First you find a reference photo of your favorite place. In the first example, my student chose a campground that her family had visited since she was a young girl.
Next have the student print the reference both in color and in black and white.
Have the students create a value sketch of their favorite place in their sketchbook before beginning the painting.
Also have them sketch out a graphic map of their favorite place, being sure to include the details that make their place special to them.
Finally using the reference photo, value sketch and sketch of their graphic map have the students create a watercolor painting of the landscape and graphic map.
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Photo examples below: