Artwork Title: Where is My Playground?

Name of Artist: Sally Hong

School: Yusof Ishak Secondary School

This lesson is suitable for students in: Secondary 1-3


What inspiration and connections can we draw from our daily lives and surroundings?

How can a digital workflow enhance an illustration?

This lesson could be adapted for secondary one to three students, and further differentiated depending on their prior knowledge and experiences. This lesson unit will likely take about 8 lessons, and includes teacher demonstration, independent student research and reflective visual documentations.  


Drawing and visual journaling

Students will learn and employ the use of Photoshop to recompose drawings and effective manipulation using various editing tools. 


Students will: 

Lessons1-4 (4hours) Visual Journaling

  • Explore the concept of daily documentation and observation of life and surroundings through doodling, sketching and drawing. Teacher will take the opportunity to introduce the work of Singapore Urban sketchers, and teach:
    • Creating tones and values using variety of pen marks 
    • Pencil and light watercolour washes
    • Pen Ink and watercolour washes on paper
    • Quick figure drawing, paying attention to contour lines, conveying movement and conveying sense of mass  
  • Explore the use of visual journals and how they serve as a useful way to record and document personal thoughts, reflections and feelings. 
  • Teacher will introduce alternative methods of visual documentation through a variety of mediums e.g. collage, mixed-media photographic transfers
  • Explore outdoors sketching and record observations of people and their surroundings.
  • Students are expected to continue making sketches beyond lesson time. Students will be expected to complete about 20-30 sketches after the end of 4 lessons.  

Lessons 5-8 (4hours) Composing/ Recomposing Artwork in Photoshop:

  • Teacher will show samples of work and demonstrate how pieces of drawings were put together in layers using Photoshop. 
  • Students will scan all the drawings in their visual journals and create digital images. 
  • Students will then decide how they want to edit or layer their works in Photoshop, depending on the message they wish to convey about themselves or about the world they live in. 
  • Teacher may decide on a particular focus or theme for the class. 
  • They will learn to work with the various editing tools to create layers of work using the works created in their visual journals. 
  • Students will create new compositions of work as well as recompose the drawings from their journal documentations. 


  • Drawing and Painting tools
  • Visual journal
  • Recycled materials such as cardboard, newspapers
  • Found items for print such as twigs, leaves, flowers, sand
  • Photoshop and computers

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