An Update: Art Foundations 1

We have only had 3 weeks since the Christmas break and now it is the TET break. So we decided to do a 3 week crash course in PERSPECTIVE. Even though this is a 9-12 class many students have never tried perspective before, so I broke it down into 3 small introductory tasks and one final piece, which they will be working on in their own time.

This video is a fabulous introduction to perspective and a great reminder when you have learnt the basics.

TASK 1: One Point Floating Shapes

TASK 2: One Point Looking Up

Task 3: Two Point Perspective Bird Houses



CHOOSE from 1 or 2 point perspective to create a final piece A4 or A3 size (black and white or color. Any media.)  Possible themes: Playground, Unusual city, Surrealistic room, Interior for a gallery, Iconic buildings in the school grounds. 

Many ideas can be found on:

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I really can’t wait to see their results!



Posted in Drawing, Grade 9, Perspective | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hundertwasser Inspired ART, G7

After traveling to Austria and seeing Friedensreich Hunderwasser’s art and architecture in real life, I knew I wanted to teach a unit about him. There are so many reasons why we should be studying his work, ideas and inspirations!

  • He had a fun, colourful, simplified, yet achievable style of art- suitable for all age levels.
  • His passion for nature, and the ways he communicated his ideas were incredibly inspiring. I believe his environmental message is so important, and still relevant today.
  • Hundertwasser explored a variety of media from: painting, printing, design to architecture, which means a unit could have a great deal of choice and variety for the students.
  • His use of symbols such as the lollypop trees and spirals could enable students to think about their own symbols, and what is important to them.

Lesson 1

As the students entered the room this video was playing in the background. I read the introduction of my favourite Hundertwasser book, Hundertwasser for Kids- by Barbara Stieff, whilst they documented the information using sketchnotes. The students studied his paintings, but focused only on his trees and colour use.

Now, they were ready to try their own version of the trees in oil pastel and watercolour!

Lollypop Trees

Aren’t they stunning? It was SO relaxing creating them, that I introduced the task to my “Art For The Soul Class” (free teacher class).

When the paintings were complete it was time to photograph and manipulate their art using the Megaphoto app and layering the images with Superimpose. The manipulated images were used for a poster, which had to combine the image with one of Hundertwasser’s nature quotes.

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Step 1 was complete, now it was time to learn about Hundertwasser’s use of spirals. To Hundertwasser: spirals represented infinity, nature, life and the afterlife. They feature in many of his paintings. After introducing this to the students they were then required to use PicCollage to create 2 visual collages, one had to be of “spirals in nature” and the other “spirals in Hundertwasser’s paintings”.


The collages were then inserted into Lifecards and the students documented what they had learnt so far, then the cards were embedded onto the student blogs and printed.

We watched this video:

After a brief class discussion we were ready to analyze and document the elements in Hundertwasser’s paintings. The students created a poster in their books with small sketches of symbols and colours which they noticed in each painting. The list included: hidden faces, contour lines, domes, patterns, rounded squares, spirals, floating eyes, lollypop trees, teardrops and bright colours.

Now, they were ready to discover their first major task:


After selecting or merging a couple of Vietnamese landscape photos, the images were printed. The students created 3 concepts, by placing tracing paper on top and adding the elements gathered in their books. The next step will be to paint onto a black square canvas and share our final paintings with “THE HUNDERTWASSER NON PROFIT FOUNDATION


Task two of the unit will be based on Hundertwasser’s buildings but this time, the students will have many choices when it comes to the final task. I can’t wait to see their final results.

Posted in Grade 7, Painting | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Goodbye G6, Q2

I was about to share the work grade 6 created during the first three weeks of quarter 3, but realized that I still had AWESOME work to celebrate from quarter 2! So here you go:

The ceramic bowls were fired and look absolutely stunning. I love how they filled all the small white spaces, each piece was glazed carefully. Some students mixed the colours beautifully, for example this bowl has a gorgeous sponge effect:


Well done grade 6- Q2, you should be very proud! I hope to see you all again in G7.

So what did the students learn and enjoy during their short time in art this year?

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For this final celebration we used Lifecards to create fun letters for their parents. The students then emailed them home. I am sure their hard work was appreciated.



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PLEASE Purchase Our Book, G8

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Poster created by Austin


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Advert created by Lissa, Kelly, Kolton and Andrew

The grade 8 art students have been working very hard, over the last 14 weeks on a collaboration with Commack Middle School, New York. They also connected with an author/illustrator from Australia, Graeme Base.

It is wonderful to see the many ways ‘Animalia’ has touched people over the years – and never more so than when it is through the eyes of children. Witnessing new artistic talent emerging is a great thrill for those lucky enough to experience it. I am very grateful to have been able to watch this very special book project come into existence and extend my sincere congratulations to all involved.

Graeme Base, Melbourne 2016


ALL students researched, wrote and illustrated this beautiful book, which is now for sale at the very reasonable price of $25.00 plus postage.

All profits will be donated to WWF (World Wildlife Fund).

You can view more information about this project here.



  • You could either fill out the pre-order form and submit it with the money to either the front office, ES, HS or MS reception. (NOTE: The form has been sent home and via email. I have attached another copy just incase) The one time only group order will be placed on Friday 20th Jan, 2017.


  • If you are not from SSIS, or want it delivered to another country, you can go online and order from the shop (it delivers world-wide in 3-10 days.)

 Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

  • If you can’t buy the book right now, even though you would love to, you can help us (and the animals) by sharing this post, tweeting our shop link, or spreading the word on social media. Do you know librarians, shop owners, or teachers as I am sure they would all be interested. 🙂
  • Lastly, there will be an opportunity to donate money in our beautiful donation boxes in the ES, MS offices, and the Main reception. We will also have limited books for sale at our big art party on, May 18th in the auditorium.

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ARTWORK by the students.

The goal for this project was not only for students to connect, create, and raise awareness for endangered animals but it was for students to see that ART CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE and so can SOCIAL MEDIA. Lets see how far we can sell our books for a good cause.

Will you be a part of this? If you have bought a book, shared or retweeted please let us know so we can thank you.




Posted in Art News and Events, collaboration, digital, Grade 8, ipads, Mixed Media, observational drawing, Painting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Grade 9 Foundations 1: Value Drawing


We began the quarter be studying different ways artists create value. The students practised value scales and a variety of toning techniques from stippling, shading to lettering. We watched and copied these videos (below) and then looked at artist’s works and analyzed them.

Now, we were ready to practise on our own mini still life. The students collected 5 shells and applied a different technique on each.

Using cross-contour techniques and by watching this video:

We created beautiful optical art backgrounds ready for another tonal technique and observational drawing.

The process was so relaxing, and since my students were so stressed about HS, and the fast approaching exams, I decided to make this task a journaling project so that they could let off steam and relax. Here is what they achieved:

If you zoom up on these images you will see the student’s thoughts, dreams and feelings within the background. The hand pose was using sign language and cross-contour drawing techniques.


Their final task for the quarter (which unfortunately, I was not there for due to WWW and then they were not in for 2 weeks due to exams) was to create an unusual pose or expression, grid it, and apply as many different toning techniques as they can, one per box. I was not able to help at all so was very impressed when they shared their work with me. I love getting surprises like that. 🙂  You are all AWESOME.

Posted in Art Journaling, Drawing, Grade 9/10, HS Art, Portraits, Tone | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Passion Projects G7

This was my first time trying Passion Projects. I have wanted to do it for quite a few years but, was worried about the quality of work produced, especially when students are working on their OWN, and not on the same topic. Previously, I could  help them all at once. However, after seeing the student engagement and enthusiasm, I think this should be a yearly unit!

It was brilliant to see what direction the students took. As this is visual arts, and the students chose it as an elective, I assumed art was a passion, so I introduced the task by saying:

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“Close your eyes, start thinking of everything that inspires you, what are your interests? What are your passions? If school allowed you to study anything you were interested in, what would it be right now? It can be anything and doesn’t have to be art related.”

On Today’s Meet they documented their thoughts.

“Now, if you could take that passion and combine it with your favourite art skill for example painting, drawing, sculpture, digital, or ceramics, what would you do?”

We watched some of these videos so that the students had a better idea of passion projects/genius hour.

We discussed the importance of documenting their learning and following the design process:Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 12.50.52 PM.png

It was crucial they didn’t take their first idea and they had to seek multiple sources before creating their final piece. These steps made the students really think about: “What do I need to know?”, “Why?”, “Who could help me?” and then, “How could I apply what I learnt to my work?”


I’m really excited, and I feel like this gives me a choice instead of just doing something the teacher assigns. Ariel

I think the idea of this project is to promote passion and do what you love to enhance art in ways you did not think was possible. Gabriel

I was confused at first and I was not hoping for it at all, but with some clarification, I got it and now I am really excited to start making my project. This makes me feel like I have more freedom to learn about anything. Tony

I really like this unit because I’m excited to be able to create a kind of artwork that I haven’t done before, and also I can be able to make an artwork of my favorite things. I’ve chosen to create a textured painting of a person traveling because visiting different cultures and being able to see the unique views of each place is my favorite thing to do. Megan

I am very excited for this project because it gives us a lot of freedom. My project is a crayon drip artwork, with a silhouette of a gymnast, since that is my passion. Bridget


As you can see we had a huge variety of tasks from fashion, drawing, painting, printing, sculpture, ceramics, crayon art to art therapy. The students followed their goal sheets, so that they stayed on track and also kept a blog at home.

Here is an awesome sample of a student blog: 


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I will add more photos here as I realized, it was such a rush to the end that I didn’t get around to photographing all the awesome results so stay tuned! 🙂

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This is one of my all time favourite art challenges, but it’s the FIRST time I thought to time lapse each painting. Students get into a group of 4 or 5, and have one canvas with 3-4 ovals drawn on it in chalk, these ovals will be turned into faces. The results were fabulous!


  • You have 10mins to discuss a plan, no touching the canvas.
  • You have only 60mins to complete this painting.
  • No black paint until the end.
  • Use expressive colours (realism is not needed).
  • The portraits need to follow the rules, as demonstrated.
  • Everyone must be involved.
  • Fill the whole canvas- no white canvas is to be left.


Aren’t they so much fun? The students loved seeing their videos at the end.


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Not only were the students engaged during the entire class, but they learnt about the rules of portraiture in a unique way AND now we have some stunning, loose, expressive, large canvases to hang on the walls! All achieved in 80mins (5min intro, 5-10min planning, 60min painting, 5-10min clean up and photoshoot!)

I can’t wait for the next class to do this! 🙂


Posted in art challenges, Painting, Portraits | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment