Art resources

Techniques & Materials

Once you have decided upon the subject matter, sought inspiration from nature and art, you need to consider how you will create your artwork. Here are some suggested techniques and materials, but you may be able to think of some more.


  • Pencil & Pens:

Pencils are available in assorted grades and a wide variety of colours. HB pencils are standard. “H” is for hardness and the higher the number 9H -2H the lighter the mark making to achieve crisp lines and lighter shading. “B” is for blackness and the higher the number 9B – 2B the softer the pencil to achieve darker shading and shadows. The Chiaroscuro method of drawing and painting creates bold contrasts between light and shade.

Experiment using differing pencils or pens – biro, fineliner or felt tip. You might like to try using just one colour with different shading or a range of colours.

  • Charcoal

Produces a very soft line and is a very quick medium to help create your artwork. With the use of a good quality rubber you can erase some of your markings juxtaposing planes of light and dark.

  • Coloured Pastels and Chalks

The technique of drawing with chalks and pastels can also be used to create texture and shade and varying heaviness of mark makings.


You can create a landscape painting or close up study of a natural form by using a variety of paints that are available in many vibrant shades. So let your imagination run wild with a bold choice of colours.

Acrylic Paints are easy to mix and dry quickly. They can be applied to paper or card. 

Seurat is particularly noted for developing the pointillist painting technique, using small dots of colour in a pattern to form an image. 

You can also use acrylic paints with other materials to create a Mixed Media artwork.

Watercolour Paints & Gouache

Are mixed with water and can be re-touched after painting. But make sure you do not use too much water as the colours can run and you need to store them on a flat surface to dry. Special watercolour paper can be used.

Oil Paints

Are best used on canvas, but take care as they stain clothing and other objects. Oil paints can take a long time to dry fully so they will need to be stored in a safe place.


Is a technique using different materials to create an assembled image by affixing them onto canvas or paper. The end result will not only be a great way to illustrate your world, but a practical way to re-use or recycle old newspapers, magazines, sweet wrappers, packaging. 

You can also consider using natural materials such as leaves, feathers, wood shavings or tree bark.


Is a technique using small flat pieces of coloured glass, stones or tiles. 

It is another great way to upcycle and recycle old or unused items such as broken tiles, buttons and glass beads.

Or you can use natural materials such as shells, pebbles or small rounded pieces of stone.

Or any combination of natural and recycled materials you prefer.

3D Artwork

Artwork can be any size or shape as it can be uploaded as a digital photo or scanned image. 

You don’t have to stick to painting or drawings you can create a 3D artwork. 

This technique is another great way to use recycled materials. You can tear up old newspapers into strips to make your world 3D by inflating a balloon, covering it in paper mache and painting it to create a global view.

Recycled Materials & Litter

Litter and waste can be transformed into great art. 

These works have been created by community groups, artists, schools and colleges in Teignbridge, Devon who are part of TRAIL. It’s Our World is delighted to collaborate with TRAIL during their 10th Anniversary year. Why not use found objects to build and say something about waste and litter? 

What would your message be?

Natural Minerals

Get outside and be inspired by nature. 

Create your artwork using natural materials such as plants, shells, twigs, pebbles. 

Arrange them on a flat surface such as paper, card, fabric or the ground. 

Take a photo in situ and replace items where you found them, so you are not taking away from nature. 

Be responsible; Avoid a well-tended and much prized flower bed. Do not uproot wild flowers and plants. 

Always follow the Code of Conduct for conservation and enjoyment of the natural and marine environment.