Animal Eyes: Close Up – Paula Wiegmink inspired

This lesson is adaptable to different levels and using various materials. This particular lesson was done with Year 3/4’s using the Brushes Redux App on ipads. They chose an animal and then searched for an image suitable to use, bringing it into Brushes App and using the layers, colour and brushstrokes to give appropriate textures to make it realistic. Students may need to spend some time exploring and experimenting with the various brushstrokes and using the layers before beginning!

Learning Intentions: To discuss how an artist expresses an idea to show the audience a particular viewpoint. To describe subject matter, discussing materials used and how artworks are made. To explore Brushes App to use textures, colours and ‘brushstrokes’ to create a digital picture of a chosen animal eye.

Success Criteria: I can describe an artwork, infer the techniques, materials and ideas expressed. I can use Brushes Redux App layers, brushstrokes and colours to create the look and texture of an animal eye close up, using a photo as reference.

Inspiration for these artworks came from looking at and responding to artworks by Paula Wiegmink of various close up paintings of animal eyes: giraffe, tiger, lion, elephant, owl. Paula grew up in Zimbabwe (she now lives in Western Australia) surrounded by bush and wildlife and is passionate about conservation and uses her art to raise awareness of the fragility of many species. Her paintings, ‘Tears of the Rhino’ and ‘Tears are Not Enough’ of a chimpanzee, have been used by RAGES-One Fight Unite global poster campaigns to raise awareness of rhino conservation and plight of the chimpanzees, and signed by celebrities all over the world.

I introduced the students to some artworks by the artist, Paula Wiegmink, who was born in Zimbabwe in Africa. (She now lives in Western Australia.) She developed a love of African wildlife and many of her artworks feature animals and birds, along with still life, landscapes and portraits. She has a strong passion for wildlife and through her art hopes to create awareness for endangered species and the fragility of some animals in the wild. She did an amazing artwork called ‘Tears of the Rhino’ originally for World Rhino day, and was later used for a poster for the Rotarian Action Group for Endangered Species (RAGES) campaign. ‘Tears are not Enough’ was an artwork of a chimpanzee, about raising awareness of animals at risk made for “One fight Unite”.

Paula stated: “They say the eyes are the ‘window to the soul’ and for this reason I always try to convey the spirit of the animal or bird I am painting through the eye.” Students viewed a series of Paula’s artworks of animal’s eyes and close ups. We discussed her passion for animals and explored the paintings with this in mind to infer what message she was trying to portray in these pieces. The children responded with ideas about connecting with the animal through looking into their eyes and messages they might be trying to pass on to us about looking after them and their habitat or environment.

Students responded to the above artworks by Paula Wiegmink. Explore ideas and artworks from different cultures and times as inspiration to create visual artworks (VCAVAE025) Explore visual conventions and use materials, techniques, technologies and processes specific to particular art forms, and to make artworks  (VCAVAV026)