Make a picture inspired by fire. It can be realistic or abstract.

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.

Dirty Burning

In this painting, it looks as if a garden full of flowers has suddenly burst into flames with all its glorious colours set alight. Everything is moving, shifting and drifting upwards.

Born in Glasgow, the artist plays in a band and she was influenced by the repetitive beats found in electronic music when she painted this. It would be easy to feel overwhelmed when staring at this large painting and that is exactly how the artist wants us to feel. 

Dirty Burning, Victoria Morton, 1997 − © The Artist

Fire Alight

Here we see a cosy fire set in a hearth, somewhere to warm your slippers, toast crumpets, or listen to a bedtime story. We have to imagine what the rest of the room is like but we know that nearby there would be a coal bucket, a poker, a brush, a shovel and a fireguard. Looking after an indoor fire is hard work!

This is one of nine paintings the artist made called Domestic Scenes showing everyday life around the home: dusting; chatting to neighbours; going to bed. Spencer was divorcing his first wife when he painted these so was probably revisiting nice memories. He worked at one time as a war artist in Port Glasgow.

Fire Alight, Stanley Spencer, 1936 − © Estate of Stanley Spencer/DACS 2006

A Boy Blowing on a Firebrand to Light a Candle

We can see the boy’s lips blowing on the piece of wood to keep the flame alight so he can light the candle in his right hand. Is he a servant about to light the way for his master or is it to guide him to his own bed? If a gust of air blows it out he will have to start all over again. You can see the sparks drifting in the night air. He will have to take care not to start a bigger fire!

The artist was a Dutchman and he was especially good at painting night scenes. He lived in Britain for a while when he was in his 50s.

A Boy Blowing on a Firebrand to Light a Candle, Godfried Schalcken, 1692

Further considerations

  • Sources of fire could be matches, candles, fireworks, fireplaces, cookers, barbeques, bonfires, volcanoe
  • Colours could be yellows, oranges, reds, purples and blues
  • Shapes could be flames, sparks, flickers, shadows
  • Sounds could be crackling, roaring, hissing, shooting
  • Security and prevention of fire could be fire alarms, fire extinguishers, escape routes, fire engines, fire fighters, ladders, hoses


Artworks created for this theme


Moesha Mustoe
Brendan Thorburn
Abodi Khogeer
Cameron Howey
Clare Foggo
Luke Johnston
Jack Hay
Paul King
James October
Zara Glyn