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Year 9 - Identity: Painting - Good practice

A guide to resources on identity in art, compiled by your librarians. Last updated December 2018.

Painting - Y9 Good Practices


Different types of paints are used in different ways.  Some thoughts about poster paints to be found in the classrooms.

· Work from  background to foreground, you don’t want to feel that your background is sat on top of your subject matter.

· Build up in layers, working across the whole surface.

· Do you want the paint to be opaque or translucent? Add  more water if you want it translucent.

· Always put a small amount of all colours on your palette (you can always come back for more) .  For any tertiary colour you will need all the primaries.


· MIX your colours.  Colours straight from the  pots are rarely successful.

· You know how to mix secondary colours but remember; select the correct yellow or blue. 

**For example, with the paints we have, to make a vibrant green you want to use the lemon yellow and turquoise blue.

**To make organic, softer brown-green, the orangey yellow and darker blue.

· The yellows are weaker, so if mixing a green start with the yellow and add the blue to it, not the other way round.  The same goes for a tint, start with the white and add the colour to it.


 · Do NOT use black to mix colours, it will only make your colours dirtier.

· Dark tones need to be mixed with the clever use of the dark blue.

· Use white sparingly, it will make colours lighter, but if overused will make everything milky!

· Remember to look for TONE within your colour.  Ask yourself where the lighter and darker parts of the composition are.  Are these created through different colours or a lightening of the same colour?

· The use of complementary colours in small amount will create maximum contrast and help to enrich a painting.

· Think about the strokes you use.  Do you want them to be seen?  If so, follow the curve of a surface, direction of a plane.


QUICK TIP : A difficulty with poster paints—they are not strong enough to over paint a  dark area with a light, bright colour, so be careful of what goes on your paper first.


        'Still life with Apples'                 Paul Cezanne c. 1980


Giordio Morandi / (1890 - 1964)     

More on colours and mixing...