The students had to come up with three different designs for their miniature paintings and sketch them out. They were required to choose something personal and meaningful to them that they would be able to explain if asked. I came around and discussed their ideas with them while they were sketching.
The next class, I showed them a three different painting techniques. The techniques were stippling, impasto, and how to create a gradient in their painting. They were then asked to practice these techniques on cardboard tester squares. After practicing the techniques they were ready to move forward with one of their sketches on canvas. As a guide I had the students draw their designs in pencil onto the canvas. I explained that you want to paint the largest areas first and then move to the smaller areas and then finally the smallest areas for final touches. They were required to include one of the techniques that I taught them, mix at least one of their own colors, and paint the entire canvas so that no white is showing.
The students used the very finest tipped brushes to create their paintings. After a couple class periods of painting, the students finished their miniature paintings and moved on to making easels for their paintings using popsicle sticks. I let them come up with their own easel designs. I wanted them to think critically and problem solve in order to create an easel that was strong and stable. Some students were very creative in their approach of making an easel while others were very pragmatic.
Some of their miniature paintings are pictured below....