 (CHILDREN)

George Romney ‘The Little Scholar’ (black chalk) GR209 (CHILDREN)

Emile Shuffenecker ‘Girl Knitting’ (pencil) GR232 (CHILDREN)

All these pictures show children involved in a range of activities in a range of mediums. Ask what the children do in their spare time – television, sport, computers, toys, look after pets, - pupils’ own choice of leisure activities. Produce a collage based on their favourite activities.

Pupils can explore events in their lives through art and discover how they can use everyday occurrences and experiences to provide subject matter for their artwork. They should also be encouraged to discuss the content of their work and to look at and discuss the work of illustrators and photographers.



In this unit children explore line, shape, colour and texture in natural forms. They make observations of natural objects and use their observations as the basis for textile design. They use their experiences of fabrics to make a collage and learn and use simple techniques for appliqué.


Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot ‘Study of a Beech Tree’ (pencil) GR25 (TREES)


Henri-Joseph Harpignies ‘Study of Trees’ (black chalk) GR 137 (TREES)

These studies of trees might lead to direct drawing of trees either looking out of the classroom windows or drawing outside. In spring changes could be observed through observation of a single tree or bush over time or by bringing into class cuttings (e.g. from forsythia) and observing and recording change as twigs bud and flower.

Bark and leaves can be used for printing or rubbings.

Drawings of bark, trees and leaves could be used to develop patterns that can be used for design work. The linear qualities can be emphasised by asking pupils to use pen or charcoal.

Theodore Garman "Arum Lilies or Easter Flowers’ (oils) GR109 (FLOWERS AND STILL LIFE)

This is a splendid, colourful study of writhing flowers. Use a viewfinder (a square or rectangular hole cut out of black paper) to focus on a small area of the picture and develop a flowing pattern. Take this small area and copy or trace it to develop a flowing image that can be used to develop a print. This could lead to links with the American artist Georgia O’Keefe who is known for her flower painting and to the use of spring flowers as inspiration for designs for Easter Cards.

Edward Burne-Jones ‘The Nativity’ (Pastel) GR13 (ILLUSTRATION AND SYMBOLISM)

This design for a stained-glass window for a church in Torquay could be used as an introduction to the design work of Burne-Jones (especially his textile designs) and as a link to William Morris the designer well known for his use of flowers and animals in both his fabric and wallpaper designs.

George Ehrlich ‘Head of a Deer’ (bronze) GR47 (ANIMALS AND BIRDS)

This sculpture provides a clear, simple silhouette image that can be used to develop a print or appliqué. The class can use equally simple designs of other animals or animal heads as the basis of other print ideas. They may also wish to see the frieze of running deer around the Mochican Head.





In this unit children explore shape and pattern in buildings. They begin by producing prints and rubbings of patterns found in buildings and go on to look at and record, the use of shape, space and pattern in local buildings. They question how these features tell us something about the purpose of the building. They work in groups to produce a relief sculpture for temporary display, using their first-hand observations as a starting point.

Joseph Mallord William Turner ‘Carlisle’ (pen, ink, watercolour) GR245 (LANDSCAPE AND TOWNSCAPE)

Pupils could be asked to look at the picture, listing different types of buildings – castles, bridge, houses, and cathedral. Pupils could choose some of these elements to compose their own (romantic) landscape drawn with pen or black biro. These could be enlarged onto A3 paper and, with pre-mixed washes of watercolour paint, coloured with transparent washes using large brushes.

The class may then produce an observation picture of a part of the school using the same techniques. These pictures can be used to consider production of first-hand observational drawings to record and convey information. Pupils could develop a play based on 22-year-old Turner’s painting and sketching tour of the north of England (or your local area - what could he choose to draw etc.)

Visit The New Art Gallery and discuss: -

The pattern, colour and variety of materials used, the relief on concrete, the warmth of colour, pattern and grain of the wood, leather (handrail), metal (lifts, toilets) glass

The shapes used in the building (inside and outside) and how they interact.

Use of different materials in different areas (also different heights) - wood in smaller, more intimate room situations, Record these ideas using drawings and photographs (permission needed for interior). Use these ideas to produce a relief sculpture of recognisable L shape of exterior in card (from cardboard boxes) stuck to cardboard base with P.V.A. using newspaper to hinge on to create windows, doors etc and tiles could be cut from sandstone coloured sugar paper printed with wax rubbings of patterns found (maybe in art gallery itself).

Make an art gallery sculpture with young children using Duplo (or Lego) or to make a shallow relief using willow withes covered in white tissue and back-lit. Ink drawings of the gallery can be enlarged and ‘coloured’ by gluing tissue, tiles, windows, door shapes over the ‘drawing – achieving a watercolour finish using tissue paper.

Other buildings

Walsall Bus Station (Use of shape and design)
Darlaston Swimming Pool
St. Matthews Church – Imposing image

Old Music Shop (Park Street near Tescos) has reliefs of musical instruments outside what was a purpose-built music shop.
Town Hall – (reliefs) of figures of the muses on the ceiling inside and out

Lloyds Bank has a bee-hive outside (which is about thrift, saving – as in saving money)
Red Lion Pub.
Arboretum Gate
The New Art Gallery
The E M Flint Gallery and Central Library
Bradford Street
The Old Court House
Jerome K Jerome birthplace
Former Priory  Public House now First Sport and W H Smiths
Former White Hart Public House (Elizabethan Coaching Inn) Caldmore

Encourage pupils to look above shops see use of symbols both for decoration and to say something of what the building stands for. These sort of ideas could be used as inspiration in the classroom for print making or clay modelling.

A resource web for art teachers using the Garman Ryan Collection and the New Art Gallery Walsall, England as a source of inspiration for the delivery of the QCA National Curriculum 2000 art schemes of work to pupils in Key Stages 1-3