Visual Arts Planning: The Seaside

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During a recent InSET training session, teachers in a Suffolk primary school, suggested that they needed resources to help them with their theme this term which is the ‘Seaside’.

If you are a teacher or artist and would like to share your creative approaches for exploring this theme, then please do get in touch with

In the meantime, here are a few posts to help schools explore the seaside, the beach and all things summer!

Drawing and Painting

Museum collections

Teenagers explore drawing shells on loan from Cambridge University Museum of Zoology with Sheila Ceccarelli.

Drawing Water

In this workshop, children aged 6 to 10 are inspired by the studies of water by Leonardo da Vinci and some contemporary drawings by Rosie Leventon.

Painting a Still Life and seeing colour

Artist Educator, Emma Copley demonstrates in this beautifully illustrated resource, a step-by-step method for producing a painting of a shell, or similar object, in gouache.

drawing spiral snails

Join artist Tracy McGuinness-Kelly in exploring recurring spiral shapes in nature.

drawing as a support activity

Paula Briggs describes how she enables an exploration of drawing as an activity to support other artforms, in this case sculpture.

Communal drawing! summer picnic

What is better on a hot summer’s evening than to draw a picnic? (And then eat it!)’.

detached and timeless painting

Artist and educator Sara Dudman shares examples, inspiration and support for working creatively from video to capture movement, including that of the sea, and a sense of place in painting.

mark making and water

Teachers make a group drawing of water at an InSET session with Sheila Ceccarelli.

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.


making plaster reliefs

This resources describes how to create plaster reliefs using clay and foamboard moulds.

exploring materials: clay and water

Encouraging tactile investigation of clay, with no end result intended or prescribed.

making felt boats

Artist Ruth Purdy share a process to combine felt pieces with bright embroidery floss, buttons and beads to make colourful sailing boats.

building drawings with modroc

In this one and a quarter hour long session, teenagers work with Sheila Ceccarelli to explore drawing rocks found on the beach and build drawings with modroc and graphite.

Introducing scraffito

Artist Eleanor Somerset demonstrates how to do Sgraffito: layers of coloured clay slip are applied to an unfired ceramic body and scratched into to create drawings on clay.

Making wave bowls

Co-created vessels, part inspired by ceramics by Grayson Perry, and loosely based around a holiday theme as the summer holidays.

making boats that float

What makes a boat float? A rich, and rewarding activity with plenty of time to play with, and explore materials.

Making shells

Using shells to inspire building with stuff and exploring how materials might work together to create form, structure and texture.

a modroc festival feast

Everyone has a favourite food, and there’s no better inspiration to make a communal sculpture than sweets, cakes, party food and ice cream!
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