Indigenous Animals

Term: 1 Year: 2014

Initially we discussed as a class the use of Totems or Spirits by many Indigenous races (American Indians, Maori etc.) and that these were often represented as the native animals of the land.

Following these initial discussions we brainstormed as a class a list of animals unique to Australia. Students chose from this list the animal that they thought best represented them as a Totem and explained why.

Using this Totem as a beginning point the boys used papier mache on a base form over a plastic mask. After this first layer had dried, they removed the plastic mask from beneath, and started construction of the individual 3 dimensional features required for their animal. As each boy’s was unique, this required a variety of construction materials, predominantly newspaper, Balsa Wood, Masking Tape, Egg Carton bases and plastic or foam cups. When they had constructed the necessary details (i.e. Beak, Snout, Ears etc.) a second layer of papier mache was applied, for coverage and strength.

During the following lesson the boys painted the surface of their masks, using Acrylic Paints. The use of shade and tone, and colour mixing techniques were explored at this stage.

Finally, appropriate collage materials were used to finish off the artworks and add detail specific to their chosen animal.

Karen Neilsen
Visual Art Teacher
Brighton Grammar
Suitable for 
AusVELS level 4