Archibald Prize 2016 children’s trail

The Archibald Prize, first awarded in 1921, is Australia’s favourite art award and one of its most prestigious. Awarded to the best portrait painting, the Archibald Prize is a who’s who of Australian culture – from politicians to celebrities, sporting heroes to artists.

Click on an image for more information (including an artist statement, medium and dimensions) and to view the work in the Art Gallery of NSW prizes database.

Look, draw and have fun!

Our children’s trails are available online or as free printed booklets at the Gallery. They are designed to engage young children aged 6-12 with selected objects and images in the Gallery and our exhibitions. They present looking and interpreting, drawing and writing activities for children to do in front of the art with extension ideas for activities away from the Gallery.

Many of these suggestions can be adapted for use at home or in the classroom, even if you can't visit or the particular artworks are not on display.

Meet the artist Lucy Culliton.

Lucy has painted herself sitting amid hundreds of pigeons.

Count how many of the pigeons have their tails fanned out. Spot the pigeon with a reddish coloured chest. Imagine the noise.

Lucy loves animals and lives in country NSW surrounded by lots of animals and a beautiful garden. She uses animals as inspiration for her paintings.

What is your favourite animal?

Draw a picture of yourself with your favourite animal.

At home make a portrait of someone surrounded by lots of different animals.

Visit this artist’s studio.

Marc Etherington has painted the artist Ken Done reclining on a rug in Ken's art studio.

Observe how Ken has been painted in a simple or naïve style. What objects can you see around Ken that tell us he is an artist?

Notice the use of perspective, leading your eyes to the view of the beach through the window.

Imagine this was your room and you could fill it with your favourite things.

Draw what it would look like.

At home draw a picture of someone you know in their favourite room, surrounded by the things they love.

Find this graphic-style portrait.

Guan Wei has painted a series of self-portraits across four panels to show the different stories of his life, from his Chinese cultural heritage to his new life in Australia.

Notice what happens to Guan Wei’s face across the panels, and how he uses humour to show his desire to fit in and to be an ‘ordinary’ Australian.

Look at the patterns, letters, Chinese calligraphy and stamps that give the panels the look of official documents, such as passports and bank accounts, which are used to prove someone’s identity.

Draw a picture of your face and add in details about who you are, as if you are creating a page in a passport.

At home experiment with images, patterns and words to create a portrait that tells a story about who you are, where you were born and where you live.

Locate this colourful portrait.

Belynda Henry has painted jewellery and homewares designer Louise Olsen with a simple, peaceful landscape behind her.

Louise’s company is called Dinosaur Designs, well known for making objects using natural products, such as resin and glass, in lots of different colours.

Spot the colourful bangles on Louise’s wrists. Can you see those same colours and tones in the background?

Imagine if Louise was painted in her shop. What would it look like?

At home make some jewellery, or even a wind chime, using natural products such as shells, leaves or flowers.

Find this portrait.

Dean Manning has painted a portrait of comedian Lawrence Leung.

Notice the objects and images floating around Lawrence's head that give us clues about his hobbies and interests. Do you recognise all of them? Do you share any of his interests?

Imagine you had to draw things that would tell others what your hobbies and interests are. Draw your ideas.

At home draw or paint a self-portrait and add objects and images around your head that show your hobbies and interests.

Meet this unusual man.

Michael McWilliams has painted a self-portrait using animals and plants to create the many shapes of his body and face.

Count how many different types of animals you can find.

Notice how plants and animals are used to create the impression of clothes, hair and facial features.

Draw a picture of yourself made up of your favourite animals and plants.

At home cut out pictures from magazines and newspapers of animals, plants and things from nature and create a collage of a face.

Spot this large, patterned portrait.

Zoe Young has painted fashion model Samantha Harris resting on a couch.

Observe how the artist has added clues about Samantha’s role as a model and the fashion world, such as a hairdryer and an iron.

List other objects in the painting that could also be a symbol of the beauty and glamour of being a model.

Imagine Samantha is about to take part in a fashion parade.

Design an outfit for her to wear.

At home draw and design outfits for models to wear in a fashion parade.