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Assessment Resource Centre (ARC)

  1. Stage 3
  2. Creative Arts
  3. Activities
  4. Visual Arts: Still-life of Sunflowers
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Visual Arts: Still-life of Sunflowers

Grade Work Samples
End of Stage 3 (end of Year 6)
Grade A Lesley  
Grade B Bobby   Rania  
Grade C Shane   Ainsley   Jerry   Robyn   Darcy  
Grade D Ali   Jules   Courtney   Huong  
New Work Samples

Foundation Statement strands

The following strands are covered in this activity:

Visual Arts

Description of activity

Students create a still-life of sunflowers.

  1. Students sketch the basic outline of a vase and arrange sunflowers across a table top.
  2. They consider the composition and size of these objects on their page (eg the flowers and vase might take up half of the page each, the vase might be cropped so that the focus and larger part of the work consists of the flowers).
  3. Students decide which colour scheme they would like to use to represent the still-life.
  4. They use these colours, along with drawing/painting or shading techniques, to differentiate between the foreground and background.
  5. Students add texture and tone to represent the objects in their still-life work (eg shadows, rendering, smudging/blending).
  6. They are encouraged to explore a range of materials, and to experiment with various techniques in using colour/collage and line in their work to help create depth and a focal point. These techniques may include bold outline, cellophane/paper application, shading and bold block colour, crayon and paint.
  7. Students spray their work with hairspray or fixative to seal the colours and prevent them from smudging.

Suggested extension activities

  1. Students compare their work with examples of other still-life paintings and identify similarities in subject matter, use of materials, techniques, colours, line, and shapes.
  2. Students name a technique that they (or the artist) have/has used to represent subject matter in the artwork and explain how they made it (or may have made it).
  3. Students imagine their work is in an exhibition. They write an explanation of how the work was made and what they, as the artist, wanted to represent to an audience.
  4. Students invent an artist character and write a profile for the artist, explaining how they work, including their interests, techniques, and success in the artworld.

Suggested materials

Reference to the still-life works of artists such as Van Gogh, Margaret Olley, Picasso and Vermeer, a vase and sunflowers to view, large art paper (A3), lead pencils, erasers, black crayons/charcoal, chalk, pastels, craypas, cellophane, coloured paper, glue, hairspray/workable fixative and protective sheeting or newspaper.

Prior learning

This activity is a small part of a unit that involved research about famous artists and their styles or movements in artmaking. The Visual Arts focus in this unit is on students' experiences in creating, modelling and using various techniques to develop their understanding about colour, tone and representation of subject matter in their own and others’ artmaking. Students have an understanding of how different visual qualities (colours, tones etc) and techniques and can affect the overall mood of a work, and how this can ultimately influence the audience’s response to the work. Students have been exposed to the work of Van Gogh, including his Sunflowers, as well as the still-life works and techniques of Impressionists and other artists. They discussed a still-life vase of sunflowers which was set up for them to view as an introduction to the activity. Students have made expressive and abstract artworks. They have been encouraged to express themselves and explore various moods through their use of line and colour as an alternative to representing things exactly as they appear.


Making (VAS3.2)
Makes artworks for different audiences assembling materials in a variety of ways.

(Extension Activities)
Appreciating (VAS3.4)
Communicates about the ways in which subject matter is represented in artworks.

Criteria for assessing learning

Students will be assessed on their:

  • use of different artistic concepts (eg colour, tone, shape etc) and exploration of how these may be used to represent selected subject matter
  • investigation and manipulation of different painting and drawing techniques to represent the subject matter of still-life.
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