Grade Level

5-6, 7-8, 9-10


Five 45 minute classes


watercolors, watercolor paper, brushes, glue, salt, plastic wrap


Watercolor, Collage

Lesson Objectives

For the student…
to create various watercolor techniques on watercolor paper.
to improvise a landscape through layering the ripped and torn paper

Introductory Activity

The student will be introduced to watercolors. Teacher should demonstrate a variety of water color techniques: washes, gradients, color blending, lifting colors, blooms and backwashes, adding texture with salt, and adding texture with plastic wrap and bubble wrap.


Lesson Process

I give students a couple sheets of large to execute the watercolor techniques demonstrated. I encourage them to pain large swaths of each technique and to generally experiment and even combine techniques.
In a second demo I show students how to improvise a landscape. I discourage them from using references but to rather see what materializes as they rip, tear and experiment. I show them how to rip the paper and pay attention to the edges. One side will have a white edge that can be used to its advantage. Students do have access to a scissors as well as a paper cutter (note: review how to use the paper appropriately and safely). We talk about how the ripped edges make good clouds or mountain peeks while sharp edges can be nice to describe a horizon line or a tree branch. Student can glue strips to each other and/or use a piece of cardboard or scrap matt board (ask you local frame shop for the scraps and you may get lucky as I did). I also find having a few precut matts helpful for students to place over their collage. It helps remove clutter and see the potential.

Students can also paint on top of a collage as well using dry brush.


wet-into-wet, washes, gradients, color blending, lifting colors, blooms, backwashes, texture, resist, layering, overlap, background, middleground, foreground


16 Watercolor Techniques You Have to Try | Craftsy
11 Easy Watercolor Techniques that Every Painter Needs to Know

Author & Website/Blog

Supporting Images