This flower painting idea uses only marker and water (watercolors are optional). See how you can use this simple technique with your elementary art students. I did my example on regular copy paper. For the best results, you can use 90# drawing paper. Students can either draw on a blank piece of paper or if you want to add the frame, cut your paper down to 8.5×11 and run copies on the drawing paper.
For this drawing, I picked 3 of Expressive Monkey’s Sunflower Description Cards to create the design of my sunflower. After drawing the vase of sunflowers, I went over my pencil lines with a Sharpie marker.
I used Crayola washable markers (but regular non-washable markers work too) and created thick outlines for each shape. Darker colors work best, so I’m a little curious if the yellow will show much when I go over it with water.
This is what it looks like when each shape has a marker outline.
I’m painting in each shape with plain water. I’m making sure that the marker area gets wet so that it will “bleed” into the white area. I’m careful to stay inside each shape and only do one shape at a time, though, so the color only goes where I want it to go.
I’ve created a line design in the tabletop area that reminds me of Vincent van Gogh’s brushstrokes. I’m painting over the entire tabletop area and letting the colors all bleed together.
I decided to add some watercolor to this painting because the yellow didn’t fill in the petals as much as I wanted. I also added a light watercolor wash of blue in the background. A watercolor wash is when you use very diluted watercolors to cover a large area.
Here is what the finished picture looks like!
Find the Lesson Here
If you are interested in getting the description cards, click on the link below. This lesson comes with a presentation on Vincent van Gogh, a dice drawing game, the description cards, a writing activity, and a matching activity. This less includes labels and rubrics.
Integrated Art Lesson: Van Gogh’s Sunflowers
Or you can get just the roll & draw pages here: Sunflower Roll, Draw & Write.
Summary of the Steps
- Draw a vase of sunflowers in the style of van Gogh.
- Next, go over the pencil lines with a permanent marker.
- Outline each shape with a washable colored marker.
- Add some brushstroke-looking marks with markers.
- Finally, gently paint over the marker with water.
- As an option, add watercolor as needed to darken some areas.
The Benefits of Drawing
Use this infographic to display in your room or share with parents, administrators, or other teachers as a way to point out some of the academic benefits of learning to draw. While they are not the only reason for using drawing as part of a balanced curriculum, they are certainly worthy of celebrating and may help you advocate for including drawing as part of your art or classroom learning experiences.
You can read more about The Benefits of Drawing in this blog post.
Join my email list to hear about new resources, sales, and tips for teaching art and drawing, and get 15% off your next order!
Continue the conversation in my FB group of art teachers: