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Art & Writing...A lesson inspired by "Micawber" by John Lithgow

A Writing and Art Project from WritingFix
Writing Project: A Sensory Color Poem Art Project: A Color & Contrast Painting

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The Art Lesson:
Bold Color & Contrast Paintings

This writing and art project was written by Northern Nevada teacher Amy Howe during the NNWP's inservice class on Art & Writing Projects. Amy is a fifth grade teacher in Northern Nevada.

This page contains the art portion of this two-part lesson. Click here to view the accompanying writing lesson plan.

Art Lesson Overview:

Students create a bold flower on a sunset background to study contrasting colors. Student poems and artwork should be displayed together.

Lesson Materials:

  • 12" x 18" white construction paper
  • Red, yellow, purple, blue, green, and black tempura paint
  • Wide paintbrushes
  • Scissors

Art Lesson Instructions:

A Note from Amy, this lesson's author: "This was VERY difficult for 5th graders to do when they couldn’t understand the difference between blending and stripes. Allow extra time for this."

  • Start with the red and yellow paint. Demonstrate in front of students as you go. On the white construction paper, paint with a big paintbrush from the top of the paper using long, even strokes with red. About a third of the way down, add yellow to paintbrush (without cleaning off the red) and continue all the way to the bottom. This should result in a blended painting that goes from red to orange to yellow. Let dry.
  • On another piece of white construction paper, have students draw all the pieces for a fancy flower including the stem and leaves. Be sure to keep the shapes very bold and be sure they are not connected. Outline each object with thick, black tempura lines. Let dry.
  • Paint the inside of the black lines using cool colors – blue, purple, and green. Let dry.
  • Cut out flower shapes and glue them all on the blended “sunset” paper. Be sure not to glue the pieces down perfectly flat – this will give it a nice 3-D effect.
  • Show it off! This is a great contrast of colors and is a very bold painting.

We're Seeking Photographed Student Samples:

Teachers: We're looking for photographed student samples for this lesson that we can feature here. Do you have a revised and edited sample to share? Take a photo of the final product, and send attachments to us at Please write "Colorful Sensory Poems/Paintings" in your e-mail's subject line. If we publish your sample here, we will send you a complimentary copy of one of the NNWP's Print Publications for your classroom.

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