About Me & Art Education
Before I got involved with ICT and leadership in education I had a talent as an art educator. I say educator not artist as
my talent lies with getting the best out of teaching kids (and teachers) about how to get amazing art out of children.
Way back in 1997-1999 I co-chaired the Auckland Primary Art Association, where we ran workshops for teachers each school holidays.
I really enjoyed co-ordinating these workshops and got heaps of ideas from these sessions.
I also worked at an Art Teacher every Saturday for 2 years at The Children's Art School at the Auckland College of Education
(teacher's training college and now university). I have also started art workshops and after school classes at several schools
that I've worked at. I aim to post up to this page loads of ideas to help inspire teachers with visual art in their schools.


I like to use the Lifetime of Colour website for many art units. They have particularly good section on portraits. However it now appears to not be working so I am trying to track down the origins to some of the activities. So some of the links in this section do not work and go to a scholastic site: however I have just found the ART DETECTIVE game which was part of this site here:
Here is the teaching motivation I use about what a portrait is.
Here are some definitions of portraits.
Here is about face shapes.
Here is about face proportions.
Here is an online activity to practice proportion placement.
Here is a quick online quiz what is wrong with the portrait.

Here is a variety of media using portraits of self or others as motivation.

The portraits below are done with a Year 1 class (5yr olds) the background and face is painted, hair is collage paper and face features are in pastel.

Picasso Blue Period Unit
Maori Cloaks

Colour Theory & Art Definitions
Painting Ideas

For most painting units before I do the painting in either acrylic or tempera paint I get the children to get their ideas down about the subject by painting with dye. All art units should start with strong motivation, sketching and drawing of the subject matter. Painting with dye allows the children to also feel what it is like to use the brush with different media too. To make painting with dye effective use either cool colours for subject and warm colours in background or vice versa. Once the dye is dry you use vivid markers to add line detail. You can also use cotton buds and bleach to remove colour to add white space or use gold and silver pens to add features. Check out the butterflies for a good example of this.
(See the visual dictionary picture of lines in the drawing section also)

Computer Generated Art

3D - Sculpture, Paper Mache
Other images to motivate:

The following is all art work done by children:

The following is all art work and ideas from Adults training to be teachers:

Some of my favourite artists: