Sovereign Hill / Gold Rush Artworks

Term: 3 Year: 2007

Sovereign Hill Gold Rush Artworks 2
Sovereign Hill Gold Rush Artworks 1
Sovereign Hill Gold Rush Artworks 3

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

How To:

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

How To:

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
    the frame.
  • They chose their best drawing, choosing a pleasing composition to highlight.

Gold Rush
How To:

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
    the foreground.
  • 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.


Lowther Hall