Learning how to draw flowers is a must in any art room. To make the lesson easy for a younger child, it helps to start with some type of template. Don’t feel like you’re cheating. My philosophy with templates is that sometimes they help a child get through a part they may find a bit boring (drawing yet another flower) to the fun part: watercolor resist.
Liquid watercolor paints get a good deal of use in my art room. So much in fact, that I keep watercolor-filled baby food jars at the ready in my cupboard. When trying to decide whether to use liquid watercolors or tray watercolors, consider what your intention is for the art lesson.
For this lesson I had three watercolor goals:
- Proper application of a wash
- Intense colors
- Oil pastel resist
Wash: Tray watercolors are hard to use when you want to paint a wash as the children need to mix their colors into the tray cover and then add the mixed paint to the large area of background.
Intense Color: You can dial up the intensity or water it down. Kids have a bit of control by adding more water to their brush if they want. But basically, if you want strong colors, you just don’t add as much water to your mixing cup or jar.
Resist: Because the kids just have to dip their brushes into the colored water, applying the soaked brush over oil pastel is an easy job.
To see what I mean, test this out yourself. Try this lesson using tray watercolors then try again using liquid watercolors.
Before the watercolor fun begins, you first have to draw something. I gave each child a pencil, waterproof black marker and a piece of 12″ x 18″ watercolor paper. To see a list of what art supplies I use, visit my RESOURCE page.
I used a flower template that I had on hand from a lesson I did for my Art School for Kid’s program. The flower template really comes in handy when you want your little seven and eight year olds to create a large scale drawing. Oftentimes a template can anchor a size and help the child with scale. Sometimes this can be achieved by using a vase template.
You’ll need a 12″ x 18″ piece of white drawing paper (76lb)
Oil Pastels (non water-soluble)
Liquid watercolor paints
Medium round brush
After drawing in pencil, the children outlined their lines with a Sharpie or waterproof black marker. I set a tray of crayons on the table (sharp ones are best) and the kids outlined some of their lines with white crayon and added as many patterns and lines as they wished.
The next session was used to paint the flowers with liquid watercolor. Mixing was encouraged. It’s hard to keep the colors pristine in a large classroom setting so don’t fuss too much about this but you can always encourage cleaning the brush between color choices.
Here is a quick video that shows the basic steps of this project:
Here are some lovely examples of how my seven and eight year old students used templates to draw their own selection of flowers and then mixed watercolor paints to create their own unique piece. Aren’t they lovely?
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