Notes of Lessons: Original Illustration, Class II

Notes of Lessons: Original Illustration, Class II

[We have thought that it might be of use to our readers (in their own families) to publish from month to month during the current year, Notes of Lessons prepared by students of the House of Education for the pupils of the Practising School. We should like to say, however, that such a Lesson is never given as a tour de force, but is always an illustration or an expansion of some part of the children’s regular studies (in the Parents’ Review School), some passage in one or other of their school books.—Ed.]

Subject: Original IllustrationGroup: ArtClass IITime: 30 minutes

By Kathleen M. Clendinnen
The Parents’ Review, 1906, pp. 64-65


I. To help the children to make clear mental pictures from description, and to reproduce the same in painting.

II. To help them in their ideas of form and colour.

III. To cultivate the imagination.

IV. To add interest to the History period the children are studying by letting them illustrate a story from Laurence Gomme’s Princess’s Story Book, belonging to the reign of Henry VII.


Step I.—Draw from children briefly what they know of Henry VII. and his time. Amplify points upon which they are not clear.

Step II.—Direct the children’s thoughts to characters which occur in the story to follow:—e.g.,Elizabeth Woodville, widow of Edward IV., whom Henry VII. had shut up in a convent at Bermondsey. She was the mother of the two Princes who were supposed to have been murdered in the Tower, and of Elizabeth of York, who was Henry VII.’s queen. Elizabeth Woodville was the widow of Sir John Grey when she married Edward IV. She had a son, the Marquess of Dorset.

Cardinal Morton was Henry VII.’s chief minister. He was a great help in many ways, and was the man who suggested that the king should raise money by “benevolences.”

Sir William Stanley was Henry VII.’s Lord Chamberlain. (This will probably be a new name for the children, as he is not mentioned in their history book—Arnold-Foster.)

Step III.—Draw a description of the dress of the period from the children. (They are dressing dolls in Tudor costumes and should be able to give this.)

Step IV.—Read a part of Perkin Warbeck, by Mary Shelley, from the Princess’s Story Book, without comment or question.

Step V.—Ask children what mental pictures they have made.

Step VI.—Re-read story (if time).

Step  VII.—Without mentioning any object, colour or special form so as to alter the mental pictures the children have made, direct their thoughts to the following points:—

(a) Number of people to appear in the drawing, and the position they will take on the paper.

(b) Their size, dress, etc., in relation to their surroundings. (Form, size, etc., of objects which make up the surroundings.)

(c) The mental picture must not suffer by being put down on paper, “it must be what they mean to paint.”

Step VIII.—Question children as to how they are going to mix the paint.

(Water taken by a clean brush into a clean palette, and paint added and mixed.)

Encourage them to a free use of the brush.

Step IX.—Let them produce mental picture with brush and paint.

Step X.—Show them Helen Stratton’s “original illustration” of the same story. If time, draw from them all or some of the following points:—

(1) Helen Stratton must have had one specially clear picture in her mind.

(2) She must have felt the positions of the people, the kind of room they were in, and the exciting moment of Sir William Stanley’s arrival.

(3) She must have had a good idea of the dress of the time, of the age of the people, and of the general appearance of all three.

Step XI.—Say a little about this kind of drawing, how it differs from portrait painting, and how it is in a way much more useful.