Scientific Drawing: Big Bug Art

Len Lye designed a sculpture called Convolutions, which means coiling, twisting, or winding together.

Lye’s sculpture is inspired by a tiny cell, so small you can only see it with a special microscope (which is a very powerful magnifying glass). He then imagined that tiny cell turning into a giant creature, as big as the whole wall of the Gallery.

Let's imagine making something smaller than a hair on your arm grow into a giant creature!


You will need:

Magnifying Glass - if you have one

Backyard / Garden / Local Park

A science or biology book - if you have one

A parents help to look up images of your body's tiny cells

Paper, various sizes even an old roll of wall paper

Felt tip pens


Different mark making tools - pastels, paint, stamps, whatever you have at home



For this activity we were inspired by Len Lye's newest kinetic artwork Convolutions.

Spanning over 10 metres in length and 5 metres high, a 28 metre loop of stainless-steel strip travels, thread-like, through an arrangement of rollers reminiscent of a scaled-up film projector.

The endlessly looping lines of stainless-steel bulge and squeeze as they take on biological, cell-like forms as if portraying life under a microscope.


Caption: Len Lye, Convolutions, 2021, Len Lye Foundation Collection. Photo: Bryan James

Step 1

Look around your garden for ideas.

Find bugs and insects, plants and flowers.

Can you imagine them giant size?


Step 2

If you have a magnifying glass, look at their fascinating details.

Or with your caregivers help, you could find science pictures of your body’s tiny cells - smaller than your eye can see.

What would those little cells look like if they were giant size?

Step 3

Using our paper and various drawing materials, draw a tiny cell or creature.

Add every detail, think of the different textures, how we can create those visually with our different mark making mateirals.

Step 4

Next on our big paper draw a gigantic version of your bug or cell.

As if it has expanded into a giant creature!

Step 5

Use felt pens along with crayons, or think of different ways to combine your different materials / mark making materials in the same drawing to create interesting effects, textures, and lines – experiment and have fun!

Step 6

Switch on your imagination.

Can you draw how it moves?

Does it bulge and squeeze or slither along the ground?

Maybe your creature bounces and vibrates has many legs and arms or none at all?

Step 7

Give your creature a name.

Where does it live?

Does it have superpowers?

All Done!

How did your artwork turn out? We would love to see your creation!

Share it with us, take a photo and share it on Instagram with the hashtag #GBCreate or email it to us: and we can share it for you.⁠⠀⁠⠀