by Julia Bolton-Mitford
the second half of this year our principal Jason Caldwell organised
Rere School senior room to paint a large mural of the hills we run
around for our fitness.
We also decided
to decorate our landscape with birds that we had painted in term
one. Several junior students also worked on eight smaller mural
panels at the same time.
In term one
we had painted birds on canvas for an art auction. We choose birds
because we were studying flight as part of science.
painting our canvas, Mr Caldwell taught us how to hold a paint brush
properly, shade from black to white, mix tones and tints of a colour,
under-painting and dry-brushing techniques.
also painted colour wheels, learning to mix the colours we would
need. The art auction went well and we earned over $2000 for the
school, but. more importantly this project had given us the skills
we needed to paint the murals.
Once several students had undercoated
the boards Mr Caldwell drew on the outlines for the hills and sky.
Before we could do anything on the mural we all had to practice
our brush strokes.
Everyone found this
easy so we began with the sky. About ten of us in a line started
off dark blue and got lighter the more we moved down the board towards
The hills were the same
as the sky except we shaded them darker as we moved down. The hills
did not take long as different teams of students painted different
hills, this added a natural variance of the scenery.
The idea is to paint
the background first then paint the objects on top, instead of doing
it the other way around and having to try and paint all the gaps.
The stream and rocks were next.
the stream we got some blue and some white on the brush at the same
time and let them mix together on the mural as we did all swirling
curving strokes. This gave a really neat effect that made it look
real like rushing water.
When all of
the background was finished we got the overhead projector and projected
our bird sketches that Mr Caldwell had saved from the art auction.
We drew around our birds with vivid pen.
all the outlines were finished we started to paint. This was the
best part of the project as the whole thing came alive. Three or
four students painted their birds at a time and everyone was surprised
to see that it only took two days to paint the birds on..
frog, lizard, butterfly and the lady bugs were hand drawn on by
Mr Caldwell and painted by us kids.
of us found that we painted our bird more quickly and easily on
the mural than in our first paintings. We needed less advice from
Mr. Caldwell and most felt their second bird was even better than
We presented the junior
panels and the large mural at the pets day. Everyone was staring
at our work and talking about how good it all looked!