Week 4: Drawing and Tracing on the iPad – Colour Theory

This week the younger students learned some drawing skills using an iPad and stylus, whilst the Grade 3-6s learned a little about colour theory and created their own colour themes using Adobe Colour and Adobe Illustrator.


For the Preps, I wanted a simple fun app that would have a variety of easily accessed tools. I found that with an app called DrawingPad. Here is a fun little video that gives you a taste of what it can do!

This activity was a nice mess around for the kids. I didn’t save their work this time around. Next week we’re going to explore the colouring books that come with the iPad to practise our colouring-in skills.


It’s an open secret that I am the art teacher who can’t draw. Not even a bit of it. So, what do when teaching a class on drawing? Why, we trace of course! ¬†Adobe Draw is a fantastic app that allows some more advanced controls than DrawingPad, but also allows images to be imported on an image layer, which can then be made slightly transparent for the students to draw over. You can then save the image with just the drawing layer to get the proper effect. Here’s an instructional video which shows how to do this (note: this is an older version of Draw than what is available now, but it still works practically the same way).

I gave the students some artwork to choose from and had it preloaded on the iPads. Since the grade 1s were doing space, I gave them a rocket to trace. The grade 2s had a choice of a castle, dragon, princess or Pegasus – relating to their unit on Storytelling.

Here are some examples:


The Grade 3-6s were introduced to a bit of colour theory as we explored the Adobe Colour website over at http://color.adobe.com

The site lets students create their own colour themes according to different colour rules. Students were asked to create their themes and then go into Adobe Illustrator and fill squares in to create a colour swatch. I had the file ready to go with the squares. All students needed to do was to fill in the colours, give the theme a name and then put in what colour rule they used for the theme.

If we had individual student licenses (not possible with the current Adobe agreement – plus the kids are under 13) then it would be a simple matter of saving their theme in a library from the website, open up Illustrator, find that library and use it that way. As it was, I needed to get the students to write down on a piece of paper the RGB values for each colour and then use that in the colour picker in Illustrator to fill in the squares. I have a couple of videos below that explain this process.


Here are some examples- one from each year level.

Next week, the Preps will be practising colouring skills, the grades 1 & 2s will be making nature collages, the grades 3 & 4s will be drawing robots using Adobe Illustrator and the grade 5 & 6s will be introduced to Adobe InDesign to create a mock magazine spread.