About this resource

The Artists in Residence (AiR) project was founded in 2018 by award-winning teacher Andria Zafirakou.

With a mission to bring high-quality artist residencies to schools across the UK, it offered students a chance to develop practical art skills and gain an insight into what a career in the arts may look like. It also offered teachers the opportunity for professional development and to help to raise the profile of the arts within their school.

In this resource, we bring you a selection of some of the fantastic AiR resources created by artists and teachers. Use them to inspire creative activities in the classroom or at home!

Projects designed by teachers

Andria's Art Room

Explore Op Art

Movement in Squares

Movement in Squares 1961

Bridget Riley (b.1931)

Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre

Op Art was an art movement that began in the 1960s. Short for 'optical art', Op Art describes the work of artists such as Bridget Riley who experimented with shapes and colours to create 3D effects or the impression of movement.

Have a go at creating your very own Op Art artwork. (You can find out more about Op Art in our Bridget Riley and Op Art learning resource.)


Create colourful plastic designs

Inspired by stained glass windows, discover how to use PVA glue and food colouring to make vibrant plastic designs. Use them to decorate windows or mirrors… What will you do with yours?


Paint with recycled plastic

In this video resource, Andria shows you how to experiment with melting recycled plastics, using an iron to create textured, abstracted landscapes. (Students will need adult supervision for this activity.)


Watch and make with Mrs Darlington

Primary school teacher Mrs Darlington has lots of fun craft activity ideas for the very young.

In this activity, she shows you how to get creative with toilet roll tubes and transform the everyday into a colourful flower painting or design. You can explore more activities on her YouTube channel.

Gomersal Primary School

Discover art activity ideas for the classroom with these brilliant blogs from Gomersal Primary School.

You can explore more of Gomersal's activity ideas for the classroom on Blogspot.

Colour-mixing and Monet

Be inspired by Impressionist painter Claude Monet and experiment with colours and mark-making. Visit the blog to find out how!

Student exploring mark-making, inspired by Monet

Student exploring mark-making, inspired by Monet

Create abstracted landscapes inspired by David Hockney

Use drawing inks, oil pastels and POSCA pens to draw vibrant landscapes inspired by artist David Hockney.

Rocky Mountains and Tired Indians

Rocky Mountains and Tired Indians 1965

David Hockney (b.1937)

National Galleries of Scotland

Buildings and cityscapes

Investigate buildings in your local town or city and experiment with printing and drawing techniques to create cityscapes. Introduce students to perspective and encourage them to look at architectural details.

Top tip! Use this resource for cross-curricular study with geography.

Cityscape project student sketchbook page

Cityscape project student sketchbook page

Expressive drawing from the human form

Create large-scale mixed media drawings inspired by artists Leonardo da Vinci and Jean Michel Basquiat. Use paint and charcoal to experiment with gestural lines and marks.

Experimental drawing inspired by da Vinci and Basquiat

Experimental drawing inspired by da Vinci and Basquiat

Projects designed by artists

Emma Jackson / Story Drawing Club

Make a monoprint

Monoprints are a great way to create simple prints and give your drawings an extra dimension.

In this video, artist Emma Jackson of Story Drawing Club shows you how to monoprint with just a few basic materials.


How to draw a self-portrait

Do you want to draw portraits but are not sure where to start?

Learn the basics of how to draw a self-portrait, with tips and technique suggestions from Emma.


Sarah Pimenta: Make a block pattern with vegetables

In this activity, artist Sarah Pimenta of Social Fabric shows you how to use vegetables to design and print colourful shapes and patterns. You can see more of Sarah's work on Instagram.


Pragyar Kumar: Simple weaving projects

Prgayar Kumar is the lead artist of Artiday, an organisation that builds creative communities. Follow these simple instructions to weave a colourful flower picture and a practical coaster.

Weaving project

Weaving project


Let's make art: Make a flower garland

Let's Make Art is an independent arts organisation run by Karen Davies and Alice Hendy in Bristol, UK. For this activity, they show you how to create a beautiful flower garland, suitable for any occasion, from found and recycled materials.

Spring garland from recycled paper

Spring garland from recycled paper


Darrell Wakelam

From making a Pop Art-style ice cream to using dried pasta to create a convincing-looking fossil fish, Darrell's brilliant 'art jump start' ideas are easy to make from the stuff in your recycling bin!

Visit Darrell's website to explore his making projects.

Create a cardboard ice-cream

Create a cardboard ice-cream


Hannah Botma: Make a cool recipe mini-zine!

Zine comes from the word magazine. Zines can be comic books or short story books, but in this video activity, illustrator Hannah Botma takes you through the steps for making a mini recipe book. You can see more of Hannah's work on Instagram.


Andrew Hammond: Create your own comic character

Andrew Hammond is an author, illustrator and comic book whiz.

In this video, he shares his tips for creating your very own comic book character.

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