Take One Picture 2019

14th February 2019


We started off by looking at this painting in the dark and we tried to imagine what it would be like to be in the room with the people. The children had lots of questions about the painting and enjoyed making shadows and having their silhouettes drawn. We used them to play a ‘Guess who?’ game.

Year 1

Year 1 looked at the painting and talked about what they could see and what they wanted to find out. We were particularly interested in the bird, as our current topic is ‘flight’. We described the bird in English and wrote sentences. We used ink pads and rollers to cover the feathers in paint, we then put the covered feather in-between a sheet of paper and printed a symmetrical image!

Year 2

After talking about the painting and sharing some ideas, Year 2 children created black pastel and rubber drawings of cockatiels. They started off by covering paper with pastel and then rubbed it away to form the birds’ bodies. This is similar to the atmospheric chiaroscuro painting technique that Joseph Wright ‘of Derby’ – carving light out of darkness. Some children added an outline to define their birds.

Year 3

Year 3 children were interested in finding out how an air pump works, which led us to exploring air bubbles. They blew inky bubbles onto paper and used line and shading to draw the parts of the painting that captured their imaginations. They also wrote poems, basing each line around an adjective inspired by the painting. 

Year 4

After studying the painting, the children recreated the scene and acted out what was happening. These were photographed and then we made them look old. The children then wrote about what each character was thinking. We then cut out silhouettes, using both the negative and positive image. We looked at handwriting samples from the 1700s and tried to write the character thoughts in the same style.

Year 5

Year 5 decided to take a closer look at cockatiels. They began by making observational sketches from photos of the birds and then used chalk pastels to capture the colour, form and texture of these amazing feathered creatures. Alongside this, they got into role as one of the characters in the painting and wrote letters about their experiences.


Year 6


First of all, children created their own designs in their sketchbooks. Next, we used a tjanting (a pen-like tool used to apply liquid hot wax) to draw our designs onto fabric. Finally, we used Brusho fabric paints to dye the fabric.