Level 1 Art – Watercolor Koi


Watercolor #1: Koi

My kids seem to love art class, and I have no idea why…  Perhaps it’s because they’re little bubbles of creativity, and it’s toward the end of the day, so they’re ready to burst.  Maybe.  Just maybe.

This was our first project using watercolors this year.  (The original idea for this can be found here.)   To start, I gave each child a large piece of watercolor paper.  Then, as I sat at the overhead projector and visually and orally instructed, they drew their koi in pencil.  This took a little time, but I think it had mostly to do with communication.

**soap-box interruption**  I think kids and teachers spend the first few weeks figuring out how to talk to each other – and how to listen to each other.  I don’t talk or listen like their mommas, and they don’t talk or listen like my children.  It’s not a bad thing, but rather an exploration of give and take.  **now back to your regularly-scheduled post**

Once they had their koi drawn, I had them outline the fish in red crayon.  I also had them color yellow spots on the fish, green stems and leaves on the algae, black for the eyes, and use white to make circles for bubbles.  Using crayons created a resist.  I made sure they pressed hard enough to make a nice, bold line, but not so hard that the crayon broke.  I also made sure they checked to see if their lines weren’t open.  This would help to ensure that the watercolor stayed  where they wanted.

Once they were done with the crayon outlining and coloring, they started watercoloring.  One of the requests on their supply lists was a bunch of miscellaneous brushes.  I’m glad I did that!  Choosing the right brush is one of the hardest concepts I’m finding to teach!  One one hand, we have the kids that want to use the tiniest, microscopic brush to do everything in.  Alternatively, we have the kids that want to use a giant brush and try to fit it in very small places.  I spend a good amount of time reminding them they had other brushes, and they should try out different ones to find one that worked best.  I think the more they use them, the more they’ll get familiar with them.

Anyway, they all turned out better than I expected!


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