Wild Art Club
Wild Art Club Newsletter - Spring Term 2018.
This term we have been exploring “Australia” as our topic, its position, climate and habitats and learning about the animals and people that live there. We started by studying the native Aboriginal people, their culture, stories and art, and followed this with a session making our own Boomerangs, decorating them with Aboriginal symbols to tell our own “Dreamtime” stories.
We then spent a session looking at Aboriginal Dot Art, discussing the use of natural pigments, natural mark-making tools and ancient forms of signatures for a people without written language. We also investigated the meanings behind the use of sacred colours, and then went on to create our own Dot Art Hand pictures.
Next we turned our attention to looking at Marsupials, selecting Kangaroos and their cousins, the Wallabies and Wallaroos for our first subject, studying their habitat, habits and anatomy and finally drawing them. The children chose the enticingly named “Tasmanian Devil” for our next subject, alongside the Wombat and Koala. We again learnt about their habitat, distribution, diet and characteristics and then spent the remainder of the session practising drawing them.
The children then chose their favourite animal to depict in a final piece of artwork, working with charcoal, rubbers and chalk to produce some stunning pictures. Please look through the picture gallery on the Wild Art Club Instagram page, & follow the club on Instagram to receive updates when more artwork is posted. Find it at @wildartclub.
This was followed by an exciting and challenging activity to create our own “Climbing Koalas” which the children tackled with such positive purpose. They learnt about pull-tab mechanisms used in the making of pop-ups and produced some spectacular results, which they were in such a hurry to take home, that I didn’t get the opportunity to photograph them!
Next we looked at the reptiles found in Australia before concentrating on the Frill Necked Lizard, the Blue Tongued Skink and the Saltwater Crocodile. We learnt about their habitats, size, diet and habits before selecting our favourite to depict in an origami expanding book. We used watercolour paper and then experimented with marker pens, paintbrushes and water to decorate them, with superb results.
In the last session of the term we learnt about Monotremes, those unique creatures that are neither bird, mammal, marsupial or reptile, namely the Platypus and Echidna and finished by making our own platypus finger puppets.
Next term’s topic will be based on the theme of “Rubbish” as the problems of plastic pollution are receiving widespread coverage, and how we can reuse and recycle it creatively. For the first half of the term activities will be linked to “Spring”, and will include nesting birds, flowers and insects. The second half of the term will involve activities that are connected to “The Sea”. All sessions will explore the nature of rubbish, its original use, material make-up and recycling possibilities, followed by an opportunity to use and upcycle the items in a fun and imaginative way. So please could you encourage your children to start collecting the items on the list below, as they will be requiring them for their creations! There will be prizes for those that bring everything in! Lists of items to be collected and the weeks they will be required are available from me, the school office and can be found on the school website, under the “Life at School” and then click on Wild Art Club.
Wild Art Club Newsletter. Autumn Term 2017.
This term we have been studying our local environment, including the farmland & hedgerows we see every day. We started by learning how to identify the trees and plants we find in our hedges, by looking at their leaves & then collecting them to make low relief pictures, using card, tin foil and shoe polish.
During the following session, we examined the shapes of different leaves & used leaves we had collected to make our own leaf bowls. Next we explored the colours we find in autumn leaves, and made our own colour wheels to help us identify primary, secondary & tertiary colours. We also used our colour wheels to inspire our paint choices when we then decorated our clay leaf bowls with acrylic paint in complimentary colours.
With the evenings getting darker, we then made our own leaf lanterns, choosing leaves for their size and silhouette shape, & even illuminated them with battery powered candles.
Inspired by the many cobwebs we had found whilst collecting leaves, we spent a session learning about the different types of webs that spiders spin, from sheet webs to hammock webs and everything in-between. We then used birthday candles to draw orb webs, before applying a watercolour wash as a background. The following week was then spent exploring the school grounds & identifying the spiders we found. We then used coloured pencils & chalk to draw a spider on our web pictures.
As Halloween was midweek this year, it seemed to be the perfect time to explore bats, their habits and habitats, and identify the species we see flying locally. We then went on to make our own flapping bat automatons – creating a life-sized brown long-eared flapping bat. Next we learnt about the different owls we hear and sometimes see in our locality, & then used oil pastels and inks to create our own oil resist artwork.
We then looked at the common signs and tracks that mammals leave as evidence of their presence & used the badger as our model for exploring positive and negative images. We used chalk on black paper & charcoal on white paper to create drawings of badgers. The following session found us looking at foxes, which led to everyone creating 3D paper sculptures of them, using coloured papers, scissors and glue.
The final session was spent creating seed creatures from found natural objects, such as walnuts, hazelnuts, sycamore seeds, cotton seed heads, larch cones, pine cones, pumpkin seeds, acorns, sticks and much, much more. These, mixed with the ever popular pipe-cleaner, led to an activity where all club members exercised their own individual creativity, & produced a wide range of creatures, including; squirrels, deer, owls, bees, unicorns, porcupines, hedgehogs, lions, mice, birds & flowers, to name but a few!
Please take a look at the gallery pictures where you can find photos of all the artwork produced throughout the term, except those that were whisked home before I could photograph them!
Next term we will be looking at Australia, its environment, habitats & animals, as well as the artworks of the native Aborigine people. Wild Art Club starts again in the second week of the January term 2018. New forms can be found on the website and from the school office.
Summer Term 2017 Newsletter.
The topic this term has been “Colour”, with the children choosing to focus their attention on the most colourful land based creatures to be found around the world.
We began by looking at the biggest, boldest and most colourful butterflies found in the tropics, and were wowed by the variety and vibrancy of these beautiful insects. We followed this with a watercolour activity, where the children chose to either reproduce a known butterfly specimen, or create their own imagined insect. We considered colour and symmetry throughout the activity and turned our artworks into dazzling fridge magnets.
During our investigations into colourful creatures, we found that the majority of them come from the tropical regions of the world, and so the children worked together to produce a backdrop for the Wild Art Club display board. We looked at the different leaf shapes found in the rainforest; strangler vines and lianas, the most common vines found in the canopy; hard wood trees and the rich diversity of flowers, and used this information to help us create our habitat artwork, to display our future artworks on.
We then looked at more flying insects, dragonflies, damselflies and demoiselles, and using sticks, leaves and beads, created some super fliers of our own.
After half term, we had a fun session learning some art colour theory, exploring primary and secondary colours, contrasting and harmonious colours and how to use a colour wheel. We then used paper plates to create our own colour wheels, and explored mixing a variety of green hues.
Next we looked at the masters of colour change in the animal kingdom, the Chameleon. We explored the reasons for their changing colours, their anatomy and habits, and then went on to familiarize ourselves with their body shapes. We drew Chameleons onto our green paper plates, which were then cut out, to create our own colour changing chameleons.
We then went on to look at the colourful parrots and parakeets that can be found in the tropics all across the world, and went on to draw them using charcoal and coloured pencils. This was followed with a session researching Toucans, and an activity to recreate them using oil or chalk pastels.
Next we investigated the colourful varieties of poison dart frogs, their habits and life cycle, and used our findings to create our own colourful patterned frogs from card and marker pen.
Our final session of the term was spent creating hummingbird sculptures from decorated tin, wire, paper and pebbles, after studying these exquisite little birds.
Wild Art Club Newsletter - March 2017.
During this spring term, Wild Art Club has been investigating “Extremes” in the animal kingdom.
We started off by looking at the different types of adaptations that animals have evolved, to survive extreme hostile environments, such as: breathing adaptations, as found in African catfish who need to survive completely waterless conditions during the dry season; changing blood properties, as seen in deep diving sperm whales & high altitude flying bar-headed geese who face prolonged periods of restricted oxygen; arctic icefish who produce a natural form of antifreeze in their blood; and the wood frog who freezes to survive the extreme cold of winter, only to thaw back to life in the spring! We studied the effects of Natural Radiators, as found in elephants and desert foxes, as a way of keeping cool, & how megathermy helps animals to stay warm, as seen in polar bears, southern elephant seals and leatherback turtles. We discovered that the natural world has evolved some truly inventive means of survival in the most hostile environments.
We then explored the “Largest” creatures to be found in the different animal categories, and found that the Blue Whale is believed to be the largest animal to have ever lived, at 30m long. Even the spray from it’s blowhole rises 30 feet! We investigated the African Bush Elephant, Ostrich, Saltwater Crocodile, Whale Fish, Giant Chinese Salamander & Goliath Bird Eating Spider. We then used charcoal, chalk and an eraser to produce a piece of artwork depicting our favourite animal.
We compared these animals to the smallest ones of their kind and discovered that the Bee Hummingbird in Cuba is the smallest bird in the world at only 5cm long, with a nest of only 3cm wide! We used our findings to create a display for the Wild Art Club’s board.
We then explored the creatures that live in environments of extreme temperature, looking at the very coldest and hottest habitats on the planet. We studied: Polar Bears, Japanese Macaques, Emperor Penguins, Alaskan Wood Frogs and Southern Elephant Seals, amongst others, and found out that the Tardigrade, (sometimes called a “Moss Piglet” or “Water Bear”) can survive temperatures of -272c! We applied the information we had learned to help us create some art work using chalk and paint.
The Club members then explored the animals living in the hottest parts of the world, such as: the Australian Thorny Devil, the Pompeii Worm from the deep sea hydrothermal vents and the Saharan Fennec Fox, amongst others. We even discovered that Hippos create their own sun-screen to protect themselves from the searing African sun. We then created mixed media pictures, using watercolour paints, salt, cling-film and coloured pencils to portray our favourite creature.
This was followed with a session identifying the spikiest animals on earth, with the Cape Porcupine of South Africa topping all others, with spines of 40cm long! Everyone chose their favourite creature, and then worked with thinned paint and straws to produce their pictures.
Please take a moment to look through the pictures on the website, under “Life at School” tab, to see the excellent artworks produced by the Wild Art Club members.
New forms for the Summer Term 2017 are available on the school website and from the school office.
Wild Art Club.
Autumn Term 2016 Newsletter.
During this term we have been looking at “The Forest Floor”, what it is made of and what lives there. We spend the first half of the term learning about the differences between deciduous and coniferous woodlands, the trees, their leaves and seeds and the different creatures that rely on them. We then created our own forest floor picture for the Wild Art display board, which portrayed the leaf litter, mud and puddles that the club members felt so familiar with. We worked together as a group, using coloured wax and oil pastel rubbings & ink rolled prints of leaves, and combined them to create a large collage to use as a backdrop for our future artworks.
We then went on to identify the insect life that lives amongst the leaf litter. We looked at beetles, spiders, millipedes, centipedes, woodlice, worms, snail, slugs and ants, and explored the differences between true insects and bugs. We drew our favourite insects and then used lotus flower seed pods to create models of insects we would all like to find amongst the leaf litter of our local woods and added them to our display board for the whole school to enjoy. Photos of these colourful creatures have been added to our picture gallery.
We went on to take a look at the different types of spiders webs that we often see in the dew during the autumn months. We identified orb webs, hammock webs, sheet webs, tunnel webs and scaffolding webs, and went on to create our own webs, using charcoal and chalk on contrasting papers.
We explored beetles even further, finding out about Britain’s very own dung beetle, stag beetles, dor beetles, ground beetles and the wonderfully named Devil’s Coach Horse beetle. We then went on to produce wooden beetle fridge magnets.
Club members were introduced to the methods of using Identification Dials as an aid to identifying specimens found whilst outside. We all made our own “Ground Insect I-Dial” and many of the club’s members were so inspired, they then made another, to include all their personal favourite creatures.
During the 2nd half of the term, we widened our studies further to include the mammals and birds that live in the woods, and use the leaf litter as a valuable asset within their habitat. We worked as a group to identify the mammals and birds that we wanted to concentrate on, and drew up a short list to include squirrels, hedgehogs, badgers, deer, foxes, woodpeckers and owls.
We went on to look at the habits, diets and differences of red and grey squirrels, and hedgehogs, their population distribution and the clues they leave behind. We studied their body shapes and dimensions, and any adaptations they have evolved to help them live in the woods. We then chose which one we wanted to model out of clay. We left our models to dry for 2 weeks, and then painted them with acrylic paint, before sealing them with a matt acrylic varnish.
We researched the 3 different woodpeckers that live in the British Isles, identifying the differences between their habits and appearances. We explored the difficulties of identification between male, female and juvenile birds, and looked at the clues they leave behind that show their presence in a location. We then made our own pecking woodpeckers, using card, string and straws.
Club members then went on to explore the footprints or tracks that mammals leave in muddy or sandy soils. They identified the differences between sika deer and roe deer slots, hedgehog, squirrel, fox, and badger prints, and studied where else to look for other clues, like burrows, nests, snagged hairs and disturbed vegetation. Everyone went on to produce their own animal tracks pictures using potato prints, and then chose their favourite footprints to add to the group’s “leaf litter” display picture.
To finish off our Woodland topic, we all created an oil resist picture, depicting our favourite animal that we had studied. We looked at scale and proportion, habitat and diet, to help us design our final piece of work, and then used oil pastels and watercolours to portray our ideas.
Please take a moment to have a look at some of the art work created by the members of the Club. They have all produced some wonderful pieces, whilst exploring the secrete world of the woods.
Wild Art Club will start again on Tuesday 10th January 2017 & will run for 11 weeks, ending on Tuesday 28th March. We will be investigating “nature’s extremes”!
Wild Art Club – July 2016
During the 2nd half of this summer term, Wild Art Club has been investigating what we might expect to find at the beach on our summer holidays.
We started off by looking at the different types of beaches that we could find when visiting the seaside during the summer; such as sand, shingle and rocky beaches. We discussed and explored the different uses of beaches and the towns that have grown up along the coast, such as ports, fishing harbours and coastal resorts.
We then experimented with a variety of creative techniques to decorate and make our own collage papers to use for our beach and harbour pictures. The children designed and created their own individual images, drawing from their memories of visits to the sea, before working together on a large mural to be displayed on the Wild Art Club’s board.
We then explored the creatures that live in the rock pools at the beach margins, and made our own crabs to take home.
This was followed with a session identifying the sea birds that we are most likely to see at the beach, followed with an activity to make our own flapping sea gulls.
Please take a moment to look through the pictures on the website, to see the excellent artworks produced by the Wild Art Club members this term.
Wild Art Club will start again next term, on Tuesday 13th September (the second Tuesday back), and will run for 12 sessions, ending on Tuesday 5th December. For the first half of the Autumn Term, we will be exploring the woodland critters that live in the leaves, their habits and habitats. We’ll then be experimenting with a variety of art techniques to design and create our own creepy crawlies, forest flora and fauna! So please sign up and join in the fun, new members are always welcome.
New forms for the Autumn Term 2016 are available on the school website.
This half of the Spring Term, Wild Art Club have been investigating the creatures that live in the deepest darkest Abyssal zone of the ocean, at depths of 6,000-11,000m.
- that exploring the ocean floor at these depths is very challenging.
- that scientists know more about the surface of the planet Mars than they do about our deepest oceans here on Earth.
- that scientists are still discovering new species of marine life every time they descend to the ocean floor.
- that many creatures of the deep use BIOLUMINESCENCE to communicate, hunt and defend themselves. Some even squirt glowing goo into the water, to confuse predators who are trying to eat them!
We created ink resist pictures, and even made our own scraperboards to help us depict some of these flashing and glowing creatures. We also fashioned our own abyssal zone habitats out of shoe boxes.
Next term we will continue to explore sea habitats and investigate the creatures that live in them, including those in the water, on the shore and in the air. We will look at what we might expect to find when we visit the beach in the summer months, and will experiment with a variety of art materials to represent our findings, interests and imagination.
Spaces for newcomers are still available at Club and during the summer term, the Wild Art Club welcomes Reception Class children to join in the fun.
So come and exercise your curiosity and creativity with us at Wild Art Club, every Tuesday from 3.00 – 4.30pm.