Visual Arts Planning: Our Natural World

You can see all current topics in our visual arts planning series here.

If you are a member of AccessArt please use the form at the bottom of that page if you would like help to integrate visual arts around a particular theme or topic.

With our planet under threat of climate change, it’s more important than ever that the younger generations learn about the delicate balance of our habitats. Here, we have collected some resources together that celebrate our natural world and all the animals in it.

Animals and Wildlife

An Ecological Mural

A collaborative project exploring animal habitat, taking the form of a large scale mural pasted onto boards and mounted on an empty brick wall within the school grounds.

Monoprint Animals

Artist-Educator Cathy Mills works with children in foster care to create simple monoprints, inspired by animals.

Anthropomorphic Animal Portraits

This painting activity looks at giving human characteristics to animals. Anthropomorphism is making something which is not human, more human like.

Exploring Casting with Animal Moulds

This resource shares the process of casting using latex moulds to primary-aged children. The final casts will then be used to explore the work of artist Henri Rousseau.

Making Long Legged Animals

Using the theme of long legged animals, this sculptural challenge shows how to construct with a variety of materials, including Modroc.

Drawing Cartoon animals

This workshop takes a new approach to exploring how to draw cartoon animals – enabling children to build an understanding of their subject matter together with an awareness of how mark making can help portray personality and action.

Making Illustrated Letters

Illustrator Isobel Grant offers children and teenagers a fun activity focusing on illustrated letters. This activity could provide an enjoyable introduction to calligraphy or lettering skills.

Animal Masks

This one hour session, the first in a series of three workshops, was about creating initial animal mask designs and generating animal mask ideas.

Animal Sculptures

Exploring themes around identity by creating collages and mixed media sculpture inspired by animals and their characteristics and habitats.

Chimera drawings

Create your own beasts! With Artist Eleanor Somerset.

Newspaper Heads

Textile and graphic artist Sharon Gale shows how to make colourful, painted Newspaper Animal Heads.

Spiral Snails

Artist Tracy McGuinness Kelly demonstrates a project based on drawing spirals, which can relate to a mini-beast topic in school, or stand alone as a drawing workshop.

Habitats, Meadows and Flowers

Animal Habitat Mural

In this post Arts Educator Vicki Ostersen showcases a project that explores animal habitat, taking the form of a large scale mural pasted onto boards and mounted on an empty brick wall within the school grounds.

A wildflower Meadow

Head of Art Rachel Burch explores simple drawing, collaging and painting techniques to create beautiful artworks inspired by a summer meadow.

Painting A Rainbow Forest

A large scale, colourful forest painting by Primary School children.

Hedgerow Art

Artist Educator Sara Dudman shares a beautifully illustrated resource in which she enables teenagers to work together to create hedgerow-inspired drawings and paintings.

working with and in the landscape

Artist Frances Hatch generously shares her magical processes for creating site specific art, inspired by a variety of environments including costal, woodland and urban environments and using materials found at the location.

Botanical Fairies

In this table top post, AccessArt team member Rachel Thompson demonstrates a simple collage activity using flowers from the garden to create a Fairy collage.

Walking and Drawing

Artist and AccessArt team member shares the process of making drawings whilst walking.

Explore and Draw

This innovative drawing and nature project for children ages 7 -13 yrs, took place at the Museum in the Park, Stratford Park, Stroud, over five Saturdays

Painting the Savannah

Artist Chloe Williams introduces children attending a workshop, to colour and printmaking on an ambitious and energetic scale.

Monoprint Farmyard

This workshop gave students the chance to experiment with a variety of different processes to create rich, textured surfaces. There was a sense of play, ‘happy accident’ and trial and error to perfect the monoprinting technique.

A Bluebell Forest

In this project young teenagers were given the opportunity to paint on a larger scale and immerse themselves in colour. We were all inspired by the spring!

Primal Painting

In this resource Marijke Liefting and Iris Verbakel, an art teacher from The Netherlands, shares a workshop session in which children explore a kitchen garden as a source for natural pigments

Volcano Paintings

AccessArt contributor Kate Gorely shows how to use innovative ways to explore colour and texture in painting, inspired by the Artist Frank Bowling.

Which Artists: Faith Bebbington

Artist Faith Bebbington talks us through the process of her sculptural work, using waste plastic to create beautiful large scale animal and figurative forms.

Stones, Fossils and Shells

Nature Kaleidoscope

In this post, Artist and Creative Practitioner Helen Walsh shows how to make a colourful kaleidoscope using natural and found materials.

Drawing on Pebbles

Inspired by a collection of small pieces of flint, slate, brick and wood collected on a walk, this post shows how to make them into ‘fossils’.

Dressing up as Fossils

Filling a canvas with fossil patterns before hiding underneath them to become fossils!

Observation and Imagination: Shells

An activity that introduces both observational and imaginative drawing when looking at sea shells and pebbles. The aim of the activity is to engage with these contrasting drawings methods and to compare and observe the results.

Making Shells

In this post shells make an excellent theme to inspire building with stuff and exploring how materials might work together to create form, structure and texture.

Drawing shells big!

Drawing shells on a large scale was the theme of a workshop for teenagers that introduced basic steps to creating form and tonal shading in drawings.
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