Category Archives: Art and design

B is for Biodiversity and Beauty

Good morning.

This morning we will be in the Botanical Gardens in Dundee where we will meet Dr Neil Paterson, Education Officer at the University of Dundee Botanic Garden. We will be in the glasshouses at the garden today – they are beautiful.

These notes  B is for Biodiversity and Beauty Notes from Sarah at DCAand GLOW script 4th June 2013 from Dr Paterson at Botanics will provide you with more information about today.

Take a look at the information Scottish Natural Heritage provide about protecting Scotland’s nature and safeguarding biodiversity. They have also created a video but it has to be viewed on YouTube.

Natural treasure

Natural treasure

Last week was ‘Walk to School week’. We set a challenge to collect photographs and sketches of natural ‘treasure’ and already Burravoe and Mrs O’Connor’s primary schools have uploaded some ‘treasure’ to the group! Thank you so much!

I took a walk on Saturday morning and discovered lots of natural ‘treasure’ in the hedgerows beside my house.

Seed pods fallen from the tree, blades of grass dripping with dew, bright yellow dandelions, fluffy feathers, and a peafowl!

seed pod
Dew drop grass
bright yellow dandelions
fluffy feather
peafowl - can you see it?

Oh and these…. (not sure what they are called)

white flowers and creatures

I looked at them very closely and they were covered with creatures!

I am in the process of creating a pattern trail map!

These finds have also inspired me to get creative and begin inking up my creature for the Glow stampede!

How are you getting on?

The Great Glow Stampede

I hope you have had a lovely holiday Monday!  This week we won’t have a live Glow TV event because we want to give you time to begin to create a creature for the ‘Great Glow Stampede’!  

This is Johanna Basford’s idea and is inspired by her ‘Wonderbeast ‘ design! Johanna invited the general public to become co-creators by commisssioning her to draw a creature of their choice.  The final design included over 150 different creatures and is stunning. Take a look below at ‘Wonderbeasts’ and visit Johanna’s site to see the names of the co-creators and what they commissioned!  

The crocodile is my favourite!  

Johanna Basford 'Wonderbeasts'


We are now calling upon you to become a co-creator on a gigantic project that will be shared nationally!  We aim to create a ‘Great Glow Stampede’ of the flora, fauna and fish of Scotland to help others appreciate the beauty of our country. 

These are the instructions

Your creature can be real or imaginary.   

Your creature should  

(When uploading to Glow please include the artist’s first name and school in title of the saved file. First name School e.g AnnaEllon if there are two Anna’s in your class or school please include the initial of that persons surname)  


  • original artwork can be sent to Anna Rossvoll by Wednesday 5th June and it will be photographed and put into the final design.

I am sorry but we cannot return orignial artwork.  

And last but not least…..  

There will be a competition!!!!  

Three winning creatures will be selected from the stampede and the winning artists will receive a signed copy of Johanna’s latest book!  

So Co-creators lets Ready, steady INKKKKKKKK!!!!!

Walk to School Week and Scotland’s Nature Festival!

This week is ‘Walk to School’ week. This campaign is organised by Living Streets and takes place during National Walking Month in May.  This year the campaign focuses on the benefits of walking and sets a task for each day.

Find out more about this campaign here

This is also the year of Natural Scotland 2013. It aims to encourage everyone to explore and find out more about our nation’s stunning natural beauty.

As part of this the ‘Scotland’s Big 5’ campaign aims to get everyone talking about Scotland’s nature and joining in the fun of discovering five of the country’s iconic species – the red squirrel, red deer, harbour seal, otter and golden eagle – and the places where you’re most likely to see them.

We have been inspired by these campaigns and while you walk to school we would like to challenge you to look carefully at natural patterns and treasures. To capture what you see in drawings and photographs and to create a pattern trail map for others to enjoy and appreciate your local area. Imagine if you managed to spot one of the Big 5!

Every day we have set a different challenge

Day1: Tiny natural patterns


I thought that these looked a little bit like dragon ears!

Day 2: Tangled natural treasure

 I’m still searching – I wonder what you will find.

Day 3: Fragile natural treasure

Our small Shetland pony ‘Tiny’ is casting his winter coat. The birds are collecting Tiny’s hair and weaving it into their nests.

Day 4: Gigantic natural treasure

I think this tree has a great deal of character and the branch stretching across the trunk looks like an arm

Day 5: Living natural treasure

Last year a pair of swallows built a nest above our front door and they have returned this year. They build their nest from mud.  It is incredible to watch the mud being layered up bit by bit. I stood for some time waiting for them to forget I was there and return to their nest. I’m very proud of this photograph.

To help you observe carefully why not try looking through a viewing frame. Simply take some thick paper, draw the shape you wish to look through – it could be circular, square, lots of little holes etc. With an adult place the paper on top of some plasticene and use a sharp object to create a hole in the centre of your drawn shape. Use scissors to cut out from the centre to the edge of the shape you have drawn.

You can download this book below to capture sketches in, or indeed create your own.

Please upload your photographs and drawings to the appropriate page on the wiki to help create a nationwide collection of Scottish biodiversity.

Beautiful doodle shared!

Our first doodle has been uploaded to the Doodle zone! It is very detailed! I see a ‘Wondertale’ within the doodle and it makes me think of yesterday’s collaborative story that involved an octopus and mermaid in a mysterious underwater land. Thank you for uploading this to the group Mrs Taylor.

First 10 schools to sign up for 2 or more Creativity Challenges receive REWARDS!

Please visit the Glow TV schedule to sign up for

Look, Capture, Create Creativity Challenges.

The first 10 schools to sign up for 2 or more Creativity Challenges will receive rewards!

Incentives for participation in the 'Look, Capture, Create' Creativity Challenges

Creativity Challenge 1

Monday 13th May at 10am, live from Dundee Contemporary Arts

Learners will have the opportunity to tour Johanna Basford’s exhibition ‘Wonderlands’ at Dundee Contemporary Arts through storytelling.  Johanna draws intricate designs and the storyteller will model how to look carefully for detail, capture those details in words and create a Wondertale!

Creativity Challenge 2

Week 2 of the Look, Capture, Create project coincides with ‘Walk to School Week’ and ‘Scotland’s Nature Festival’. This Glow TV broadcast gives learners the opportunity to journey on an inky adventure with the Scottish illustrator/designer Johanna Basford to learn about her art techniques, what inspires her designs and her success commercially.

Johanna will share how she looks for detail and inspiration in nature, how she captures this and creates beautiful hand drawn inky designs.

She will share her

  • influences and sources of inspiration.
  • sketchbooks, techniques and choice of media.
  • approach to collaboration
  • ability to be observant, use her eyes to spot natural treasure

Johanna will invite the young people of Scotland to become a Co-Creator by drawing their own inky picture of a creature which lives on land or in water to create a Glow stampede of fish, flora or fauna which reflects the beauty and diversity of wildlife in Scotland. The creature could be real or imaginary.

Creativity Challenge 3

During week 3 of the ‘Look, capture, create’ interdisciplinary learning experience we will be joined by a scientist/mathematician from Dundee University live in the Dundee Botanic Gardens  to learn more about the importance of Scottish Biodiversity and how we can do simple things to help nature survive and grow.  We will look in particular at the types and purposes of the beautiful patterns nature creates.

Creativity Challenge 4

For the final ‘Look, capture, create’ Glow TV broadcast join the learning team at Dundee Contemporary Arts to explore the visual elements – line, shape, form, colour, tone, pattern and texture  to create a design to promote Scottish biodiversity. And watch as we reveal and celebrate the Glow Stampede of Scottish fish, flora and fauna, your collaborative artwork.