Georgia O’Keeffe Flowers

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Rarely do I use liquid watercolor with the little guys but for this project it is a must! The vibrant colors and flowy nature of the paint allows for some truly spectacular flowers. I have never seen my first graders more quiet and concentrated during their hour long art class than with this easy project which is why I make sure to use it ever year!

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What you need:

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Let’s get started!

Step One:

We begin by reading the book Through Georgia’s Eyes, by Rachel Victoria Rodriguez. Before you run out to buy it, know that it is extremely boring… I even tell the kids, “This book is a bit slow but the illustrations are worth it and I will paraphrase!” The kids agree. Sooooo boring! But again the illustrations by Julie Peschkis are beautiful and some pages are informational enough to read and the kids are always blown away and outraged when they hear the part about how it was frowned upon for women to be artists!

After looking at the book we view and discuss several photos of O’Keeffe flower paintings. I print out 3 of her poppies for each table. I find that the kids really enjoy looking at them and having the reference right there helps them grasp the concept.

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I usually have students gather around one table as I do a demonstration. I show them how I look back and forth from my drawing to the photo reference.

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I begin with a black dot in the middle of my paper.

Then a black squiggly circle around the dot.

And then add the long wavy petals making sure to add the black marks at the base of each petal.

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Step Two:

Once the poppy has been drawn students can begin painting. We again look at O’Keeffe’s paintings and discuss how many colors are on each petal, someone might say that a poppy is red yet when we look at her painting there is red, yellow, orange, pink and that’s what makes paintings so beautiful! I tell them to dip their brush first in water and then dip once in the paint. I also remind them that once they have a pretty color on their paper to move on as sometimes they tend to keep adding more and more paint and scrub the paper.

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Step Three:

Once dry, I have my students cut out their flowers and glue them on black paper. Every year this project produces stunning results that kids are always very proud of!

Have Fun!

Student Examples:

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