Our 'Art Detectives' Programme

As Art Detectives, the children at Elswick House investigate different artists from the past and the present and from all over the world. The children learn that there are different ways to make art, and have the opportunity to use a variety of media, materials and tools in creating their own artwork.


As the months have gone by, the children's self-confidence has increased dramatically and they are experiencing a great sense of achievement and pride in their creations. 


Finally, and most importantly, we all have lots of fun!


Scroll down to the bottom for our most recent activities.

Inspired by famous artists such as Picasso, Monet and Vincent van Gogh, our Art Detectives enjoy experimenting with drawing, painting, making collages and building models. Through art, the children learn  about the world they live in. Led and encouraged by Jane, herself a practicing artist, the children's imagination and vocabulary are stretched and they develop their own ideas, opinions and style. Recently they had great fun studying cave paintings and in recent weeks they have found inspiration from African art.

The Art Detectives then moved on to Andy Warhol, doing lots of fantastic pop art. We took some photographs of frozen grass, which we enlarged and the children printed over with brightly coloured flowers. They look amazing. We also learnt about Michelangelo, who painted the Sistine Chapel. We saw pictures of the ceiling and wondered how he painted it so wonderfully. So we tried it ourselves by securing art paper to the underside of the tables and then, lying on our backs, we painted pictures. It was really hard! Finally we made our very own model of the Sistine Chapel from cardboard and painted it in gold paint. It looked amazing.

In the second half of February, the Art Detectives have been studying the art of ancient Egypt. They have made the highly decorative collars and bracelets fashionable in the time of the Pharaohs, painted Tutankhamun's wonderful death mask, and made Mummies from pegs wrapped in cotton strips, soaked in spices and salt as a preservative.  "Why are they Mummies and not Daddies?" asked one bright spark. They made richly decorated scarab beetles and headdresses too.

The children have had a wonderful time with Jane over the last few weeks, firstly studying Clementine Hunter, who was a slave, living on a plantation, and who drew the life around her. Her pictures are very naive and frequently not to scale, but are wonderful pictures for young children to copy. They made a delightful wall pictureand also did their own zinnia paintings


Then they went on to study Alex Scheffler, the artist for the Gruffalo books. So they made some flip-flap books, where the children were given the top half of an animal and drew their own ideas of what the legs would be like. Great fun and very amusing!

They also made Gruffalo hats and then created shadow puppets of the Gruffalo characters. They painted a forest scene on one of my sheets(!) and while Jane read to them, the children acted out the story with their shadow puppets behind the sheet. The result was amazing!!!

The Art Detectives are doing something different for the next few weeks.

We have begun a painting challenge.

The aim is to have as much fun as possible trying out lots of different painting techniques, making some amazing artwork along the way.

So look out for crackle art, foam and sand art, splatter painting,

magnet and foil art, to name but a few! 

Can you spot some of them?

The children have completed their Painting Challenge and enjoyed every minute of it. Our display shows most of the media and techniques that the children were introduced to.

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+44 (0)1543 432329




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Proprietors: Elswick House Nursery School Limited - Company Number: 13053001
Reg. Off.: Radbourne, 56 Kenilworth Road, Leamington Spa, CV32 6JW
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