Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ancient Greece Art Project

To keep with the 'Civilization' theme this week I thought we would try an art project based on one of the oldest civilizations, ancient Greece.

This is a paper project but I think next term we will have to try a clay one.

This is a great project for Grade 5/6 to fit in with the social studies curriculum.


- brown kraft paper or paper bag
- reference material
- scissors
- disk tempera paint in yellow, orange, brown and black
- paintbrushes
- black paper
- tacky glue
- white or light yellow gel pens


Cut a nice sized rectangle of brown kraft paper or use the front of a paper bag.

Fold in half lengthwise.

Using the fold line as the center of the pot, trace out and nice profile shape.  Supply the students with some reference material to help them design their pots.

Starting in the 6th century BC you have masters of painted pottery in Greece.  There are several styles of vessels from the grand amphoras to smaller everyday pots.

- (amphora images)

This design I'm using here is an amphora.

Cut out the design and when you unfold the paper you'll have a nice symmetrical shape.

Using yellow, orange and brown paint your pot.  To make it appear more 3 dimensional paint one side in darker tones.  Try to blur the line between the dark side and the light side.  You don't want to see a dividing line.

Let dry.

After the pot has dried using black tempera and a small brush add some details.

To make the pot appear old (ancient) take your brush and using your finger splatter some paint on the dark side.

The kids always love this part so you have to get them to use a bit of restraint. Run your fingertip over the bristles to get that splatter.

For the pot's main design sketch it out on black paper using a white pencil crayon.

Cut out and then turn over to hide any pencil crayon marks.

Glue into place.

Finally add some details to your main design with a white or light yellow gel pen.

That's it.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for your chance to win the DVD series "This is Civilization", sponsored by Acorn Media.  You have until Thursday, 11:59 pm.  I'll make the draw Friday.

Please check out the previous post to enter.

See you next time.


  1. Hi Gail. What a great project. It came out great. Love it. Thanks for sharing. Now you have me wanting to do this. Thanks.

  2. AMAZING!! Doing this tomorrow. Can't even wait! We happen to be studying ancient Greece. Perfect!

    1. me to it is like such I cool idea I just handed it in lets see how I do ;) :D

  3. Very thoughtful and creative project, thanks for sharing...

  4. Those turned out great! I did a similar project where the kids cut their own vases out of orange or black construction paper and then use colored pencil to draw figures form a current Summer Olympic sport.

  5. I'm new to the art blogosphere and have just come across your blog Gail - what a treasure trove of ideas and inspiration! And the vase looks fantastic : )

  6. This is just so awesome!! I also love your idea for fresco painting with the burlap. I'm so glad I came across your blog again because I'm planning an art/art history curriculum for our homeschooling program and we're focusing on the Ancients. I had been planning on buying little clay pots from a garden store but I might just do something like this. I would love to see your clay version if you do it soon because that might be like meshing both of our ideas together :) Thanks again for all of your work, creativity and inspiration!

  7. Do you think acrylic will work just as well, or should I use tempera instead for my kids?

  8. Hey Jess, acrylic will be fine as well.