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Over the school holidays, we hosted a two-day Animaliers course where participants explored unique animals and their physical characteristics and behaviours.

Girls researched an animal they were intrigued to know more about, with many developing a passionate interest and advocacy for their animal and its unique characteristics.

Participants explored different perspective drawing techniques to complete their illustrations, incorporating depth using a range of mediums, such as oil pastels and charcoal. They then narrowed their choice to one animal they would focus their final perspective drawings on to be used to create their sculpture the following day.

Perth artist, Si Hummerston, facilitated a workshop on the second day with participants to help them create a 3D sculpture of their animal. They created the skeleton using armature wire, built up the body with aluminium foil and created the skin using clay. They discussed, tested and applied painting techniques as animals came to life during the process.

Participants integrated their own creative ideas into their sculpture – each unique feature carefully created from eyes and noses to fingers, claws, and skin.

Jasmine said she really enjoyed trying to make her animal.

“We had to think about the skeleton and build the animal’s features using the clay,” she said.

“It was interesting to learn how to use different tools I might not have thought of to create different features.”

“I loved seeing the animals come to life before our eyes, especially at the end when we could see all of the different animal species and their colours,” Elizabeth added.

Frederique said she liked the workshop with Si.

“We got to meet an artist who taught us many ways to make our sculpture look real,” she said.

“I enjoyed the challenge made many new friends through the course.”

“I enjoyed creating the details on my cat sculpture using different tools and then using different shades of paint to create texture,” Elise added.

Parents also had plenty of good feedback about the Animaliers course.

“The strength of this course is the ability for the girls to work independently and express their individuality by choosing their own animals to research and create,” one parent said.

“My daughter absolutely loved working with the artist and enjoyed the whole design process through to completion of her sculpture. She was so pleased with her sculpture and has been making little animated movies with it since coming home. It’s been great to see her extending the activity herself beyond the two days,” another parent added.