KS4 Art & Design: Mark Making [Lesson 2]

My second lesson in exploring mark-making at KS4 is using watercolours.

Pupils were asked to draw four boxes and fill each with a different colour, creating dark to light in two then blending gradually from one colour to another. This was challenging using watercolours as pupils had to ensure they had the right amount of of paint/water and let each ‘layer’ dry before painting over it.

As one layer dried they moved onto the next box to start on that one. Here is my example:


And these are some examples from the pupils. Some have done really well and the outcomes are excellent!

The aim was to be able to see the marks and brush strokes, so some who added too much water let them dry then tried again over the top. Others who didn’t get a ‘gradual’ blend from dark to light worked over the top with a midtone to improve their work.

At this stage I haven’t discussed page layout or composition with pupils, they’ve just worked from my example. Some have made very personal responses which I like, as the outcomes are different.


Some were more successful than others, what do you think? Have you tried anything like this with your classes?

I’m thinking of adding tutorials to  YouTube for others to use in their own class or if you wanted to set something like this for homework. Would that be useful? Let me know in the comments.

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