I love doing watercolour with students. They are so skeptical before they start and amazed with what they were able to do at the end. I start by going through all of the different kinds of washes you can do with watercolour. I let them try out salt texture, wax resists, dry brushing, glazing, wet on wet etc. etc. It is important that they experience the media before starting a final project. I have found that without time to experiment, students use watercolours in the same way that they have previously used tempera paints – by just painting them on an area in a flat manner.
I also like to show them a video I made of myself painting a landscape in fast motion. After seeing this they are again skeptical that they will be able to produce similiar results.
After producing three small abstract compositions using at least 4 techniques in each compositions, students began painting animals. Here is where they gain confidence and are surprised with their own abilities, which is very rewarding to see.