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Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre

Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre

Telephone02 9542 1951

Artists in nature

Creative Arts – Visual Arts

Program overview

Students will gain a deeper understanding of how to create interesting and engaging artworks using nature as their guide. Using the Elements and Principles of Art, students will develop a rich source of ideas to create and appreciate both art and nature.  

Key syllabus outcomes


  • investigate subject matter in an attempt to represent likenesses of things in the world (CA-VAS3.1)
  • make artworks for different audiences assembling materials in a variety of ways (CA-VAS3.2)
  • acknowledge that audiences respond in different ways to artworks and that there are different opinions about the value of artworks (CA-VAS3.3)
  • communicate about the ways in which subject matter is represented in artworks (CA-VAS3.4)

Learning experiences

Ephemeral art

Students are guided on a nature walk where they observe their surrounding environments. They identify art elements such as form, texture, contrast, symmetry, pattern and how they can be found in nature. Students select and collect objects they find along the path before discussing the work of ephemeral artists such as Andy Goldsworthy. Afterwards students create and photograph their own ephemeral art.

Print making

Students work both collaboratively and individually to create artworks. They explore a range of media and techniques and assemble materials in a variety of ways. These may include:

  • leaf printing
  • leaf and bark rubbing
  • exploring and experimenting with natural objects to apply paint or ink
  • leaf printed clay ornaments

Nature photography

Students are inspired by a PowerPoint presentation showing outstanding photos taken by primary school students. They learn some photography theory as well as tips to take quality photos on iPads. In pairs, students spend time outside around taking photos applying their new knowledge. They complete a 'scavenger hunt' of photos. Students narrow down their images to 5 favourites and then choose one photo to share with their classmates.

Recommended excursion site