The Value of Watercolour Painting in the Primary Years

‘…an education rich in the creative arts maximises opportunities for learners to engage with innovative thinkers and learners, emphasizing not only creativity and innovation, but also the values of broad cultural understandings and social harmony that the arts can engender (Australian Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEEYTA), 2007)’

Educators value art as a central part of the primary curriculum and can readily identify the positive influence it has on children’s development. Art practice has been shown to nurture creative thinking and to strengthen problem-solving and critical thinking skills – but best practice and expertise in teaching art in the primary years is only possible when teachers feel confident in their subject matter.

A series of recent studies carried out at The University of Wollongong, NSW (Lindsay, 2015), Griffith University, QLD (Twigg and Garvis, 2010) La Trobe University, VIC (Lemon and Garvis, 2013) and The University of New England (Alter, Hays and O’Hara, 2009) have highlighted one of the greatest difficulties primary teachers face when teaching the creative arts curriculum, namely, a lack of confidence in their own ability.

Learning to use one medium successfully provides a pathway for educators to be open to all the possibilities provided by that medium, then to expand knowledge into other art experiences which can be used in the classroom.

Watercolour as a medium is a very suitable choice for use in the primary school because it offers many advantages. It is an inexpensive, easily accessible medium, which can be used in a variety of techniques, with a range of other media, to create interesting, aesthetic and satisfying results. This medium also offers unlimited possibilities for use and creative experimentation and it is one that gives teachers the possibility of extending their own skills through further practice. The translucency of watercolour, combined with its clear, flowing colours allows primary children to engage in positive and fulfilling experiential creativity.

Sydney Rudolf Steiner College presents a series of Visual Arts: Techniques in Watercolour Painting workshops, in which participants progress through a series of watercolour painting exercises, incorporating increasing amounts of mixed media and varied techniques across three days. The experiential nature of the course builds confidence in technique.

Gill William-Smith, the tutor, has over thirty years’ experience in teaching and has qualifications in Visual Arts, Art History and Education. She has a particular interest in watercolour painting, drawing, printmaking and mixed media work and the study of photography, the interplay of light and dark and the application of Goethean colour theory to enliven the textural qualities of her own work and that of her students.

This course is NESA endorsed, meaning that teachers may gain 6 hours of NESA Registered PD from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW. However other teachers or non-teachers are more than welcome to attend.

For further enquiries please call Kirrilee on 02 9261 4001.

Dates: September 3, 4, 5, 2018, at a Sydney CBD location.




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