The idea and resources for this lesson came from Art With Mrs. Nguyen! When I first saw her blog post about this lesson I was so inspired that I made one myself with gouache and watercolors!
I cannot emphasize enough how awesome this project is. It was a great way to kick off the school year with 5th graders because it gave them so many choices and opportunities to be expressive with colors, patterns, and composition. This one really involved a lot of choice and voice! We started off on the first day with a PowerPoint and handouts with examples of different succulents — both can be found in Mrs. Nguyen’s incredible TpT store!
Students were encouraged to add visual texture to their succulents for detail and use expressive lines and shapes to create a pattern on their pot. They added 2 horizontal lines for a table or the ground. The final draft was on 9×12 paper and all the lines were of course traced with sharpies. 5th graders could paint the background however they wanted using watercolors. They used colored pencils to color in their cacti. I showed them how to create gradients using analogous colors and they did not have to make their plants realistic. Many kids chose vibrant rainbow colors or used color schemes for their favorite sports teams to give their artwork a personal twist.
To get the table to look like realistic wood, we drew from observation by looking at the wooden tables in the art room. I also did a demonstration of how to make a galaxy design with watercolors and a few kids used salt to create lovely texture!
Awesome job 5th graders!!
❤ Ms. K