Wildlife art project - Home School Help!! :-)

March 24, 2020

Hello! I know a lot of people are embarking on a period of home-schooling and thought i'd share a little project which was originally created for KS 1&2 ages 8-9 but could be used  and adapted for various different ages.

 “The children were the most engaged they have ever been in an artist and art project  Perhaps its the bright colours, the freedom and the subject matter, children are definitely captivated by Sarah's artwork". Jo-Anne Mallinson

Note, this isn't a step by step guide in how to paint like Sarah, the aim is to allow children to  research an artist, create an artist profile, and then to experiment with colour & paint. I have taken the key points from the lesson plans created by Jo-Anne Mallinson, a Deputy Head teacher and tried to make it flow in an accessible way.  

Good Luck, and have fun!


Focus: Modern wildlife artist  - study of Sarah Taylor - Artist 

This project ties in well with science, particularly living things and their habitats.
Through studying the work of artist Sarah Taylor, children can complete an artist profile, collect samples, explore different techniques to refine ideas, before completing their own piece of art work in the style of Sarah.

Although the notes here will focus on the art side of things, you can incorporate research into different animals, as your child chooses which animal to paint.

Equipment needed:

  • Paper
  • Pencils of different degrees
  • Acrylic paint, water & brushes
  • straws ( preferably not plastic)
  • Cheap canvas or thick watercolour paper.
  • Children's work book, or just use paper 

Resources to download if required:


Part 1. Research

  1. Which paintings do you like best?
  2. What do you like about them?
  3. What part of the painting is really important?
  4. How does Sarah make her art?
  5. How did she start painting like this?


    Part 2. Painting

    Time to start painting! watch this video for top tips from Sarah 

    1. Experiment mixing paints to make your own colours.
    2. Dilute the paint with water and try blowing the paints around the page.
    3. Try layering paint so you see different colours on top of each other. Notice how different colours affect each other.
    4. Test colour combinations to see which colours go well together.


    Part 3. Doodling 

    This bit is really fun!

    1. Look at Sarah's paintings, find some examples of shapes and patterns she has drawn.
    2. Fill pages with doodles and different shapes - make up your own patterns and practice making them in different sizes.
    3. What does Sarah use the patterns for? How do they affect the paintings?


    Part 4. Sketching

    1. Choose an animal from Sarah's website that you would like to paint.
    2. Find reference photographs of the animal online that you like, try to find images where you can see the eyes clearly. Perhaps you can find out about the animals whilst you're looking!
    3. Practice sketching simple animal shapes, the outlines and the main features
    4. Practice sketching animal eyes, look at the details in the eyes including the reflections.
    5. Don't worry if you go wrong it's all good practice!



    Part 4. Final painting

    1. Copy a sketch of your animal onto a canvas or paper.
    2. Start adding splashes or colour to build up the shape of the animal
    3. Blow lots of colour around and have fun!
    4. Add the details of the eye, including a white speck for the reflections.
    5.  Have fun adding doodles to the painting!
    6. Share your painting to my Facebook page :-)



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