Whole School Still Life Drawing Enquiry

In Spring 2014 we worked as a whole school on the enquiry “Could I be a still life artist?” where children were given the opportunity to explore drawing through art. The two week enquiry focused on using a range of different drawing media to create a final exhibition piece from every child for a one day pop up exhibition in an unused shop unit at the Millgate Centre in Bury. At the start of the enquiry Bury Arts Society visited each class to model drawing techniques to the children and share some of their work. Click here to download a useful guide about creating a still life drawing or here for some helpful hints on drawing techniques.


Below is a gallery of different examples of still life drawings that the children looked at for inspiration.

  • trainer
  • shell 2
  • pocket watch
  • pepper
  • object collection
  • object 2
  • lilly 1
  • kettle 1
  • jug
  • jar
  • fruit
  • fruit 8
  • flower 2
  • eye
  • cans
  • bowls
  • boot
  • bicycle
  • bananna
  • tennis ball
  • shell
  • Shapes
  • pear
  • needle
  • mushrooms
  • fruit on a cloth
  • Fruit bowl
  • fruit bowl 2
  • fruit arrangement
  • fruit 5
  • flowers 1
  • cut apple
  • cup
  • cherry
  • bottle
  • bananna open
  • apples 2
  • apples 1
  • apple 3
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The aim of this enquiry was for children to:

  • Understand what still life is.
  • Use relevant vocabulary associated.
  • Explore the skills associated with observational drawing. (lines and marks, shape and form, tone and texture and perspective and composition in relation to particular key stage skills)
  • Experiment with a range of media (charcoal, graphite, graded pencils, pastels, water colours, metallics)
  • Partake in a variety of art appreciation activities so that they could look, respond and compare examples of still life work.
  • Develop a positive attitude towards drawing by having first hand experiences with a professional artist where they can observe, question and interact.
  • Develop drawing skills through exploring and developing drawing ideas through short focused tasks.
  • Evaluate the drawing journey through oral and written feedback through adult, peer and self-assessment. (This should be evident in the creative journal to document the process)
  • Create their own still life piece of art work for a whole school gallery.
  • Children sign their art work, give it a title and write a brief synopsis of their work.


Each class developed their own individual drawings and focused on the development of specific drawing skills. Our school community, Bury Arts Society, The Bury Times and members of the public were all invited into our gallery. The exhibition aimed to showcase the work that the children had produced and also enable them to have a real audience and purpose for their finished pieces. To support our charity Bury Hospice, we held a raffle that raised £305 and children visiting the exhibition had the opportunity to do some more drawing to add to our drawing working wall.  If you look at the gallery below, you can view what our exhibition looked like and see some of the still life drawings that the children created. Click here to download a copy of the leaflet we gave out to visitors on the day.



  • We were given an empty shop in the Millgate Centre Bury, which we decided to transform into a 1 day only pop up art gallery.
  • Each class created their final pieces of work, came up with names and had their work framed or put in portfolios.
  • Our arts task team spent a whole day transforming the space to create a range of different areas and set up a gallery experience.
  • Wallpaper was hung.
  • Donated fabric from Dunelm was turned into decorative swags.
  • Each picture was carefully positioned and tacked to the wall.
  • Our window displays aimed to grab the publics attention and one message in our visitors book said how uplifting they were.
  • We wanted people to understand what the children had been learning and see our gallery as a celebration of the learning that had happened in our two week enquiry.
  • Every space was used to display the work done by the children and the examples from Bury Arts Society. Memebers of the society visited on the day to see the final work that the children had produced.
  • We tried to include examples of the subjects that the children had drawn such as tea cups, crisps, chocolate, flowers and fruit.
  • All of the work was arranged in mixed groups and all our visiting children conducted their own search to find their piece of work.
  • Portfolios were produced by some classes to showcase work or the process that they had gone through to produce a final piece.
  • We created a drawing zone so that children could come in and draw pictures to add to our working wall.
  • The children were incredibly proud of their work and loved showing off their achievements.
  • Throughout the day we had over 600 visitors.
  • Even the passing police officers came in to admire the work on display!
  • The drawing zone was a real hit and had lots of budding artists refining their skills.
  • By the end of the day we had filled our working walls.
  • Lots of our visitors wanted to take copies of the work on display.
  • All our visitors spent lots of time studying each piece of work and talking about the skills that the children had developed.
  • Throughout the day the gallery was filled with our school community and members of the public.
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Below are some comments taken from our gallery visitors book:


“Well done to everybody involved in this fantastic art enquiry! Brilliant, brilliant-so impressed!”

Member of the public


“A stunning celebration of Unsworth’s talent! Really enjoyed our visit.”



“Great to see all the brilliant art work the kids have produced. They all seemed so proud.”



“The art is inspiring.”

Member of the public


“Fantastic to see all the art work displayed like this. Great idea!”



“The future talent is in safe hands!”

Member of the public


“Excellent work. It takes me back to my school days. Well done to all of the children.”

Member of the public


“We have some very talented children artists in Bury. It makes me feel very proud. Well done to every child who has a picture on the wall.”

Bury Arts Society


“Fantastic and totally uplifting. What talent there is in these children.”

Member of the public


“Well done to everyone involved-what an exciting project! We loved it.”



What a lovely display, made me smile and cheered me up.”

Member of the public


“Some fantastic work. I am very impressed”



“Love how the children have used their imagination! Some really stunning work. Well done Unsworth school. I loved and feel privileged to have been a small part of it.”

Member of Bury Arts Society



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