Taking everything I learnt from Dawn Tan at the Zart Art Creativity Conference not long ago, I gave Observational Painting a go with my Year 9 Visual Communication students. I had done Observational painting with students in the past but never had such great results and I believe it was Dawn’s advice on using correct media and materials, that really helped.
Some great watercolours (tube ones, not palettes), low smudge fine-liners, watercolour brushes, white gel pens, water-colour paper and the all-important white ink; these made all the difference.
Highlighting the quality of the media and materials to my students, made such a difference to their work ethic and attitude to producing their best work.
With Year 9s in particular, it’s often a challenge to get them to make multiple attempts at any piece of work. This task, however, proved to be one that they really wanted to get right, with many students creating 3 or 4 drawings before painting their final design!