Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Watercolor Leaves with Textures

This is a new lesson this year I taught in 4th and 5th grade. I was inspired by a piece I saw on Pinterest, that I think was actually geared towards middle and high school artists. With this lesson students combined the elements of art: visual texture, positive and negative space, line, shape, and color, as well as drawing and watercolor techniques. 
This student chose the technique of "wood" and did analogous colors: green, blue, violet. 
This student chose the technique of "circles or bubbles" and did the same color scheme. 
This student did the texture "scales" and did not really follow a color scheme. But I still liked it so much I had to frame it. I guess the lesson learned here is... don't always do what the teacher says. No, no, no! That can't be right..... ;)

  • 12x18 white paper
  • pencils
  • black fine point sharpie
  • watercolor paints
  • paint brushes
  • water
  • handouts with examples of visual texture
  • paint smocks
  1. First we review the elements of design, particularly space, line, texture, shape, and color. I teach students how to draw a simple (organic shape) leaf, which we do several times in pencil. Leaves should NOT overlap. 
  2. Trace around leaves leaving a small amount of space so that it appears the leaves are in a bubble. I told students that they could make the bubble go around surrounding leaves. 
  3. Go over pencil lines in sharpie and erase all pencil lines. 
  4. Give students examples of how to draw different textures. Students should fill all the negative space with one texture. This took the most time, probably 2-3 class periods. Some students made the mistake of filling the bubble around the leaves with the texture, so just watch them closely and remind them that they want a nice white bubble around their leaves to make them stand out.
  5. Last, students will fill in each leaf with an analogous color scheme. I had students choose 3 colors and write them down in pencil on the back of their paper so not to forget.  
One of my students did not follow directions, but I actually LOVE the way it turned out. I think he did whatever color he wanted. I can easily see this resulting bad for some students because their colors might mix and create a grey or brown color. Next time I do this I may allow students to choose their colors and just enjoy experimenting with the wet-in-wet technique. They really thought it was neat!

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