Art for 1st Graders - Class #2

For Class #2 we did some silhouette water paintings!  I've seen variations of this project before and I also got the idea from a project I did in 1st or 2nd grade (I bet my mom still has it!).  We cut silhouette cacti out of black paper and pasted them on a watercolor sky we had painted earlier that day. The watercolor sky was done in various colors, but for this project I wanted the students to focus on their warm and cool colors.

Since I wanted the background to represent a sky, I had the students pick something they see in nature.  Something I like to do is encourage my students to choose different objects to draw or paint or make.  It gets them to express who they are.  It's wonderful what they come up with!  I also showed the children some silhouette photography and painting examples to help them get a good idea what I was looking for.

After the students decided on their silhouette, I had them draw out their object of choice on a sheet of water color (WC) paper.  The students then traced and colored in their objects with black Sharpies.  It is VERY important a permanent black marker is used for this project.  A permanent marker will not bleed when the watercolors are later applied.

Then, using another sheet of WC paper, the students traced their first silhouette drawing with pencil and then colored the second drawing in with black marker.  Since I do not have access to a light box, I had them take their drawings to the sliding glass door, using the sun as their light source in order to trace their pictures :).

After the silhouettes were all drawn, I took out the color wheel.  Going over the primary and secondary colors (and tertiary colors!), I let the students decide (with some help) which colors are warm and which are cool.

Starting them off with the warm colors - red, yellow and orange - I had them wet their WC paper with some water and, starting with yellow, had them paint upward strokes a third of the way up from the bottom of the paper.  The same was done another third up from the yellow with the orange and then the red, as well as for the cool colors on the second piece of WC paper - green, blue, then purple.  Have them paint a second layer if needed.

After some drying, we mounted the pictures on to black construction paper, which were then mounted on large sheets of white paper so we could compare the difference between our warm and cool watercolor silhouettes! :)


***If you like this idea, I suggest going to a wonderful blog called Art Projects for Kids for another warm and cool color project :)***