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Orchard Primary

& Pre-School

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School Logo

Orchard Primary & Pre-School

"Small enough to care, Big enough to inspire"


Drawing Knowledge Organisers


Year 1

Exploring lines


We looked at some optical artwork by British artist Bridget Riley and thought about the use of line in her pieces. We learnt the names of different kinds of lines, including: horizontal, vertical, diagonal, wavy, straight, broken and cross-hatched, and had a go at creating these ourselves by arranging some string in different ways and drawing what we saw. We put all of our line drawings together to create one collective artwork. 


Making waves


We looked at artwork depicting water, such as in the paintings by artist Zaria Forman. We shared the kinds of lines we could see and discussed how there were many different types because the water changed in different areas e.g. some were waves, ripples, still, foaming. We worked in groups to create abstract drawings whilst listening to water themed music and made different marks reflecting what we could hear. We heard fast, slow, sad, upbeat, loud and quiet sounds and used a range of mediums like pastels, chalk, pens and pencils. We experimented with using them in different ways such as changing our grip, using different parts (e.g. side and tip of pastel) and varying the pressure to see what would happen.


Experimenting with media


We discussed some work by artists Wassily Kandinsky, Renata Bernal and Ily Bolotowsky by looking at the colours used, the shapes we could see and what materials we thought were used to make them. We had a go at making our own shape compositions, ensuring we created a single mass by leaving no gaps. To do this we had to overlap shapes; we then used different colours and mediums to fill in our piece. We discovered a lot about the different materials we used and learnt how to create a variety of effects with them.



Continuous line drawing & Mark making


We learnt what still life drawing is and had a go using everyday objects found around our classroom. We had lots of fun using pens to create a continuous line drawing; this means once our pens touched the paper, we couldn't lift them off again until we felt our drawing was complete. We made sure to keep looking at our object whilst we were drawing. We then explored making different types of marks to add texture and detail and found out that, in drawing, texture means the way we make a surface look e.g. rough, smooth, shiny.




Drawing from observation


We practised our observational drawing skills by firstly investigating our objects carefully; looking at it from all sides, touching it and studying the colour, shapes, tones, lines and texture. We created some still life drawings of fruit using a range of drawing materials in different ways and the mark-making techniques we learnt during this unit to make it more realistic.






We followed step by step instructions for how to draw a castle, then added some colour with paint. We tried to focus on proportion and looking for simple shapes when drawing the different features of the castle.


Year 2

Charcoal mark making


We experimented with charcoal to draw different marks. We listened to different words and phrases and thought about how we could represent these as marks. We explored different ways of holding the charcoal stick, such as using the tip and also using the side, and tried varying pressures to create lighter and darker areas. 



Creating texture


We thought carefully about texture and how we could recreate the way a surface looks and feels using different materials and mark making techniques. We chose a variety of close up photographs to replicate in different ways to see which worked best.



Year 3

See like an artist


We made some quick, still life sketches using pencils. First we looked carefully to find simple shapes within objects and used these to form the basis of our drawings. Once we had basic shapes drawn out, we added more detail. 






We looked at artist Max Ernst and learnt that he developed a technique called frottage, which is the French word for rubbing. We took lots of rubbings from surfaces indoors and outdoors and used these to create a paper collage of a flower, inspired by artist Maud Purdy.


Botanical drawings


We looked at botanical illustrations by scientists Charles Darwin and Carl Linnaeus and created our own studies by sketching different parts of a flower. We looked for simple shapes to help us sketch our outline then used different shading and mark making techniques to create texture and make our drawings seem more realistic. 


Year 4

3D effects

We looked at Ed Ruscha's artwork 'Eye' and had a go at creating a similar piece. To achieve a 3D look, we used varying pencil grades and pressures to create different tones. We arranged pieces of ribbon in different ways and in stages tried to shade light, medium and dark tones.

Observational drawing


We created observational drawings using pencils of varying grades. We looked carefully for simple shapes within the objects we were drawing, then when we were happy with our outline, we added more detail and also shading to create depth. We thought carefully about where objects were overlapping and began to think about proportion. 



Sense of proportion 


We discussed the meaning of proportion whilst looking at artworks by Alberto Giacometti and Fernando Botero. We created a still life drawing using charcoal and rubbers by smearing broken charcoal evenly across our page for the background, then using the rubber to create the outline of the objects in front of us. We looked carefully at how each object sat by or overlapped each other and tried to draw in proportion. We added light areas using the rubber then used a charcoal stick to add in any shadows we could see.


Paper collages


We looked at a piece of artwork by Henri Matisse called 'Circus' and discussed how we thought it had been created. We discovered that the artist used paper to create collages and called it 'drawing with scissors'. We had a go at creating some abstract paper collages using a range of black and white images. We noticed that Matisse used lots of bold bright colours and learnt that he worked in the 'fauvist' style.



Wax resist drawing


We looked at artwork by artist Henry Moore and talked about how his use of the hatching technique made the subjects in his art appear more realistic and three dimensional. We noticed that when hatching, the lines follow the natural curves of the subject. We learnt that hatching can also be used to add contrast and pattern to abstract drawings. We created some backgrounds to work into using wax crayons and paint. We used some paper collages we had created for inspiration and worked into our backgrounds using sharp tools and the hatching technique. 




Year 5

Space imagery


We learnt how 'The Space Race' dominated popular culture and influenced art and design during the 1950's and 60's. We looked at some retro-futuristic artwork from this time and discussed what we thought about these, considering the formal elements (line, shape, space, form, tone, texture, pattern, colour and composition). We thought about how certain artworks were made and which materials might have been used. 


Drawing decisions


To replicate some space themed images, we experimented with a range of mediums and techniques to see what would work best. This included charcoal, pen, pastels, paper collage and working onto textured surfaces.


Futuristic art


Year 6

Mayan art


We looked at artwork by artist Diego Rivera and when we learnt he was from Mexico, we noticed an influence of Mayan art within his pieces. After looking at images of other Mayan art, we found that they mostly depicted things from daily life and religion. We created a research page in our sketchbooks showing imagery, patterns and colour ideas we liked and had a go at replicating some of these.

Symbolic Imagery


We learnt how both modern an ancient Maya believe they have a spirit or animal companion based on when they were born, and how these describe a person's traits; these are called Wayobs. We chose a Wayob that we thought best fit our personality then thought of other signs that could represent our character, either literally or symbolically. We created a drawing featuring our Wayob and the other symbols that reflected our personality, using Dan Fenelon's artwork, 'A walk in the sun', as inspiration; his work reflects Maya art in a modern style, using bright and bold colours.



We tried drawing using the chiaroscuro technique; representing contrasting light and shadow areas to show depth and define three-dimensional subjects. We used different shading techniques such as hatching and cross-hatching.