Victorian art activities (KS1)

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By Robert WattsProgramme Convener for MA Art, Craft and Design Education at Roehampton University

Taking inspiration from Victorian art and architecture, explore line, tone, texture, colour and composition, through the traditional genres of still life, landscape and portraiture

Key Stage 2 activities are also available.


  1. Portraits
  2. Still life
  3. Landscapes

1. Portraits

The earliest photographs were made by Louis Daguerre in 1837, the year Victoria ascended to the throne, and by the 1860s photography was widespread. Inspired by those early, atmospheric images, this activity uses coffee stains to create ‘sepia-toned’ portraits.

Victorian boy portrait 1
* Begin by providing children with cameras to take portraits of each other – if you’re having a Victorian-themed day then this would be the ideal opportunity for photography. * Load the images on to the computer and encourage children to select the shots they like the most. * Print the images using a black-and-white printer and on a ‘light’ setting – there needn’t be dark tones on the image. Ideally, print directly onto cartridge paper, or photocopy onto it. * Place a spoonful of coffee into a cup, add a little hot water and allow it to cool.
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  1. mrs giffin
    on 13 November 2016


    great art but my pupils would hate it

    4out of 5
  2. S Taylor
    on 12 April 2015


    I love all 3 activities, I’ll definitely use them for my P2 class. Thank you for the fantastic ideas. I particularly like the idea of using ICT-ipads with art activity.

    5out of 5
  3. Issy
    on 16 March 2013


    It didn’t really help me with what I was looking for but it may help you, I was looking for more how to make a 3D model, not a painting.