AGP Studio Online!

graphic of pant and paintbrush in centre


Even though you can’t join us in the AGP Studio, we still want to connect with you and help keep your creativity flourishing. Here you will find a collection of fun and engaging, self-guided art activities, as well as other educational resources for you and your whole family to enjoy!

Click the links below to jump ahead to any activity:

Check back regularly as we continue to update this page.

Melting Ice

Inspired by artist Katika Marczell, who is currently exhibiting as part of our “Presently” exhibition at the Art Gallery of Peterborough.

Her painting Dandelions speaks to the global warming crisis and the melting of the earth’s permafrost. In this work she uses ice cubes mixed with paint and other pigments to mimic the melting permafrost, by letting them melt on top of a large piece of canvas over the course of several days.

In this activity, you will make your own artwork using melted ice mixed with pigments and a whole lot of imagination.

Suitability: Ages 7+

What you will need:

  • A large piece of Bristol board or canvas – we used a canvas for ours
  • Ice cube tray or small recycled containers (yogurt cups would work well)
  • Non-toxic paint or food colouring
  • Water
  • Paintbrush
  • Markers or pens for drawing
  • Access to a freezer
  • A spray bottle (optional)

Click here to view and download the “Melting Ice” PDF instructions.

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Making Patterns

Inspired by artist Darcie Kennedy, who is currently exhibiting as part of our “Presently” exhibition at the Art Gallery of Peterborough.

Her painting Untitled (Tools and Combs #3) uses common household tools and other items to create textured patterns by reflecting domestic actions such as chores, cooking, and cleaning, and the result is a pattern that looks like textiles, wallpaper, and upholstery commonly found in the home.

In this activity, you will make your own artwork, like Darcie Kennedy, experimenting with different ways to apply paint by using household objects.

Suitability: Ages 6+

What you will need:

  • A sheet of paper, cardboard, bristol board, or canvas
  • Paint – a thicker paint, like acrylic, works best, but thin paint like watercolours will not work.
  • Paintbrush
  • Paper plate or palette
  • A comb, fork, or another similar household object

Click here to view and download the “Making Patterns” PDF instructions.

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Painting En Plein Air

  • Watercolour landscape painting featuring a lake, ducks, and houses

Inspired by artist John Climenhage, who is currently exhibiting as part of our “Presently” exhibition at the Art Gallery of Peterborough.

His series of paintings, which are part of a much larger series called Around, shows a great deal of attention from the artists to the neighbourhoods and urban architecture of our community, Peterborough. These works were painted en plein air, which is French for “in the open air.” It simply means to paint outside.

In this activity, which is a great way for families to spend some time outside, you will take your painting supplies to a nice area outdoors and practice some mindfulness as you enjoy the fresh air and get creative.

Suitability: 6+

What you will need:

  • A sheet of paper, cardboard, bristol board, or canvas – just something to paint on
  • A pencil
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • A container with water to wash your brushes

Click here to view and download the “Painting En Plein Air” PDF instructions

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Cubist Animal Portraits

  • Abstract painting by Ashley Johnson featuring a Pangolin and Horseshoe Bat
    Contagion, 2020. Ashley Johnson. Acrylic on canvas

Inspired by artist Ashley Johnson, who is currently exhibiting as part of our “Presently” exhibition at the Art Gallery of Peterborough.

In her painting Contagion, she creates an image of two animals (a Pangolin and a Horseshoe Bat), but the image is probably a little different than what you would expect. Using techniques borrowed from cubism, Ashley Johnson creates a fragmented image that shows you many different angles, parts, and movements of each animal – all at the same time!

In this activity, you will make an animal portrait of your pet or favourite animal in the same fragmented style as artist Ashley Johnson.

Suitability: Ages 5+

What you will need:

  • Paper
  • Markers, pencil crayons, paint, crayons – anything you can use to draw and colour
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Viewfinder

Click here to view and download the “Cubist Animal Portraits” PDF instructions


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Nature Collage Drawings

example of nature drawing with sunset and tree

This activity is inspired by the work of Jim Reid, an artist who looks at the forms, structures, and sentiments present in nature. Taking inspiration from local geological features such as the Niagara Escarpment and the Canadian Shield, Reid created a series of artwork that used a mix of materials and techniques to reflect the natural world. In his 1994 work Ancient Silence, he applied layers of paint, metal, glass, and fabric, along with natural materials, to reflect a natural location. This layering of different materials, Reid said, was “both a metaphor for natural processes and a tactile equivalent of the site.”

In this activity, you will reflect on your own natural place: how it looks, sounds, and feels, and what makes it special to you. Then, using carefully-collected pieces of nature, you will create a nature collage drawing. Give it a try!

Suitability: Ages 5+

What you will need:

  • White Paper (8.5’’ x 11’’)
  • Pencils, Pens, Crayons, or Markers
  • White Glue, Glue Stick, or Tape
  • Things From Nature (See Step 1 for how to find them!)

Click here to view and download the Nature Collage Drawings PDF instructions.


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Optical Illusion Spinners

Optical Illusion Spinners Sometimes, art is designed to deceive. How much of what we believe is based on what we perceive? Optical illusions are designs that fool the eye into seeing something different than what is actually there. In artwork, tricks of geometry, materials, and technique can combine to deceive the eye – even when the audience is in on the trick!

In this craft, you create your own optical illusion. You know the trick, but your eye sees differently.

Suitability: Ages 6+

What you will need:

  • White Paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Pencils, Pens, or Markers

Click here to view and download the Optical Illusions Spinners PDF instructions.





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pARTy Monsters! example of a party monster with sunglasses and banana head

This is a fun drawing game that can be played by two people, but you can easily play with your whole family as well! Click on the downloadable pARTy Monsters PDF to read the full instructions.

Suitability: Ages 5+
Players: 2-8

What you will need:

  • A friend or two
  • Something to draw with, like crayons, pencils, or markers
  • One sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper for each person
  • Stop watch or Clock (optional) to set a time limit for each section of your drawing

CREATE wild and wacky “pARTy Monsters!” together by drawing different parts of a Monster, but without knowing what the other person drew.

At the end, you will reveal your “pARTy Monster” creations! It is always sure to be a fun and big surprise!

Remember: It’s okay to laugh at how silly they look. That’s the whole point!

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Looking Closer: Viewfinder Activity

We’ve all been spending a lot of time in our homes and looking at the same stuff all the time can start to feel a little boring. Many artists throughout history have felt the same way, but they used this as inspiration to look at people, objects, and places in new and interesting ways.

One tool that they used to help them was a Viewfinder. A viewfinder is an easy-to-make tool that helps artists look closely at small details and create compositions, by allowing them to focus on only one part of the world around them (kind of like looking through a small window!).

The following activity let’s us look closer, build our Visual Literacy skills, and practice our ability to appreciate Art!

Suitability: 3+ (Note: some use of scissors or a sharp blade is needed to cut cardboard)


  1. Follow the picture instructions below, or click here for the downloadable Make Your Own Viewfinder PDF Guide on how to make your own Viewfinder.
  2. Once you have your viewfinder, download the “Looking Closer: Viewfinder Activity” PDF
  3. Use your viewfinder and follow the instructions on the activity sheet


  • Work station with a cutting board, ruler, pencil, scissors, a stack of flattened boxes. Text reads: "How to make: Adjustable Viewfinder. Let's have a closer look!"
    How to make: Adjustable Viewfinder


Here are some pictures from the AGP team of what they saw with their viewfinders!


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Be the Curator!

Have you ever wanted to be a Curator and create your very own exhibition on our Ramps?

Taking inspiration from Patrick Moore’s 2016 exhibition “song of the cataract” we thought it would be fun for everyone to try!

Suitability: All ages

What you will need:

Happy creating, and we look forward to seeing your exhibition creations!

For more information on Patrick Moore’s 2016 exhibition, please click here.

Bookshelf Exhibition

Practice your curatorial skills by curating, installing, and touring your very own Bookshelf Exhibition

Suitability: All ages

What you will need:

  • A bookshelf or suitable space to create an exhibition
  • Objects from around your home (try to find interesting, colourful or unique objects – but make sure you ask permission before using them)
  • Your creative mind and curator’s eye


  1. Find a suitable space and carefully clear the space so you can install your own exhibition
  2. Gather objects from around your home and think about how they work together
  3. Install your exhibition
  4. Give a tour of your exhibition
  • AGP logo. White shelf with multiple yellow, red, while, and silver objects. Text reads: "Bookshelf Exhibition."
    Art Gallery of Peterborough: Bookshelf Exhibition

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Learn to Observe like an Artist

Now is a great time to get outside and practice our observational skills!

Suitability: 7+

What you will need:

  • A pencil or pen
  • A notebook or some paper
  • Your viewfinder (optional)
  • AGP logo. Dandelion. Text reads: "Learning to observe like an Artist."
    Learn to Observe like an Artist

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Family Sunday

On the first Sunday of every month, the AGP team delivers a FREE drop-in art experience for the entire family. This typically includes a studio project, as well as exhibition tours and activities. However, we have temporarily moved Family Sunday online! 

Click here to for more information on our Family Sunday programs and to access all of our Family Sunday online activities.

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Thank you for joining us. See you again soon!




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The Art Gallery of Peterborough is currently open to the public, by appointment

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