Obviously for my kinders, I am more concerned with completely coloring and building basic techniques, parallel strokes if possible, but as students age, I add more and more to their repertoire. When a young students fully understands my advice, I give them a tidbit of information so they can take it to the next level, and share their work with the class... then others begin to push their work too.
These are the techniques I teach. Keep in mind, one builds upon the last. So in the lower grades I may be happy with one or two of the beginning expectations, I expect more from my older students and these expectations appear in my rubric.
- All over color
- 2nd layer to cancel the first layer's texture
- Layer color to "tune" it to a realistic tone
- press harder with colors to create shadow, lighter for shines
- Add highlights and shadows with color
- Highlight with a warm color, shade with cool colors
- Add textures
- Add details
My only other "tidbit" is that I try to instill in my students to avoid the use of black in shadows. I tell them it deadens colors in general, and that most professional artists don't use much black at all. My story to them is that when I go to flea markets to hunt for treasures, I look at the shadows in the paintings. If there's black in the shadow, I know it's the work of an art student. If the shadow has color, like blue, or purple, I know it's a "real artist" that understand color theory. Though there are examples of people who use black very well, black in shadows is often a crutch, and professionals don't need to use it.
Then walk around picking winning examples for your own poster.
If you have any tips or tricks, please post them below in the comments!