Activity Introduction

Lord Howe_Joshua Yeldham_LessonFrameQuick summary: For centuries, artists have travelled in search of new environments to fuel their creativity and to gain perspective on life and the world they live in. Led by intuition, curiosity, and foresight, they have found themselves immersed in nature, painting landscapes and creating mindscapes.

In this art lesson, students investigate how some artists paint using perspective, foreground, middle ground, and background. Whereas other artists have developed a non-traditional approach to sketching and painting. Students will be asked to consider how colour, materials and composition can impact how we perceive art and begin to contemplate why our mood, personality and technique are all essential elements to making art.

Whilst outside in nature, students will create a landscape artwork and are encouraged to look around at the work of their peers and gain inspiration from other artworks. Naturally, students will deviate and find their own path and begin to understand why it can be helpful to have conversations about the creative process and discuss decision-making with friends.

The second part of this art lesson will see students stepping outside their natural comfort zone and completely alter their artwork, and watch it emerge into something else.

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand how nature and the environment impacts creativity
  • Students will alter an artwork to understand the importance of letting go of ideas associated with perfectionism.

21st-century skills: 

 CommunicatingCreative ThinkingCultural UnderstandingCritical ThinkingEmpathyFlexibilityProblem SolvingSocial Skills            

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Years 5 & 6 Visual Arts:

  • Develop and apply techniques and processes when making their artworks (ACAVAM115)
  • Plan the display of artworks to enhance their meaning for an audience (ACAVAM116)

Years 5 & 6 Visual Arts:

  • Experiment with visual arts conventions and techniques, including exploration of techniques used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, to represent a theme, concept or idea in their artwork (ACAVAM118)
  • Develop ways to enhance their intentions as artists through exploration of how artists use materials, techniques, technologies and processes (ACAVAM119)
  • Practise techniques and processes to enhance the representation of ideas in their art-making (ACAVAM121)

Syllabus outcomes Stage 3: VAS3.1, VAS3.2, VAS3.3, VAS3.4

Syllabus outcomes Stage 4: 4: 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6

General capabilities: Literacy, Personal and social Capabilities, Critical and Creative Thinking

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability 

Relevant parts of Year 5 & 6 achievement standards: 

By the end of Year 6, students explain how ideas are represented in artworks they make and view. They describe the influences of artworks and practices from different cultures, times and places on their art-making.

Students use visual conventions and visual arts practices to express a personal view in their artworks. They demonstrate different techniques and processes in planning and making artworks. They describe how the display of artworks enhances meaning for an audience.

Relevant parts of Year 7 & 8 achievement standards: 

By the end of Year 8, students identify and analyse how other artists use visual conventions and viewpoints to communicate ideas and apply this knowledge in their art-making. They explain how an artwork is displayed to enhance its meaning. They evaluate how they and others are influenced by artworks from different cultures, times and places.

Students plan their art-making in response to the exploration of techniques and processes used in their own and others’ artworks. They demonstrate the use of visual conventions, techniques and processes to communicate meaning in their artworks.

Topic: Artist in residence  

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work Lord Howe Island – Artist in Residence.

Time required: 90 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding:  Medium – facilitate class discussion and how artists use art meta language as they explore traditional and contemporary means of making art. 

Resources required:

  • A device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Large sheets of paper suitable for painting and sketching (to be pasted into the art portfolio)
  • Paint and pencil for drawing and painting exercise
  • Paintbrush
  • Portfolio or booklet dedicated to the Joshua Yeldham art lessons
  • Student Worksheet (one per person)
  • Student resource booklet: Joshua Yeldham Student Resource.

 After each lesson, students should paste, write, draw or annotate their art portfolio.
Portfolios have several important purposes, not only do they serve as a historical checklist of a student’s accomplishments, but they allow students to unpack their creativity and make connections between the process, newly acquired knowledge and experimentation.

Keywords: art, abstract art, expressionism, nature, landscape, freedom, creativity, natural, evolving, portfolio. 

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Lord Howe_Joshua Yeldham_LessonFrameTeacher Preparation

Before presenting each lesson, ensure that you have watched the video about Joshua Yeldham and are ready to explore art-making with an open mind and willingness to be outside in nature with your students.
However, before stepping out in nature, make sure that you are aware of any allergies your students might have and have visited each site in advance to ensure it is deemed safe and appropriate. 

Print or send the student resource booklet: Joshua Yeldham Student Resource so that each student can refer to the works of Joshua Yeldham throughout the lesson.

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • ...understand how nature and the environment impacts creativity
  • ...alter an artwork to understand the importance of letting go of ideas associated with perfectionism.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ...create artworks that reflect their perception of the natural environment
  • ...relinquish ideas associated with perfectionism when creating artworks

Teacher con

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought-starter: “Let go of perfectionism because it does not exist.” - Joshua Yeldham 

Artwork Analysis

1. Look at the artwork produced by Joshua Yeldham and reflect on the following questions: 

  • How are various subjects in the artworks depicted in terms of size, tone and form?
  • Observe a subject and discuss why you think the artist drew it that way
  • How does the use of colour, line and patterns emphasise particular subjects within the image?

Lord Howe_Joshua Yeldham- Lion island - Blue summe

 Joshua Yeldham: Lion Island - Blue Summer, 2015. Shellac ink on hand-carved cotton paper. 200.00 x 200.00 cm

Write your response below: 

Note: Alternatively, you may wish to explore and discuss an artwork of your choice below or you can complete both tasks - if time permits.

Artwork Analysis

2. Chose an artwork produced by Joshua Yeldham and reflect on the following questions: 

  • How are various subjects in the artworks depicted in terms of size, tone and form?
  • Observe a subject and discuss why you think the artist drew it
- or - to view worksheets

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