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Orchard Primary

& Pre-School

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School Logo

Orchard Primary & Pre-School

"Small enough to care, Big enough to inspire"


Painting Knowledge Organisers


Year 1


Making colours!

We learned about the three primary colours: red, yellow and blue. We experimented with mixing these together in different ways to find out which secondary colours we could make.

 Jasper Johns

We drew inspiration from a piece of art called 'Numbers in Colour' by artist Jasper Johns. We used numbers just like he did so we could focus mainly on the colours. We used primary and secondary colours to recreate a similar painting in his style.

Printing with paint 

We used Lego blocks in a variety of sizes to create some prints. We tried printing with individual pieces and also using block bases to group blocks together. We used lots of different colours to create patterns, letters and pictures. We also used our knowledge of colours to overlap prints e.g. overlapping a yellow and blue print to create a green area.

Wassilly Kandinsky

We created paintings in the style of well-known artist Kandinsky.  We replicated his concentric circles and then used our colour knowledge to make sure we used colours that stood out well next to each other. We also listened to different types of music as we painted, just as he did, to see how it affected the way we painted or the colour choices we made. 

Beach Textures 


   We had a go at recreating textures that we might find at the beach, e.g. sand and rocks, by using different materials and applying paint over the top to create a more realistic effect.



Year 2


Year 3


We looked at artist Paul Klee and some of his artwork. We learnt about tints and how we can create paler colours by adding increasing amounts of white. We noticed that Paul Klee uses tints in his work, such as in the piece 'Separation in the Evening', and tried to create a similar piece of art using one or two hues with different tints.


Warm & Cool Colours


Year 4

We learnt about artist Georgia O'Keeffe and created watercolour paintings, using her artwork featuring shells as inspiration. We learnt a technique called 'wet on wet' where we first apply water to paper and then the paint afterwards, to get a 'bleeding' effect. We then added table salt on top to give it some texture. 



Year 5

Poem portraits

We created quick self-portraits, using the continuous line drawing method, and looked at how we could develop our drawings in an interesting way. We looked at a poem that reflected the qualities within our class and used tracing paper to re-draw our portraits, but replaced the lines with words instead. We explored strategically placing letters to work with the lines, shapes and features and varied the size and style of the writing to fit within them.

We created backgrounds for our poem portraits to help change its effect and make it look more eye catching. We wanted to create some contrast against our drawings so chose bright colours and used a mixture of techniques, such as wet on wet watercolours, washes and collage. We thought about which colours would evoke certain moods, would help our faces stand out and how our choice of texture would affect our finished piece. We also took into account about what effects angle and composition can have on an image when placing our drawings over our backgrounds.

Mixed media

We discussed mixed media portraits and learnt about artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman and also a piece of artwork called, 'The Beautyful Ones’ by artist Njideka Akunyili Crosbyand. We thought about how portraits can communicate very different messages, depending on the choices an artist makes when planning them. We had a go at adapting our own portraits by using lots of different techniques such as cutting and rearranging an image, and drawing or painting on top. We then experimented with mixed media to achieve different atmospheres, different compositions, using more or less of a image, certain colours for effects and communicating something about ourselves. 

Elements of design

We looked at a painting, 'Nichols Canyon' by artist David Hockney, and discussed our thoughts on it using the elements of design: value, colour, shape, texture, line, space and form. We then chose an artwork that we liked and created a sketchbook page documenting why we thought we were drawn to it, by analysing the different elements.

Painting effects

After creating colour wheels and exploring complementary, analogous and triad combinations, we had a go at applying our colour knowledge to create different paint effects and discussed the different reasons we might want to use certain effects, such as to evoke an emotion or replicate a texture and give something more depth. We chose a hue to paint a gradient wash in watercolours, created a thickened painting effect using analogous colours and explored colour blocking by using complementary or triad colours. Using our colour knowledge helped us create work that stood out.

Composition & Still life

We spent some time analysing composition within some of Paul Cezanne's still life artwork and experimented with our own still life compositions. We gathered 3-5 items from around the classroom and arranged them in four different ways, recording speed sketches of them each time. We chose our favourite composition and drew it on a larger scale in our sketchbooks, ready for painting.


Year 6