Watercolor Pen Flowers for the First Day of School

Watercolor & Pen Flowers | Easy First Day of School Art Project




Looking for an easy first day art project that you can do on the first day of school? This simple line drawing teaches radial drawing, shape, line and watercolor techniques. Not bad for the first day, right?

I’ve done this lesson with my third grade students but fourth, fifth and even sixth grade students would do very well with it. Younger kids may struggle with keeping the flowers big enough to paint. If you want to do a similar lesson with the younger set, pick one or two flower shapes, show a guided drawing and then paint away.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

– 12″ x 9″ 90 lb watercolor apper

– Pan watercolors (use liquid for the younger group)

– Sharpie brand black marker or any other waterproof marker

– Newspapers for table protection

Drawing the Flowers

Watercolor Pen Flowers for the First Day of School

I showed the kids how to start with a dot or small circle somewhere on the paper. Then, using the dot as a starting and stopping point, create a shape and repeat that shape all the way around the dot. The bigger the shape, the less petals you will make.

If you see some kids making some small petals, don’t worry. For this type of painting lesson, it’s okay to have small shapes.

Painting the Flowers

Watercolor Pen Flowers for the First Day of School

Using watercolor trays, instruct the kids to start with one color and paint a few petals. In the photo above, the artist chose red.

Using the colors on both sides of the chosen color, students can paint analogous or friendly colors. This is not the time to paint the petals in a rainbow of colors. It would take much too long. It’s also super helpful to show the kids how you can paint the entire flower with one color. No need to paint each individual petal; just paint the outline, then fill in the middle.

This technique is also perfect for the kids who drew a thousand petals on one flower.

Painting the Background

Watercolor Pen Flowers for the First Day of School

Once all the flowers are painted, use ONE color to paint the background. It helps if the flowers are dry so wait a few moments.

Some kids will want to use more than one color. But you knew that, right. For these kids, challenge them by having them select analogous colors from the color wheel. Pretty, huh?

Watercolor Pen Flowers for the First Day of School

What do you think?

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  • Charmaine

    What a great way to start the new year! I’m usually reluctant to get out the paints right away, but this I can doThanks for sharing!

  • Katherin

    I really love it.!! thank you so much.!

  • Carol

    Love this idea. I am going to expand the radial idea for my 5th and 6th grade boys to medieval shields. Just case they are not interested in flowers.

    • Zahida

      Loved this ! So simple yet so effective !
      You are absolutely amazing ! Patty
      So glad I took your course !

    • Mary Smith

      Great idea!

  • Sue

    Love this! Thanks for the freebies!

  • Moe

    I just did a back to school blog post about how as home educators we tend to forget about art class. Art seems to messy and did I say messy? This lesson looks easy and like a lot of fun. I have shared a link to your post and hope my readers will be interested in checking out the rest of your blog.
    Adoptive Mom Homeschooling An Only Child blog

  • egrace03@msn.com

    My daughter and I had so much fun with this lesson during our first week of Homeschool! Thanks, Patty!

  • Mohga

    Lovely and interesting lesson


    Me encantan tus propuestas, esto será nuestra actividad de “sábado de arte” con mi hija, Un gran abrazo desde Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia

  • Marilyn Gibbons

    is there any way I can get a full lesson plan for this lovely activity? It’s spring and I would like to do this with my 4th graders,

    • Patty

      Yes. You can download the drawing guide by clicking the yellow box and then adding your email. I’ll email you the PDF 🙂

  • eyeleenf

    Thank you for this lesson. I have never been an artist, but with your lesson plans, I can practice so that I can provide Art to my students. We do not have a Visual Arts program at our school, but I’m doing my best!

  • gael rojas

    i love how you do that

  • Alicia

    I love this. I am going to do this for my Mother’s Day project.

  • Anette

    What grade/age is this intended for? The sample artworks were done by which grade-age?

    • Bethany

      Hi Anette! This lesson is designed for third grade students but fourth, fifth and even sixth grade students would do very well with it. I hope that helps.

  • jjonslow

    Lots of great ideas and well organized

  • Kim Bowles

    I am new to teaching one period of ART for 5th graders and I need lots of ideas and help!!


    Hi, this is going to be really helpful…I’ve one student, 8 years old…a boy ….not confident about his painting..thanks alot.

  • Betsy Szulewski

    I’m a first year art teacher. Can’t wait to use this with all my classes on the first day.

  • Jaclyn

    Where can I find the Handy Flower Idea Sheet? I don’t see the download. Thanks!

  • Pamela Keller

    I have worked with your lessons for many years and I love each and every one of them!

  • Patty

    Thank you again for a wonderful activity. Could you please tell me how to get the Flower Idea Sheet? The only download is the Back to School Guide and it doesn’t have this on there. Thank you.

  • Kristen

    I love this project! Thank you 🙂

  • Minttu

    Thank you for inspiration.

  • Kate McDonald

    This looks great. I can’t wait to try this with my students!

  • Abby

    That’s so cool!

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