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.
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
You can use the handy Flower Idea Sheet (download at the bottom of the page) if you are short on flower inspiration or just want to supplement. 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.
Heading back to school?
Download our back to School Guide | Resources to help kickstart your art program
It’s a 3-part strategy on how to use the Elements of Arts when planning your art curriculum including ordering supplies, a grade level checklist for the scope and sequence of K-7 Elements of Art and What I’ll Learn in Art Class posters
Painting the Flowers
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
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?
For an easy first day art project for your art room, click below to DOWNLOAD THE FREE DRAWING GUIDE. Or click HERE for the Radial Flower lesson post with included video tutorial.
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!
I really love it.!! thank you so much.!
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.
Loved this ! So simple yet so effective !
You are absolutely amazing ! Patty
So glad I took your course !
Love this! Thanks for the freebies!
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
My daughter and I had so much fun with this lesson during our first week of Homeschool! Thanks, Patty!
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
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,
Yes. You can download the drawing guide by clicking the yellow box and then adding your email. I’ll email you the PDF 🙂
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!
i love how you do that
I love this. I am going to do this for my Mother’s Day project.
What grade/age is this intended for? The sample artworks were done by which grade-age?
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.