1. Years 7-8
  2. Visual Arts
  3. Activities
  4. Self-portrait with pet
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Self-portrait with pet

Grade Work Samples
End of Stage 4 (end of Year 8)
Grade A Drew  
Grade B Cameron  
New Work Samples

Description of activity

Students explore painting techniques and the conventions of portraiture to make a self-portrait with a pet. They experiment with and use a range of painting techniques such as wash, impasto, resist and sgraffito to model areas, and create surface effects and textures. Students consider how visual qualities can be used in a composition to communicate characteristics of their personality to an audience.


Students have explored how artists represent their personalities, physical characteristics and interests in portraits. They have investigated the painting procedures and techniques of a range of artists including Van Gogh, Picasso, Joy Hester, Hanrahan and Perceval. They have made a number of sketches in their Visual Arts diary, using a mirror to document different views of themselves. They have considered compositional aspects and devices to represent the subject matter of themselves and their pets to an audience.

Areas for Assessment


A student:

4.1 uses a range of strategies to explore different artmaking conventions and procedures to make artworks
4.2 explores the function of and relationships between artist – artwork – world – audience
4.3 makes artworks that involve some understanding of the frames
4.4 recognises and uses aspects of the world as a source of ideas, concepts and subject matter in the visual arts
4.5 investigates ways to develop meaning in their artworks
4.6 selects different materials and techniques to make artworks

Criteria for assessing learning

(These criteria would normally be communicated to students with the activity.)

Students will be assessed on their:

  • awareness of the conventions and techniques of portrait painting evident in the use of a range of painting techniques
  • understanding of how the subjective frame can be used to represent ideas about themselves and their personality and interests through the manipulation of visual qualities such as colours, shapes, tones and patterns
  • investigation of the conceptual framework to communicate ideas about themselves and their pets and how these may be interpreted by an audience.
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