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Drawing - 5 to 11 Years

Painting - 5 to 11 Years

Both painting and drawing use ‘mark making’ and the visual language, with painting emphasising colour and texture. Using paint and colour are exciting experiences in themselves but working with them leads to a greater awareness of colour in the world around us, and how different cultures use colour. Learning simple colour theory links with the science of light and involves practical skills in colour mixing.

Painting is very versatile and works can range from the most delicate and precise to bigger, bolder and more powerful forms of expression. Painting can be done on a variety of materials, paper, textiles, and objects. Very often paintings progress from a quick sketch or drawing.

In the Art Framework painting is being explored through the following forms:


Mark making:

Developing control over tools, media and materials, techniques and processes. Mark making and painting exercises help children to increase their skill and understanding and will broaden their repertoire of marks and contribute to the growth of eye-hand-brain skills. Through exploring line, shape, form, structure, colour, pattern, texture, proportion, scale and space children develop an understanding of the visual language


Narrative and Expressive paintings:

These forms of painting allow children to represent what they know, feel and imagine. Paintings can be based on reality or fantasy


Observational paintings:

Recording what is seen. This can help children to look more closely, analysing the world around them, as well as communicating to others


Illustrative paintings:

Paintings used to convey specific ideas, scenes, animals and characters.
Through these forms children will work on some of the traditional themes used by artists.

Painting in a gold coloured, ornate frame. It shows five children playing in a room. They are obviously from a wealthy family.
The 4th Duke of Portland's Children, by John Rising



A painting of a person, group of people, or animals


Portrait of Charles II When a Boy by Anthony Van Dyck
Portrait of Charles II When a Boy by Anthony Van Dyck

Queen Elizabeth I by Nicholas Hilliard
Queen Elizabeth I by Nicholas Hilliard


Still Life:

A painting of non-moving or arranged objects


Land and Seascapes:

Paintings of natural and urban scenes and subjects


The Duke of Portland’s Brig ‘Pantaloon’ by J C Schetky
The Duke of Portland’s Brig ‘Pantaloon’ by J C Schetky


Seascape Sketch by Kyra Cane
Seascape Sketch by Kyra Cane


Key aims of the Painting Programme are to enable children:

  • To have the opportunity to explore a number of different ways of painting
  • To have the opportunity to enjoy painting freely in their own way
  • To be able to use colour and texture to record observations and express ideas and emotions
  • To learn simple colour theory
  • For older children, to have the experience of working on an extended project of their own choice
  • To know about and enjoy a variety of paintings made by other artists, contemporary and historical and from different cultures

Download the Painting resource pack for this chapter for more information and activity ideas for each age range.