Visual Arts Planning: Making and Drawing Birds

If you are a member of AccessArt please use this form if you would like to suggest a visual arts planning topic that you would like help with. You can see all of the current topics in our visual arts planning series here.

Please click on the image below to access a selection of exciting resources from our successful Share-a-Bird Project.  The activities can be adapted for all age groups and we hope that you will find them inspirational.

Please feel free to add links to other resources, or share your experiences and ideas, via the comments box below.


Drawing, Painting and Printmaking

Creating decorative designs from birds

Artist and AccessArt team member, Andrea Butler shares a beautifully illustrated resource that shows how drawings can be used to develop a range of patterned papers and stitched textiles.

Dragons and birds in eggs

A short activity using carbon paper to create a ‘hidden and revealed’ effect when imagining what might be inside a large egg!

Drawing birds with mixed media

Drawings, inspired by birds from nature magazines, are created with oil pastels or wax crayons and then water based washes are applied, which repel against the wax to create beautiful visual effects.

Swoop: Migrating Birds

As children ‘migrate’ back to school after months of digital lockdown learning, Teacher Rachel Burch has used this low budget project to re-engage and energise the students’ creativity.

Birds in the trees

Collaged images of birds drawn in biro onto mixed media backgrounds, to produce a set of lively and colourful images.

In the company of birds

Printmaker Kittie Jones for sharing this insight into her working practice and inspiration.

Wax Resist nests

Giving children the opportunity to draw and make – working with hard and soft pencils, graphite, wax resist, watercolour, clay and sticks.

Nests project: With Wet and dry media

Teacher Mandy Barrett and Artist Jo Blaker journey on a project that considers the materials and structures of nests.

Sculpture and Mixed Media

Making birds from card, paper and wire

These striking birds are easy to make and combine your drawing and making skills. Make one as a pet, or make a whole flock as a piece of sculpture!

Rook: Transforming materials

Beginning with a wire armature before adding beads and other objects to replicate the form of a rook.

flying minpin birds

Roald Dahl’s incredible book The Minpins (1991) is the inspiration behind these sculptural flying birds.

Sculptural birds in flight

In this workshop teenagers played with sculptural ideas around building form and mass, tension and scale by combining materials.

Sculpting birds from old books

AccessArt team members Paula Briggs and Andrea Butler worked together to create a small flock of birds from the pages of Paula’s Drawing Projects book. This post shares the process we used.


Designing a simple bird in felt tip and allowing them to ‘take flight’. All through creating a collaborative installation.

Making bird and insects

This workshop presented year three pupils at Ridgefield Primary School in Cambridge with real design and making challenges as they worked to a brief to ‘create birds and insects for their school tree’

colourful sculptural birds

Originally inspired by the Dorset based artist, Peter Rush, these comical looking birds were made from chicken wire, aluminium wire, paper towels mixed with cellulose powder, ink spray & fimo.

Making modroc sculptures

A simple modroc activity, inviting participants to make birds and pets.

Building a nest

A session centred around an exploration of the materials and construction methods we might use to build inventive, sculptural nests.

how to make an origami bird

Using origami to transform old artwork. An exciting way of using less successful drawings or paintings on paper to produce a new creative outcome, in the form of a personalised paper sculpture.
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