Thursday, August 27, 2015

Blind Contour Watercolor Abstract Paintings

I'm always looking for a good beginning of the year project to do with my art 2 students. I want the students to walk in the door and get started working pretty much day 1.

Well, after all of these years teaching, I think I have finally found my GO TO project! Woohoo! (Well, I say a go to project, but then I end up changing my projects every year.. but this one may be a keeper anyway!)

Day 1: 

Blind Contour object drawings with sharpie on watercolor paper. I had the students work on 15x22 student grade watercolor paper. 

Each student had to draw four different drawings on three different papers. 

Here is a sample of a first drawing.  Students were allowed to draw any object that they observed from around the classroom.

As you can see below, I had the students rotate the paper a quarter turn for their second drawing. This creates a nice set overlapping of lines.

For the third drawing they rotated the paper again. 

And again for the fourth drawing.

This is a sample of one of the first pages. 

It is important to remember and to explain to students that each blind contour drawing sheet should in theory get better. While I didn't limit the time spent on the blind drawings, I didn't ask the students to linger over the drawings. 

These 12 drawings were a GREAT first assignment! There is something so freeing about a blind contour drawing. No judgement at all.

The next day, I had students choose their "worst" page of drawings to work with first. This allows students to figure out the media without "ruining" their best work.

This process is FUN!! 

All you need are liquid watercolors, some pipettes and a couple of spray bottles. (and lots of cleaning time!)

Here are my students at work. 

I asked students to work with the paper dry and wet, to run the watercolor down the paper, to spritz it, drop it... and anything else they could think of to "paint" the paper.

Most students "painted" two of their pieces during one class period.

Here is my sample piece.

Here are some of the awesome pieces on the drying rack. 

And aren't these pieces AWESOME!!

Next up (tomorrow), the students will be asked to select a 6"x 6" square and outline the box using a sharpie.

See below.

They will then use oil pastels and color in the block. 

Students are challenged to shade the object within the box, but they have to keep the color tones of the watercolor that they used originally.

And there you have it. A super fun and non-threatening Art 2 project! 

I can't wait to see and show off my student's completed pieces!

And what I love most is that this is a quality project that is completed the first week of school!

1 comment:

  1. I love this.. Do you have the lesson plan for it? As a new teacher, I would love to try this with my class. My e mail is Thanks.. Gina