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Talking Pictures Week 20: Black Panther

Florencio Curian, The Black Panther, 1935, stone sculpture

Talking Pictures for Children 

Talking Pictures is an online resource for children and their adults based on artwork from the Crawford Art Gallery Collection. We will share creative prompts for happy talk and play every Wednesday.

About the artwork

This is a black stone sculpture of a black panther, created by the artist Florencio Curian. See how strong this big cat looks with his muscles shining, his long tail giving him balance, his ears back and nose sticking out as if he is sniffing the air, as he stalks through the forest looking for prey.

Black panther drawing

Black Panther Facts

‘Black panthers’ are the name given to black jaguars whose habitat is in America or black leopards whose habitat is in Asia and Africa. Black Panthers are known as ‘the ghost of the forest’ because they use their dark colour to hide and quietly hunt other animals at night. They have very good hearing and eyesight and a strong jaw to help them chew their food. Black panthers are great at swimming and climbing trees and can leap up to twenty feet to catch their prey, which includes big animals like monkeys and deer, and small animals like rabbits and birds.

Big Cats Quiz

Can you name all the cats below? Answers in next week’s Talking Pictures!

Big cats quiz

Have you ever seen any of these cats in a zoo, wildlife park or in the wild? Or maybe even in your own home?!

Do you think it would be a good idea to cuddle these cats?

What sound do you think they make?

Why do they have different colours and markings?

Why do they all have whiskers?

What do you think each one would eat for dinner?

What countries do you think they live in?

Which one is the scariest?

Which one is your favourite?

Salt Dough Zoo

Let’s make our own animal sculptures using salt dough. Salt dough is easy to make from ingredients you have at home. You could make a sculpture of your favourite big cat!

Recipe:
1 cup / 250g of plain flour
1/2 cup / 125g of salt
1/2 cup of water / approx 125ml

Salt dough ingredients

The steps:

  1. With the help of an adult, preheat the oven to its lowest setting and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the water and stir until it comes together into a ball.
  3. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and shape into your chosen model.
    For this exercise we are making animals, but you can roll it out and cut out shapes, numbers or letters from the dough using biscuit cutters, or make any kind of model you can think of. 
  4. Put your finished items on the lined baking tray and ask an adult to help you to bake your creations for 3 hours or until solid.
  5. Leave to cool and then colour in using poster paint or markers.
  6. When finished, you could take photos of your animals outdoors in the wild. Have fun!

Optional: you could paint a coat of varnish over the dried paint to make them more permanent.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Be sure to have an adult watching over you to help when using the oven, paints and varnishes.

Salt dough steps
Salt dough creations

Salt Dough Zoo photo and activity credit: Rosie Roccaforte, www.roseroccaforte.com

Black Panther facts source: ‘Fun Black Panther Facts for Kids’ www.sciencekids.co.nz

Activities and illustrations by Hazel Hurley.


We would love to hear your stories and artworks inspired by Talking Pictures! Share them with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the #crawfordartgalleryhomelife.

Please share:

Emmet Place, Cork, Ireland
T12 TNE6
Tel: 021 480 5042
info@crawfordartgallery.ie

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