July 19

Grade 4 Foot Zentangles

Grade 4 footangle 55 2015

As mentioned in my last post, I went a bit crazy with Zentangles at the start of this 2015 school year.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 25 2015

Grade 4 Foot zentangle 25 2015

These are the foot zentagles – and we shortened the name to footangles – that my grade 4 students did.

Grade 4 footangle 26 2015

Grade 4 footangle 26 2015

I had done this activity 20 years ago in the art room, way before Zentangles had even been invented, and it always went well.

Grade 4 footangle 56 2015

Grade 4 footangle 56 2015

The students started with taking off a sock and a shoe and getting a partner to trace around their foot and yes, in between their tickly toes, with a grey lead pencil, on A3 cartridge paper.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 13 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 13 2015

They then had to lift their foot and reposition it with their foot overlapping somewhere.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 8 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangleangle 8 2015

The tracing was repeated until their arrangement of traced feet looked balanced and enough. Their decision, not mine.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 11 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 11 2015

The partners then reversed positions and did it again so they were both ready to start drawing.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 5 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 5 2015

I suggested they do this with a partner so they would get a decent traced shape of their foot with their full weight on it, rather than leaning back and tracing their own. Plus, it was the start of a new school year so what better way to get to know a classmate better than getting up close and personal with their feet!!!

So after a giggly 20 minutes or so everyone was ready to start in on those patterns.

grade 4 foot zentangle drawing 2015

grade 4 foot zentangle drawing 2015

They had looked at patterns and amazing zentangles the week before and filled in at least 5 spaces on their own pattern ideas sheet of 20 squares that had been glued into their art journal, so they were all set to go.

Grade 4 footangle 47 2015

Grade 4 footangle 47 2015

These students were also the only year level I had done Zentangles with in 2014 when they produced a name tangle.

Grade 4 footangle 44 2015

Grade 4 footangle 44 2015

And when they were in Grade 2 we had looked at the brilliant pattern work of Queenland contemporary artist Dave Behrens.

Dave Behrens self portrait

Dave Behrens self portrait


Dave Behrens painting the spoken word

Dave Behrens painting the spoken word

Dave Behrens painting Crossroads

Dave Behrens painting Crossroads

So I was confident that the pattern work they did would be good, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 35 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 35 2015

So now it was time to forget they were feet at all but just look at their paper as being covered in random, organic shapes, all of which needed to be retraced with a thick black texta and then filled with a different pattern with a black fineliner.They weren’t allowed to repeat a pattern once it had been used.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 32 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 32 2015

When they were finished they then had to fill the background with stripes using warm or cool colours.

Grade 4 foot zentangle 37 2015

Grade 4 foot zentangle 37 2015


  • Students we re so proud of their finished work!
  • stunning pattern work
  • students were so encouraging and enthusiastic when we did our “studio walk” around the classroom to look at everybody else’s work


  • Again I was way too ambitious with what I thought the students would be able to achieve over a few sessions However if they had used A4 paper the completed work wouldn’t have been nearly as impressive as there wouldn’t have been room for as many traced feet so less spaces to fill with pattern?!?!?
  • less children were certain about warm/cool colours than I thought
  • some students struggled to persevere to completion
  • I would definitely get the students to paint the backgrounds next time as coloured pencil or crayon backgrounds just dragged the work out even more. I cannot think why I didn’t get them to do this anyway?!?!?

Thanks for looking and I’m sure the Grade 4 students would love it if you left a comment,


December 5



As mentioned in previous posts, the Grade 2 children were inspired by the work of Queensland artist Dave Behrens. We looked at his website on the projection screen and even watched a video of him in his workshop.


The children were itching to get started after looking at the amazing squiggles, lines and symbols that go together to make Dave Behrens amazing paintings.


We started off small with each child decorating a rectangle to add to a whole grade piece of work.


They then chose a template to trace from a heart, a circle or a person. Some children found looking at the whole empty shape daunting so they used rulers to break the space up into sections to fill.


They were so proud of their work when it was finished and they looked terrific displayed together at the Art Show.

October 3



These lovely geometric shape collages were completed by the Grade 1 children earlier this year.

Grade 1 shape collage 2013 25

I had done this sort of activity  several times in the Art Room over the years and I’m always amazed with what the children come up with.

Grade 1 shape collage 2013 46

I purchased the fantastic double sided cardboard mosaic pieces from Zart Art, which I had used before, including the lovely shimmery squares you can see in the butterfly above, and was thrilled to find they also had packs of patterned triangles which were new.

Grade 1 shape collage 2013 54

I was horrified to find the triangles came in sheets which I had to press out myself (as they were a little too delicate for the children to do if I wanted them to stay triangular!) so I spent one lunchtime breaking up the whole packet of sheets. This was quite a zen/bizarre/ almost therapeutic activity I found which wasn’t as time consuming as I thought it would be. Next time I’ll probably get some older helpers to do it for me so I don’t totally lose my mind! It was much better than cutting up triangles myself like I used to do!!!

Grade 1 shape collage 2013 58 

I absolutely love the woolly sheep above! I found the circles and the blue/white squares with rounded corners in a box in the store room! Who knows where they came from but they must have been offcuts from something that were donated from a parents work place?!?!?! And I just love recycling!!!!

Grade 1 shape collage 2013 81

And this elephant was gorgeous – I just wish I had taken a better photo of it!

Grade 1 shape collage 2013 98

self portrait as a minecraft characterI was told that the person above was a self portrait as a MINECRAFT game character!!!

I put away a lot of these for the Art Show coming up at the end of October. I hope they have survived the storage!

Grade 1 shape collage 2013 89

I hope you enjoy this lovely gallery of shape collages by children who were only in their first few weeks of grade 1 at the time of their creation. Please leave a comment below as all bloggers love to know there is somebody out there! Or you could even become a follower!!! Just click on the follow me button in the sidebar.



October 2


At the start of this year the main art room was looking terribly empty and I wanted something I dould get up quickly to brighten up the roomain .

I saw somw bunting, I thought it was on Pinterest but I can’t find the particular image I remember and thought it would work. When I stumble upon that image again, and I will, I will put it here a d acknowledge the inspiration.

I bought a couple of cheap plastic packs of bunting at the $2 shop so the chuldren would know what I was on about.

I then drew up a quick large triangle template and photocopied it. I could have turned this into a lesson about learning how to rule up an accurate triangle but I wanted to be quick, remember????

I then talked about how bunting was visible from both sides so my instructions then were to draw patterns all over one side, the other side was to say boldly, I LOVE ART, and have the child’s nam eand grade on it.

The grade 2 children worked so hard on their intricate patterning that the bunting pieces took two sessions to complete! I then swished slightly watered down food dye over them before throwing them on the rack to dry!

I then stapled them to a stri[p of ribbon and they were great! I hung them all up when they were finished and got all sorts of comments about how festive, cicussy, the Art room looked! I took one grade’s piece and put it in the hallway with anexplanation atached as to what bunting is!!!

I was sure I had better photos that these as it looks like the classroom photos have only about 1/3 of the bunting up but I’m sure you get the idea!

Thanks for looking,


September 29


This is what happened when I gave the Grade 1 children a tub of wooden clay tools for the first time. Up until this stage they had only been using their hands and fingers as tools. I explained that this was a time to try out and experiment with the tools and see what they could do with them.

It was interesting how some of the children madly textured their work while others incorporated the tools into their finished items. Hey, I didn’t tell them that they couldn’t do that!

Quite a few of the children created a clutch of a few small items rather than make one large piece, and they all knew that none of this work was going to be kept but I would try to photograph their experiments before their session finished.

We certainly had a terrific discussion after everyone had walked aroud and looked at each other’s work.

“How did you do that?”

I wish I had thought of that!”

“I’m going to try to do mine like that next time!”

How did you make that shape?”

“Can we use the clay tools like that?”

“I made my clay flat like a picture but next time I want to make a fat shape that sits up on the table.”

And just in case you were like me who mistakenly assumed this was a nice tree – this is the Tower of Isengard from the Lord of the Rings!!!