Every spring, my 4th graders make some kind of landscape painting with watercolors. This is so I can introduce them to the joys of using salt with watercolor to create visual texture in an image (my battle cry is "It's not a sand painting! No salt piles on your painting!" We want to see what the salt leaves behind, not the salt itself.
In honor of the late, great Ralph McQuarrie (the original concept artist for Star Wars), we created our own alien worlds with a watercolor background and tempera details. Ralph was excellent at capturing the essence of a scene with one painting, so the kids were trying to tap into that concept with their paintings.