Year 2 Visual Arts

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Make Your Own Mural: Chalk it Up


When we think of paintings most of us think first of works of art which can be framed and hung on a wall. But since the earliest times artists have been painting on walls. For example, we learned about and made our own type of cave art in What Your Year 1 Child Needs to Know. This is called mural painting, from the French word mur, meaning wall.

Murals are usually large. The most famous mural in fine art is probably Michelangelo's work at the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, Rome. Here Michelangelo didn't just do one wall, he did the whole ceiling too! We'll learn more about Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel paintings in Year 6.

Murals are a great way of decorating a large space and creating paintings which can be enjoyed by lots of people at once. On the other hand, many paintings in galleries can only be looked at by one or two people at a time. If you visit London's National Gallery, you can see Paula Rego's mural that she was asked to paint to help decorate a new Sainsbury Wing extension. Her mural is called Crivelli's Garden, and we look at it closely in What Your Year 2 Child Needs to Know.

Would you like to make your own mural? Your parents or teachers probably won't want you painting on walls, so instead you can use chalks and draw on an outside wall or pavement (but check with your parents first!). Next time it rains the chalk will wash off. Plan before you start. Think what you want your mural to be about: the story of your family, your school, your favourite things to do, your favourite books? Which characters do you need to include, what will your setting be and which details can you include to bring it all to life? Will your story be clear or mysterious? Will you work alone, or ask a friend to help you?

This activity is adapted from pages 195 - 197 of What Your Year 2 Child Needs to Know, which can be purchased here.

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