Pop-Up Puppets Inspired by a Historical Painting

By Jan Miller

This resource is part of a collection called Teaching Art to Year Three.

The project shared below was primarily a 3D project which developed design and making skills over five sessions.

After studying a painting in the National Gallery “Penelope with the Suitors,” (1509 by Pintoricchio), children commented that they might walk past a famous painting, if they were not familiar with the story.

They were asked how they would respond if there were puppets placed alongside the painting,  to help children engage and interact with the image and the narrative. The children liked this idea, and the following puppets were designed by the children, who were given the challenge to “make the most attractive suitor puppet to impress Penelope.”

Pop-Up Puppets

Week 1 Painting the Character

Taking inspiration from 15th century costumes, children designed their own suitor. Most drew more than one in the lesson. Charcoal was used directly, and the children were encouraged to fill the length of the A2 paper. Thick and thin lineweight was considered.

Drawing in charcoal

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