Regularly give students the opportunity to prop up their sample paintings and stand about 10 feet back from them, so they can see the effects of the technique they are using.
Step Three (Creating painted sketches)
Using either reference photos of garden scenes or taking students outdoors to paint on location, students will create loose sketches of their final paintings. Students should have new paper taped to their boards, and can select up to six colors to create their color palettes for the final painting. Students will begin sketching their compositions with their brushes or pastels, focusing on placing shapes and filling in light and dark areas with a medium-value color.
Students who are uncomfortable sketching with paint can use soft pastel (not oil pastel!) to sketch; the paint will go over the soft pastel just fine as long as a medium-light color is used to sketch.
Encourage students as they work, helping them keep compositions simple and making sure there is a clear focus on the light source for the subject of the painting.
If students are having trouble seeing the lights and darks they are supposed to paint, they can squint at the subject matter—this will reduce the subject they are painting to fuzzy shapes, and the lights and darks should stand out. If students are working from reference photos, a black and white photo also helps reduce the subject to lights and darks, making it easier to see light, middle and dark values clearly.