Category Archives: Teaching Practice

National 5 Compare Questions

exam time management

I have just finished the revision sheets for the comparative questions for the National 5 Pre-lim Exam. They are mainly made for my class, though it will give you an idea of how to make your own revision tables for your own artists and designers. The revision sheets are available for download from THE BOX at the bottom of the right column (They are labelled ‘NAT 5 COMPARE.pdf’), or you can access them HERE.

Dazzling Daffies



The astonishing drawing above was created by my friend and colleague, Val Hamilton. She is the Principal Teacher of Art & Design at Oban High School. It was created in the app ProCreate, on an iPad. Val took a photo of some daffodils, imported it into ProCreate, then used the tools available such as smudge, fill, paintbrush and eraser to manipulate and create the detailed and interesting image above. I really like how the image slowly becomes more painterly as your eyes browse across the work, we are forced to look around the work, deciding if the image is a photograph or not, trying to figure out if the image is real or created. Well, it’s both, a sum greater than each of its parts. If you have an iPad, try it out yourself and email me the result.

It Figures…

My friend and colleague, Miss McInnes (OLSP) has sketched this little masterpiece below. We are putting together examples of units for the new National 4 and 5 qualifications. Miss McInnes is working on a figurative unit to show pupils how they would tackle the two sheets and ‘added value’ final piece on that theme. This is a great piece of observation pencil work, it has taken her a few hours to get this far, though it’s definitely worth it.

Off Their Trolley

Class S1CF5 have put this amazing trolley together in a single period as a collaboration between Art & Design and English. Working with Miss Clarkin, they are looking at ‘Spit Nolan’ by Bill Naughton and are attempting to create a modern day version of the cart in the tale. The trolley has been created by cutting cardboard, rolling paper and covering the whole lot with glue stick and tin foil.

Ask Jacqueline Wilson

Lucy, Erin and Monica (S1, OLSP) participated, with the help of Ms Clarkin, in asking Jacqueline Wilson a question for the Big Issue. In return, the Big Issue has kindly awarded each of the girls with a brand new copy of Jacqueline Wilson’s most recent book (actually just released today! not released until the 29th Sept?!), ‘Sapphire Battersea’.

Mrs Hull’s Young Apprentices

I’ve been posting some submissions from my school’s Art Department to TESS (Teaching Supplement), to feature in their Art Section. I couldn’t give up the chance of letting you see some of the pupil work my colleague, Mrs Hull (OLSP), has been supervising across the corridor. These submissions were pre-lim examples for the S4 Standard Grade expressive exam last year. Pupils usually sit the exam with objects in front of them, or a photo along with a pre-trial version of their exam composition. This gives them the biggest chance to succeed, as it is asking a lot for a pupil to be at their artistic best on the day. Lots of things can go wrong and the pupil could have artistic block or an ‘off day’.

At the very top Emma H and Patrick McC (S4, OLSP) show off their painting skills with beautiful studies of fruit, bottles and a basket. Mrs Hull’s still life resources are very luxurious, it makes the pupils’ work look a lot more mature, even professional. Her teaching methods help the pupils focus on capturing pockets of colour in an expressive, yet controlled manner. If you can observe and record the right reflections and perfect your eclipses in your work, like Holly McP‘s (S4, OLSP) pastel study below, you can produce impressive work, though this would be a lot easier if you have a great mentor like Mrs Hull.