Year 4

Term 1

This term we have been experimenting with different paints and techniques. We looked at the work of artist Winslow Homer and talked about how he depicted the sea. We then spent some time experimenting with brush techniques to create smooth waters and crashing seas. We also looked at flicking paint, dragging sticks through wet paint, creating watercolour washes and sprinkling powder paint onto it and also used wax crayons with watercolour paints. Finally we created a Viking ship scene using collage materials, thinking about the weather and the type of sky that we wanted for the background.

Term 2

This term we have been learning about North America and in art we have been looking at photos and paintings depicting Native American Indians. We looked at the type of clothing they wear and the children created a page in their art books all about them.

We then looked at the artwork Blue Eyed Chief by Jim Denomie. The children discussed how this work looked different to the work they were looking at the previous week and discussed how it reminded them a bit of the Picasso sculptures that they made when they were younger. We looked at Denomie’s painting and learnt about how the rule of thirds had been used in the background. We also talked about the types of colours used in the work and how cooler colours were used in the background and on the headdress and warmer colours for the skin. We then
started drawing our own Native Americans using light colouring pencils.

Finally we created our own Native American portraits using oil pastels. We started with the backgrounds first and then did the foreground so that the people would stand out.

Term 3

We have been looking at the place and position of cats in ancient Egyptian society. The ancient Egyptians believed that cats were magical creatures, capable of bringing good luck to the people who housed them. Paintings with cats often had hieroglyphics and pictures of pyramids in them.

We started off by having a drawing lesson about cats. We looked at how to draw faces using simple lines to help get the shapes correct and then moved on to looking at the anatomy of a cat so we learnt how to draw the shapes of the ribs, hips, backbones and leg joints to get the drawings to look accurate. We then added more detail to the drawings such as the ears, tail and any other lines that we could see such as stripes, whiskers etc.

After that we designed our own Egyptian cat line drawings and then had to stick string along the lines. Some of us added hieroglyphics to the backgrounds too. We covered the pictures with tinfoil and carefully flattened them down using a cloth. We then coloured our pictures using Sharpie pens but not going over the bumpy string lines. We were all very impressed with our final pieces.

Term 4

This term we did a mini art project around the topic Brilliant Bodies. We started off by looking at some human anatomy drawings and a skeleton of the human body. We then had to work in teams to make some giant skeletons on the floor. We talked about looking at both the negative and positive spaces in order to draw the shapes accurately. Once we’d done this we added masking tape to give our drawings a sense of form.

We then looked at the artist Thaneeya McArdle who has produced a whole collection of skull art based on the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead. She does these digitally. We had a go at drawing some small sections of her work as well as cutting one of her pictures in half and completing the mirror image of it.

Finally, we all created our own piece of art on small squares and once we had completed them we put them altogether to create one large piece of artwork.

Term 5

Our mini art topic has been The Tudors this term. We started off our unit of work by learning how to use cross hatching to make shaded areas when using pens and also had a go at using different drawing pencils (HB-8B). We learnt that HB pencils are writing pencils as the lead is harder so they don’t smudge as much and B pencils are softer and better for drawing. The higher the number on the B pencils, the softer the pencil lead and the darker you can make the shadows.

After that we were given half of a portrait of King Henry VIII. We had to look carefully at the other half to complete the drawing. Mrs Clarkson and Mrs Sweeney were amazed with our fabulous drawings! We then found out about the artist Hans Holbein the Younger. He was a German artist, painter and printmaker who travelled to England to paint portraits of royalty.

Finally we took photographs of ourselves looking very serious and we used the Ipads to edit these and to add clothes and jewellery to make us look like Tudors. We all enjoyed creating digital art!

Term 6

This term we have been learning about the painter Patricia Carson. She works in watercolour and mixed media, is from the USA and is influenced by nature. We started off by looking at her dragonfly work and writing about what we need to know and what we need to try. We learnt that if you add salt to wet watercolour paint the salt absorbs the water and creates a kind of mottled effect. We also learnt how to draw a dragonfly by watching a video and then looking at some photos of dragonflies.

After that we all drew a dragonfly onto our watercolour paper. We used cocktail sticks to very carefully draw over our lines using copydex glue. This glue worked a bit like a masking fluid as once we had painted our pictures we were able to rub the glue away to produce lovely white lines and patterns on our dragonflies.

Finally, once our work was completed we evaluated our work thinking about what worked really well and what we would change next time.

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