Creating Digital Paintings using iPads

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Children using iPads to create observational drawings of flowers

Lesson idea. This lesson idea involves the use of iPads and the 'Brushes' app ( to create digital paintings of flowers. This formed part of the Sheffield Children's Festival ( and was inspired by the artist David Hockney's use of the iPad to produce pictures of landscapes and flowers (

The school was visited by a local artist, Richard Johnson, who ran a series of lessons with the children, demonstrating how to use the Brushes app to produce carefully observed pictures of a range of flowers. This involved sharing digital literacy skills, as well as more general tips relating to the development of painting skills.

The children worked individually to produce their pictures. Each child used an iPad, with an 'artist's easel' style stand. Once completed, the pictures of each individual flower were edited together to produce a 'digital mural'[1], incorporating the work of all of the children.

Teaching approach. This activity is a cross-curricular(subject) activity, that gives children to opportunity to work independently on an art activity that also encourages the development of E-skills(topic). This activity encouraged inclusion(ta) as the children's final work was displayed as a collaborative(tool) piece, where all children had the opportunity to make an equal contribution.

In this instance, the children created observational drawings of flowers. However, the subject of the art could change to fit with any topic across the curriculum. The use of hand-held technology could also active learning(ta) as the portability of the iPads and iPods would allow them to be used outside the classroom, thus enabling observational drawings to be made in a range of locations. (edit)

Resource details
Title Creating Digital Painting using iPads
Topic [[Topics/Digital Art|Digital Art]],  [[Topics/E-skills|E-skills]]
Teaching approach

[[Teaching Approaches/Inclusion|Inclusion]],  [[Teaching Approaches/Active learning|Active learning]]

Learning Objectives

To use technology to create digital observational drawings


[[Resources/Literacy|Literacy]],  [[Resources/ICT|ICT]],  [[Resources/Cross-curricular|Cross-curricular]],  [[Resources/Art|Art]]

Age of students / grade

[[Resources/Primary|Primary]],  [[Resources/KS1|KS1]],  [[Resources/KS2|KS2]]

Additional Resources/material needed

iPads, Brushes app

Useful information

The Brushes app can be downloaded from the Apple App store

Related ORBIT Wiki Resources
Files and resources to view and download

This lesson idea comes from the DEFT case study Exploring the intersections of digital literacy and creativity. The whole case study is available for reading and downloading here: There is a blog post about this lesson on the Y2 Blog for Mundella School: