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Level: Junior, Middle School
Grades: 3-8 | Age: 8-14yrs | Written by: Rebecca Engelman
[Rebecca is an Art Specialist at Cathedral School, Bismarck, ND]

Find out how to make wonderful Batik-Style paintings with flowers as the theme.


Students will:

What You Need:
What You Do:

Day One

  1. Using repeating shapes, demonstrate for the students how to draw very simple flowers. Begin with a circle. Add ovals or triangles for petals. Rotate around the circle. Use simple details for the center of the flower.
  2. Direct the students to create two different flowers on their practice sheet with a large marker. This helps the students to draw large and also eliminates constant erasing. Display the results. Tell the students, "In art, it is ok to share ideas with each other. If you see an idea you like, try it! You can always make small changes. This will make it your own."
  3. Give each student a sheet of the Manila paper and a piece of white chalk. Have them redraw their two flowers on the paper. Repeat these two designs till the paper is full. Encourage the students to overlap some flowers or allow them to go off the page.
  4. Using a limited palette and small brushes, have the students paint in the flowers. The trick is to keep all the paint OFF of the chalk lines and to use very thick, heavy paint. This may be difficult for the students to visualize. So be prepared to demonstrate several times for each group. All chalk lines should be FREE OF PAINT. The paint should be applied very heavy. Watch for students who try to spread the paint too thin. Encourage them to dip their brush in the paint frequently. Work slowly and carefully repeating colors.
  5. After the flowers have been painted, mix several shades of light blue paint, one shade for each table. Have the students use this paint for the background. Again, emphasize the need to keep the chalk lines free of paint. Dry.

Day Two

  1. Pass back paintings. Mix a dish of slightly diluted India ink for each group. Make sure the students are wearing paint shirts and that the tables are covered. Give each student a large easel brush.
  2. Have the students gently paint the India ink over their flower pictures. Use a generous amount of ink. Do not brush back and forth, but rather float the ink over the paper. Dry.

Day Three

  1. Have the students bring their paper to the sink, one at a time. (This is a great time to have them bring a library book to class!)
  2. Lay the paper face up on the back of the cookie sheet.
  3. Run warm water over the painting to remove the ink.
  4. Use a very soft paintbrush to gently remove stubborn ink. Do not try to remove all the black areas. Too much brushing will also cause the tempera paint to fade.
  5. Lay the wet papers flat to dry.
  6. If the papers have curled, iron them between two pieces of paper when dry.

Recommended Books/Products:

Tissue Paper Flowers
by: Klutz Books

Linnea in Monet's Garden
by: Christina Bjork, Lena Anderson
Linnea has visited Claude Monet's garden! In Paris, she got to see many of his actual paintings. Now she understands what it means for a painter to be called an Impressionist. This innovative art book for children contains full-color photos of many of Monet's famous paintings.

My Very Favorite Art Book: I Love to Paint!
Creating with strings, fingers, rollers, straws, and other super techniques: no wonder this entry in Lark's fabulous new art series will have kids saying "I love to paint!"

Painting with Children
Painting with Children contains sections on the "moral effects of color," the experience of colors, preparation, color stories and poems, panting with plant colors, painting the moods and seasons of nature, and much more.

The Science Book of Color
by Neil Ardley
This book explains the principles of color and gives instructions for a variety of simple experiments.

My First Paint Book
by Dawn Sirett
Twenty-two activities, from stenciled boxes to T-shirt designs, are presented along with step-by-step, full-color photographs and clear instructions, in a visual introduction to making and decorating things with paint.

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