This activity is suitable particularly for children aged four to seven (although anyone can do it!). As we are currently unable to get out and about to visit art galleries and museums, for this activity we will be using Art UK's website for inspiration.

Choose a sculpture from the website and draw, paint or collage it and cut it out. Then we would like you to create a story!

Choosing a sculpture

The first thing to do is to choose a sculpture from the Art UK website. There are thousands to choose from, so you could always try and pick one near where you live, or type in a keyword like 'dog' or 'abstract'.

King Penguin Group

King Penguin Group 2005

George Ross Graham (1936–2006) and Black Isle Bronze

The Harbour, North Berwick, East Lothian

I chose King Penguin Group, a bronze sculpture by George Ross Graham which is outside the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick.

Next you need to draw, paint, colour or collage your sculpture.

I decided I would only focus on one penguin and used oil pastels to make my penguin brightly coloured.

Penguin drawing inspired by 'King Penguin Group' in North Berwick

Penguin drawing inspired by 'King Penguin Group' in North Berwick

Top tip: try and look closely at your sculpture and think about its size and shape and what it might be made out of. The drawing of my penguin is a lot rounder than the original, so don't worry if it doesn't look exactly the same.

Once you are finished drawing your sculpture, you will need to cut your work out and stick it to a piece of card to turn it into a cardboard cut-out. You can stick a support on the back to make your sculpture stand up.

After drawing my penguin, I glued it onto a cereal box and cut it out, I then made flaps at the back and at the base so it would stand upright.

Creating a story

Once you've made your cut-out, think about creating a story for your sculpture. Does it have secret superpowers? Is it mischievous? Does it steal washing from washing lines? Does it change colour?

My story is going to be about one of the penguins leaving all the other penguins behind, jumping down from the plinth to see things he has never seen before!

I started to think about what adventures my penguin might have. My first idea was that my penguin would like to visit other sculptures – they might be classical, minimalist or modern. He particularly liked a sculpture called Figure (Archaean) by Barbara Hepworth.

Figure (Archaean)

Figure (Archaean) (1/7) 1959

Barbara Hepworth (1903–1975)

University of Stirling

He liked it because it is made out of bronze, just like him. So I also made a cardboard cut-out of this sculpture.

Barbara Hepworth sculpture cut-out

Barbara Hepworth sculpture cut-out

Now you have a story for your sculpture, you can draw different backdrops for your cut-out. You could get everyone in your household involved and draw together.

Top tip: using a big piece of paper, you might like one person to start drawing from one corner of the page and another person to draw from the opposite corner and see what backdrop you end up with.

Taking it further!

I wondered, what else would my penguin sculpture like to see? So, I created an outer space backdrop where he could become the first penguin astronaut. To make this backdrop I drew yellow stars on black card and made paper planets.

Outer space backdrop

Outer space backdrop

Again, everyone could get involved to help you create different backdrops! In the first picture, my penguin sculpture visits three giant radishes and gives a farmer a trophy for beating a farming world record.

Our penguin and three giant carrots

Our penguin and three giant carrots

In the second picture, my sculpture explores the desert, but the hot sand is too much for him!

It’s too hot in the desert!

It’s too hot in the desert!

Luckily, in the third picture, he dives into a blue lagoon to cool off.

Take a dip, penguin!

Take a dip, penguin!

Top tip: you can use large pieces of paper to make giant backdrops or stick four A4 pages together. You might like to paint or draw on top of old newspapers.

Materials and inspiration

Things you might need to make your sculpture adventure:

  • drawing materials
  • paper
  • card
  • scissors
  • glue
  • sticky tape


Footballeur 1965

Pablo Picasso (1881–1973)

National Football Museum

Artists that might inspire you:

What can you create at home? Show us your masterpiece by sharing them on Twitter or Instagram and tagging @artukdotorg with the hashtag #ArtUKHomeSchool.

Katie Roberts, Learning and Engagement Officer (London and South East England) at Art UK