Year 7's have been diligently applying themselves to learning about colour theory and the basic skills of watercolour painting this past week.
If you ask a Year 7 student ‘do you know how to use watercolour paint?’, they will often confidently reply ‘Yes, of course!’. Dig a little bit deeper and they’ll describe how you put the brush in the water, mix it with the paint pigment colour and apply it to the page. At this stage, this may well be the extent of their knowledge on this subject and so there is an assumption that this is all there is to know.
However, given two examples of watercolour paintings, students can easily identify which looks best. It will be the painting with greatest detail, subtle colour mixing, range and depth of tonal shades. Asked to describe why one painting is better than the other is a little harder to identify at first, they just know what looks good!
We can’t know what it is we don’t know yet, until we start to learn more.
As with any skill, becoming great at something takes time and practice. As students learn the subtleties of mixing tertiary colours, and how to apply watercolour paint to create a range of tones (without making a hole in the page!), the foundations of knowledge and skills are laid, to build upon and refine in future years.
We have been very impressed with the eagerness of Year 7's to learn and apply new skills this week. Their focus and collaborative teamwork when setting up and packing away equipment efficiently, to maximise their practical painting time, has been excellent. If the past week is anything to go by… And with continued practice, we will have some talented artists and designers amongst us in the future!
Laura Funnell, 7F Tutor, Visual Arts Teacher & Secondary Service Coordinator