GCSE Art Scheme of Work: Landscape & Mark Making

The aim of this project was for students to explore a range of mark making techniques, then choose the most suitable for their landscape ideas.

The outcomes were painted (and printed) 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 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:

Screen Shot 2018-04-29 at 11.58.40Screen Shot 2018-04-29 at 11.57.55

Students then had a series of lessons based on different mark making techniques using acrylic, watercolours, inks, pen and pencil. Some of their outcomes are below.

The different mark making lessons can all be found here.

DSC_1817DSC_1966DSC_2757.jpgAcrylic impasto technique various

The aim of this research was for students to explore how different mark making techniques created various textures and surfaces. They could also start to think about what sort of techniques would create what mood or atmosphere, for example ‘busy’, ‘active’ or ‘calm’ and ‘relaxing’.

Next we look 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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-29 at 12.17.32


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 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.

Impasto landscape techniqueImpasto landscape technique

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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-29 at 12.31.20Screen Shot 2018-04-29 at 12.32.03

This was a long 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!

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