Autumn Art Summary | Private Senior School | Surbiton High School
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Autumn Art Summary

Posted: 8th December 2022

Year 3

This term, Year 3 went back in time to explore who the very first artists were! Alongside their Humanities lessons, the boys learned more about the Stone Age in their Art lessons. They began by reading ‘Vincent’s Starry Night and Other Stories’, a book explaining the history of art from prehistoric to modern times. The boys watched videos and looked at pictures of the ‘Lion Man’, an ancient carved sculpture believed to be around 40,000 years old. To spark their curiosity, the boys questioned elements of the sculpture, such as what it was made of and its purpose before documenting their ideas in their sketchbooks.

The boys explored the difference between tint, tone and shade and experimented using different colours. They used a range of brown media, such as oil pastels, pastels and colouring pencils.

The boys researched Stone Age animals then developed their observational drawing skills by drawing a woolly mammoth skeleton. They have also looked at cave paintings, creating their own using paint splatters, pastels and charcoal.


Year 4

This term’s Year 4 Art was inspired by their Humanities topic, Ancient Egyptians.

They explored a range of Ancient Egyptian symbols and their meanings, drawing two symbols on polystyrene foam to be printed. The boys evaluated their work, learning new vocabulary and reflecting on their printing method and technique.

The boys studied what the Ancient Egyptian pharaohs wore, focusing on their crowns and headdresses. They created a self-portrait with an Ancient Egyptian crown and designed their very own crown or headdress for a person of great importance. It was wonderful to see the boys’ imagination and creativity come to life. The boys had learned all about the importance of canopic jars for Ancient Egyptians and designed their own jar before moving on to using paper cups, newspaper, masking tape and mod roc to create their very own canopic jar!


Year 5

This term, Year 5 Art lessons were inspired by the theme, Space. The boys were full of both knowledge and curiosity about space and enjoyed creating a range of artwork they were extremely proud of. To begin, the boys looked at the James Webb telescope images which were released this summer. They discussed the colours and the emotions and thoughts the images brought to mind. The boys created their own paintings based on those images with their own selection of colours, using a range of painting techniques to add texture to their background. The American artist, Charles Bittinger, was commissioned by National Geographic in 1939 to create a series of paintings that would help readers visualise outer space. The boys looked at his work and discussed the various elements he used in his paintings to make space look realistic. They created their own space drawings using black card and pastels, particularly focusing on form and value to ensure their planets look realistic. Lastly, the boys also learned about the artist, Alma Thomas, an African-American artist and teacher who is now recognised as a major artist of the 20th century. The boys took particular interest in her space paintings which were inspired by the Apollo Programme in 1969. The boys studied her unique, abstract painting style and created their own space paintings.

Year 6

This term, Year 6 learned about a range of African artists, focusing on pattern and textiles. The boys explored the work of Yinka Shonibare, a British-Nigerian artist whose work explores cultural identity as well as issues of colonisation, race and class through the media of sculpture, photography, painting and film. The boys looked at a range of African patterns and prints and discussed what it is that makes a repeated pattern. They designed their own pattern taking into consideration lines, shapes and colours. The boys then went on to create a larger repeated pattern which they photographed and duplicated to make into a print. The boys took inspiration from pictures and videos of the Africa Fashion exhibition at the V&A in London as well as exploring a range of traditional clothing across different countries in Africa to create their own clothing line! Working in teams, the boys researched an African artist of their choice and presented their findings to the class. It was a pleasure to see the boys take control of their learning and work collaboratively in a group. The boys also thoroughly enjoyed presenting to one another.



Categories: Boys' Prep School