Free Lesson Plan: Watercolors of the U.S.

Watercolors of the U.S.

Level: Middle School

Duration: Three 45-minute class period.

Historical Overview: Contemporary Watercolor Painters from the U.S.- Bruce McGrew, Homer Johnson, Doug Denniston

Goals and Objectives: To introduce watercolor techniques and various artists

Vocabulary: Watercolor, washes, dry brush, stippling, masking, deckle edges, watermark, sizing, neutral pH, acid free

Materials: Watercolor paints, various brushes, plastic containers, masking tape, block out, salt, rubber cement, feather, masonite board, Fabriano 140lb 100% cotton paper, Arches water color blocks 100% rag, Arches rough, cold, and hot press, 90lb Canson Montval Watercolor Roll, Strathmore 500


Day 1

  1. Anticipatory Set: Show posters and books of images of different paintings by contemporary watercolor painters from the U.S.
  2. Slide lecture on history of watercolor.
  3. Class discussion on artists Bruce McGrew, Homer Johnson, and Doug Denniston
  4. Review vocabulary.
  5. Demonstrate watercolor techniques.
  6. Students create preliminary studies with watercolors.

Day 2

  1. Students set up palettes.
  2. Students transfer sketch onto paper, mask, and block.
  3. Students paint.

Day 3

  1. Students develop criteria.
  2. Students pick best painting.
  3. Students critique paintings.


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