Busylizzie Art at Churchstanton Primary School…

Busylizzie was ‘at large’ last week with KS1 children at Churchstanton Primary School on the Blackdown Hills, helping them to look at abstract art and create their own canvases using acrylic paint of the first time.

The concept of trying to capture feelings or emotions in colour and shape, with lines and the use of space, is not easy, but somehow young children are less likely to over-think ideas and these were open to creating a design for their canvas which would portray how they were feeling…We looked at some of Kandinsky’s work ranging from his early, representational painting, through to his Compositions portraying ‘music’, and a host of other studies looking for the elements of colour, shape and line. The children worked in pairs, discussing  which works communicated something to them, and what it was that they liked about the painting in terms of lines, shapes, colours… There was no brief to copy – the children were using the artists work to help them to understand how an artist can change style over his lifetime…

This very little artist (aged 5 or just 6) was clearly influenced by the concentric circle painting, but his painting was very much his own interpretation, having mixed his colours and created his mood! “Peaceful, happiness bubbles”…


For most of the four, five and six year-olds, the prevailing emotion was that of having fun; they were happy to be trying out new paint and creating artworks on their very own canvases. Red, yellow, warm and bright sunshine colours were identified to show this feeling, as well as pinks and purples in some cases. A few  children tried to create a calm, green, peaceful mood, whilst there were a couple of party-inspired designs, using streamers and swirls as well as colours and shapes. This young artist deliberately added decoration to her streamers for her ‘Happy Party’…again colour-mixing to suit her mood.


Trying to ensure a feeling of success in all children, Busylizzie demonstrated covering the canvas with the predominant colour they had chosen, to act as a backdrop for their shapes and lines which would be added on top. The technique of streaking the background colour with white, to lighten and give interest, allowed the older of the children an element of extension too.

After break, which allowed some drying time, the task was to add the main shapes they had identified would help to convey their mood or feelings, and then add lines as finishing touches. The ideas of soft, rounded shapes and flowing curving lines seemed happier as opposed to jagged, sharp, pointy, hard-edged shapes and lines which they thought were cross and even angry!

After finishing their work, they were all combined into a block, to demonstrate how each is canvas part of a very important ‘whole’display…


Bottom left canvas is my demonstration ‘model’…

If after reading this, you would like a similar art workshop for your children, or would like to discuss other possibilities – please contact me through the website, or call 07730605193 and we can take it from there!

I am DBS checked and have 35 years of teaching experience with 4-11 year-olds.

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