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Chinese Vase Art Project

This Chinese Vase Art Lesson is a simple, fast and effective lesson. The original idea came from Artsonia, but it’s been so long, I can’t remember the original source. I had this odd green color of construction paper in my art cabinet and couldn’t decide what to do with it. When I saw the bright blue and white chinese vases on Artsonia, I knew they would look wonderful on the green paper.

Using white paper, fold in half and draw half a vase. Cut along line and open up to reveal a symmetrical vase. Using blue paint and a small brush, paint chinese-like images on the vase. When dry, glue vase to background color. Use blue, white and yellow tempera paint, to paint different variations of flowers. I spent some time demonstrating different options. The kids had fun mixing their colors to achieve tints.

This lesson can be completed within one 45-minute class time.

Fourth Grade Chinese Vases:


  1. Love it!


    November 21, 2010

  2. I love it as a painting project!

    I used to do this with my third graders — they would cut a symmetrical white paper vase, mounted on shades of blue construction paper– but we would do elaborate blue willow designs with blue fine felt tip markers– Yours with the paint and flowers (on the funky green paper) are so much prettier (and faster!!!) Great lesson Patty, will add it to my archives (along with most of your other lessons) in case I ever get back in the classroom!!

    Wishing you and your family a Happy Turkey Day!

    pink and green mama,
    MaryLea : )

    pink and green mama MaryLea

    November 21, 2010

  3. Great lesson. One color paint love it!!!!!

    love the story of the Willow Pattern too! I once saw a lesson where students drew it on a white paper plate and it was spectacular. I don’t think my students are there yet it might be frustrating to duplicate the willow scene but this project is phenomenal. I will use it and tell the story of the willow pattern.
    i just went on ebay and ordered an example for 1.99! Thanks for posting before chinese New Year too! This will be a great addition to our China unit.

    Happy Thanksgiving.


    November 21, 2010

  4. Those are gorgeous…Love them!


    November 21, 2010

  5. Oh so gorgeous! I can’t wait to try this one with my students!


    November 21, 2010

  6. Totally gorgeous! I love how you always think to paint on different color paper. Genius. The green is absolutely stunning.


    November 21, 2010

  7. I am getting ready to do this lesson at my school. I’ve had it in my mind all winter and I will introduce it to my 4th graders very soon. I have plenty of blue and white dishes, but I am looking for a pottery piece that is more of a vase so that I will have a display in the room while we are working on this still life. I’ve got my eye on a vessel at Hobby Lobby.


    March 12, 2011

  8. Just had to comment again… found out that Matisse painted chinese vases over and over again in his paintings. I showed my class all the matisse paintings and then I did your lesson. We used purple paper because one of Matisse’s paintings showed a vase against a purple background.
    Thank you so much for the great idea! They turned out great.
    here’s a kid friendly matisse site that shows the chinese vase theme. http://www.artbma.org/flash/f_conekids.swf


    April 8, 2011

    • This is a great idea! I’d probably like your version better as I’m a huge fan of Matisse! Thanks.


      April 9, 2011

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