Howard Arkley Style Houses

Year 5-6 Art unit –  5 one hour lessons

The topic for the school was ‘Community’ so I thought Year 5 and 6 could look at the houses in the local area (including student’s own homes if they chose). I introduced the Australian artist Howard Arkley (now deceased) and his artwork through a youtube video (see lesson unit plan) and a powerpoint with examples of his artwork. (see below)

Arkley’s house artworks were inspired by houses in the Melbourne suburb of Oakleigh. After returning from Europe he observed the suburban decorative gates and flywire doors, and used the patterns on his exterior and interior house artworks. He mainly used an airbrush on his artworks because he could make marks quickly and didn’t really like working directly with a paintbrush. He used real estate adverts and magazines for the images.

First, I actually got the students to do some research to get some basic facts about Arkley and his style and technique of art, and produce it as an artist poster (along the way discussing principles of art to help with the composition- balance, variety, etc.

Students used ipads to take a photo of their own home from the front or from the street, or get a screen shot of it from google street view, or get a screen shot of a local house from a real estate website.

Students at my school have their own ipads, so it makes it easy for them to use apps for digital art. They used the Brushes Redux App (free) to bring in the photo, add a layer and then trace the outline of the house, garden, fence etc. They uploaded just the traced outline to Google classroom, so I could print these off on A3 paper.

They then painted their house and surrounds in exaggerated colours, and blue dye wash for the sky.  Early finishers experimented with making stencil prints, to see the colour contrast and pattern design to help them decide where would be best to use particular patterns.

Next lesson, students masked off areas with strips of paper so they only printed within the chosen outlines.