Media, materials and processes: drawing and painting

Drawing is at the heart of all Art and Design activities. Over the course of the Key Stage, it’s important that we provide pupils with regular opportunities to use a range of media, materials and processes to create their own work.

In learning how to manipulate drawing and other media, practice makes perfect. Pupils need to take part in regular, extended activities if they are to make meaningful progress.

Of course, Art and Design activities provide many opportunities to link learning with other areas of the curriculum.

Learning Intentions

  • We are learning to select and use drawing and painting tools and materials in an informed way and for different purposes to produce 2D and 3D outcomes.
  • We are learning that combining and using media on different surfaces can produce a range of outcomes.
  • We are learning how to plan for composition and scale.

To help set this work in context, you may wish to refer to the other Key Elements for Key Stage 3 Art and Design on this microsite:

Learning Activities

Ensure that the pupils gain experience in drawing for different purposes, for example:

  • recording their ideas and feelings;
  • researching to inform their planning, e.g. making drawings as notes of what they have seen;
  • developing an awareness of perspective;
  • creating two-dimensional form using tone; and/or
  • recording in a workbook to investigate, explore ideas, reflect their personal interests and collect information (notes, cuttings, photographs etc.).

Allow them time to develop their experience and confidence working with different drawing media, such as:

  • a range of lead pencils;
  • coloured pencils;
  • crayons;
  • charcoal;
  • pens; and/or
  • computer software.

They should also be able to:

  • use a variety of papers, card and surfaces, on different scales;
  • handle media competently to develop a range of techniques such as:
    • shading;
    • hatching;
    • cross-hatching; and
    • layering;
  • work with pastels, chalks and different types of paint (poster, powder, block etc.) to produce a range of painted effects, for example:
    • select the appropriate size and type of brush to produce desired effects;
    • apply media in different ways: wet on wet, dry brush technique, colour washing, texturing surfaces in paint, spray etc;
    • layer paint to create patterns, coloured and textured surfaces; and/or
    • use media in different ways to reflect mood and atmosphere;
  • mix and match colours and identify how colour reflects space and atmosphere;
  • show an awareness of how the particular colour of an object is affected by lighting conditions, reflections and shine; and/or
  • create linear wire drawings and forms, for example to make figures.

Provide opportunities for the pupils to:

  • select suitable media and surfaces for specific tasks; and
  • combine a variety of drawing and painting media to produce mixed-media outcomes, such as:
    • a wax crayon, pastel or charcoal drawing combined with an ink or paint wash;
    • surfaces enriched with wax and paint; or
    • collaging techniques.

Encourage the pupils to take account of various factors when planning their work:

  • working on different scales, both individually and collaboratively, for example to produce miniatures or murals;
  • experimenting with different viewpoints;
  • planning in relation to foreground, middle ground and background;
  • using different ways to represent perspective in their work, for example colour, detail and scale; and/or
  • combining images in a composition to show an awareness of proportion and space.