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Tudor pop art portraits

This year my colleague and I decided to decided to revamp the art planning for Year 5. We wanted to give Tudor topics an interesting twist. We developed the idea of combining the style of Andy Warhol with Tudor portraits. The children sketched Tudor-style portraits using ideas from the National Portrait Gallery. (We had a gallery pack, but you can also find many of these paintings on its website.) We then scanned their drawings into the computer. In the next stage, the children studied the work of Andy Warhol, and then opened the scanned pictures in the popular art program Dazzle (www.dazzle.com). Focusing on different tones of colour and the use of flat colour they made pop art Tudor portraits.

It was the best artwork I've seen produced by our Year 5 pupils. Later I asked them to write an article on what they had done as part of a study of journalistic writing. The following is an extract from an article by four pupils: "Sandeep Bhogal (a pupil) ... asked Mrs Speak, the art co-ordinator, what inspired her to plan this unit. Her answer was: 'Tedious Tudors. We had become tired of the same old Tudor portraits. I imagined something quite different for our school, as we like to be individual and take risks in artwork. I wanted children to try something new, moreover, we could combine their ICT skills with their art work. I was hoping to put everything together. What came to mind was the Marilyn Monroe painting by Andy Warhol.'" We all found it interesting to link 1960s pop art with the Tudor paintings.

Jessica Hill, gifted and talented co-ordinator, and Jo Speak, art co-ordinator, Alwoodley Primary School, West Yorkshire

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