Using Artists Work

Study a work of art

A group of children may start off by looking at a range of work by Lowry for example. Having discussed, experimented with and explored aspects of his treatment of colour, application, background and composition, they are ready to be challenged with a task that will enable them to demonstrate what they have learned.

Some exploration of an artist’s work may involve an element of copying either all or part of a work. This is fine as a starting point as long as it provides the children with an opportunity to discover about an artist’s way of working that they can then utilise for their own ends. A class that had experimented with Lowry’s style might be given a task that involves them looking at children in the playground, making observational sketches and then, supported by photographs of their friends at play, make their own paintings of children at play in the style of Lowry. This type of activity will not only help the children explore their developing understanding but also provide some ‘evidence’ that could form the basis for assessment.

In looking at background in painting, imagine the picture without any people or objects. What are you left with? In focusing on composition, reassemble the picture in your mind…..why has the artist put things where they are? Would they look as good somewhere else?