This is one of my most favorite art lessons to do this time of year. It originated from an Arts and Activities article entitled “Poinsettia Perfection” by Temple Skelton Moore. I’m so grateful to Temple for providing one of the most accessible art lessons ever. This is truly a no-fail lesson and I’ve done it with many grade levels and abilities. It takes very little class time–about 45-50 minutes–and you and the students will be thrilled with the beauty of these peices.
Play with the Paint
To change it up a bit, I don’t give the same paint to every class. In other words, if I am teaching this lesson to 3 different classes, I’ll give one class a yellow, blue, turquoise paint palette, the next class red, lime and yellow palette, etc. This is mostly for management strategies (easy to identify the different classes on the drying rack) but feel free to give as many or as few paints as you wish. One word of caution though…make sure to give good instructions on the dangers of combining red and green that produce a muddy brown.
Prepping the Project
The process is simple but requires a small amount of prep on your part. Take some old kitchen sponges and cut them into long petals or leaves. Cut the scraps into smaller leaves. For a class of thirty students, you’ll need approximately five 4″ petals and Four 2″ leaves. Place a tray of petal and leaf sponges on each table and then 3 trays of tempera paint in different colors. Place one small tub of yellow paint with either Q-tips or small brushes placed inside.
Start with the Center
To start, dip Q-tip in yellow paint and make three or four flower centers. Be careful not to place the centers too close to the edge of the paper or the petals won’t fit. Now, dip or brush paint onto sponges. Press sponges around the center of the flower. Add leaves.
For a final step, place a few different colored tubs of paint onto the table. Use complimentary colors. Have children paint around the leaves. This is the step that takes the most time.
Second and Third Poinsettia Art!