Sovereign Hill / Gold Rush Artworks
Term: 3 Year: 2007
The students had been on a day excursion to Sovereign Hill and participated in activities there. Digital photos
were taken of the students panning for gold.
Fire's On Gold Mine painting
This unit of work was taken from the series Focus On Art in Society and Environment (Macmillan) 10+.
- The students looked at Arthur Streeton's painting 'Fire's On'.
- They talked about how the image is, whether the colours are realistic and whether the surface textures
are real or implied.
- They discussed why Streeton may have painted this work.
- The students experimented first with making textures, mixing colours, shapes of boulders and blending
- They used only sponges, small rollers and cardboard edges as an alternative to using brushes.
- Printmaking methods were discussed.
- They worked on the background first, then adding details of trees, the mine and railway tracks. It was
a challenge not to use brushes!
Figure Drawing – Out of Luck & Fossicking for Gold
This was also taken from the Focus On series 10+. The students looked at McCubbin's "Down on His Luck"
and other paintings from the gold rush era.
- The students imagined what the gold prospectors must have felt after months of back-breaking work with
only a miniscule result.
- They role-played body positions conveying feelings of despair, misfortune and hard luck.
- Using their photographs from Sovereign Hill, they practised figure drawing – poses, proportions and
- They completed lead pencil drawings first, then moved on to their artwork. They used water-soluble oil
- For the framing, the students talked about the qualities of gold and were asked how they could portray
these qualities in the form of a frame, using Zart pre-cut frames.
- They painted a number of small rocks and used liquid and loose glitter and metallic pens to decorate
- They chose their best drawing, choosing a pleasing composition to highlight.
Bushland backdrop for Pioneer Doll
This unit of work was taken from the Book Week 'Reading Rocks' 2005.
- The students looked at the bushland paintings of Frederick McCubbin and discussed the style of painting
he has used.
- They looked at photographs of gum trees and ones in the school ground and discussed the shape and colour
of their trunks, branches and leaves.
- Using oil pastels in earth tones and greens, they sketched in the landscape and trees and blocked in
- They then painted green and blue food dye over the drawing, adding other details of huts and logs with
The Pioneer Doll – also from Bookweek 2005
- The clothes of the Pioneer children were remembered from the excursion and talked about in class.
The Calico Doll used a pre-sewn one from Zart – large size. They painted the flesh colour for the face and arms, and boots.
- Using fabric off cuts, the dress was hand sewn and a calico pinafore was made.
- Hair was added using Rovings 3 ply yarn.