A Pet for Me

If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, what would it be?  Draw a picture of it. It can be with you or by itself.  Hope you’re looking after it!

Use any materials, techniques or processes (for example drawing, painting, printmaking, textiles, photography, computer-aided design, collage, montage). 

Below you will find three key artworks to look at and discuss as a class.

There are then 10 examples of artworks made by children in response to this theme.

Away from the Flock

Why has the lamb been put into this case?
Who put it there?
Is this a good home for a lamb?
If it could speak, what do you think it would say?
Does it remind you of a nursery rhyme?

The sheep is a very useful animal that gives us food and warmth. The artist has made it look special and important by having it put into this large sealed case filled with liquid that keeps it pickled or preserved. Sometimes sheep wander off and have to be brought back but this one won’t be wandering anywhere!

Away from the Flock, Damien Hirst, 1994 − © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2015. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

Portrait of Maurice

If you could see the rest of this dog; legs, tail etc. what would they look like?
He is watching us – what do you think he wants?
Are dogs all one colour? Have you ever seen a pink and orange dog?
What would his nose and ears feel like to touch?

The artist Andy Warhol took photographs of this dog- probably because he wouldn’t sit still long enough to have his portrait painted. He is a German sausage dog or Dachshund –‘ hund’ means ‘dog’ in German. This little dog has a long thin body like a sausage. Warhol liked comics and this may be why he used very bright colours in his work. 

Portrait of Maurice, Andy Warhol, 1976 − © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London 2015

Girl with Bears

What do you think this little girl is thinking and how does she feel?
Look very carefully at the reflections in the glass. What strange thing can you spot?
Lots of us have teddy bears at home. Do you think these bears are soft and cuddly?Would they make a good pet?
Do you know the story of Goldilocks?

This is a photograph not a painting. There were once two little girls looking into the glass case, but the artist took one away using the magic of the computer. Only her reflection is left now. Oh dear where has she gone?

Girl with Bears, Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, Wendy McMurdo, 1999 − © Wendy McMurdo

Further considerations

  • What kind of animals do people keep as pets?
  • Can you remember the biggest and smallest pet you have ever seen?
  • Some pets are dangerous, can you think of any? Why would you keep a pet that you can’t touch?
  • Which pets have scales or feathers or fur and what would they feel like if you stroked them?
  • Keeping a pet can be hard work. What kind of things would you have to do to look after your pet properly?
  • What do pets like to eat? Where and when do they sleep?
  • What do they like to do all day?
  • Why do people like to keep pets?

Curriculum for Excellence

Expressive Arts


Art and Design

Inspired by a range of stimuli, I can express and communicate my ideas, thoughts and feelings through activities in art and design. EXA 1-05a

I can respond to the work of artists and designers by discussing my thoughts and feelings. EXA 1-07a

Health and wellbeing

I know that  friendship, caring and sharing, fairness, equality and love are important in building positive relationships. As I develop and value relatiohshiops, I care and show respect for myself and others.  HWB 1-05a

I know that people need different kinds of food to keep them healthy. HWB 0-32a

Religious and moral education

As I play and learn, I am developing my understanding of what is fair and unfair and why caring and sharing are important.  RME 0-09a 


Artworks created for this theme

Abbie Page
Calum Wright
Cara McKean
Chilli Inchbald Hold
Chloe Robertson
Devan Appleby
Dominic Van Zelm
Georgina Elson
Logan Blain
Morgan Williams