The aim of this GCSE Landscape and Mark Making art project was designed for students to explore a range of painted mark making techniques, then choose the most suitable to develop into their landscape ideas.
The outcomes were some fantastic painted, printed and collaged landscapes, focusing on movement, atmosphere and texture. The brief was:
Many artists are inspired by landscapes. Some draw or paint from direct observation, others create pieces from memory. Research relevant artists, looking at how they create movement and different atmospheres in their work. Develop mark-making techniques then produce a final outcome based on a landscape you have happy memories of.
Students started by looking at (and researching) artists such as Van Gogh and Georges Seurat, here are some of the slides I used to introduce them and start discussions about the features of their work:
The GCSE art students then had a series of lessons based on different painted mark making techniques using acrylic and watercolours. I also introduced indian inks, pen and pencil work, all focused on mark-making. Some of their outcomes are below.
The aim of this mark-making research was for students to explore how different painted mark making techniques created various textures and surfaces. They could also start to think about what sort of painting techniques would create which mood or atmosphere, for example ‘busy’, ‘active’ or ‘calm’ and ‘relaxing’.
Next we looked at how to compose our paintings, and students identified that landscapes often fit into the rule of thirds. They used this to draw some landscapes from memory. I asked the students to think of happy memories, such as going to the beach, playing out on fields, visiting family or friends etc.
The art students worked on a minimum of two drawings, with the aim of using their best one moving forward to turn into a painting. They made adjustments to their drawing work to improve the composition, then started experimenting in their sketchbooks with different mark-making techniques in the different sections of their landscapes.
Once they were happy with the technique they had chosen, and confident with how to do it in their books, they moved onto canvas.
Students were ambitious with their work, the smallest canvas size was A2. This allowed them to be expressive and master using the materials we had looked at previously.
Throughout the process students continuously looked at different artists to influence their work, even if they didn’t use their technique on their final piece. For example, we looked at John Piper, and some students chose to use mono-printing and collage on their final pieces, whilst others did not.
This was a long GCSE painting project, but I think the amount of activities meant I could keep up the pace in lessons and continuously add timescales and deadlines. Students worked really hard and produced some excellent outcomes:
What do you think of the scheme of work and the student outcomes? Let me know in the comments!