Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ink-Blown Trees on Warm and Cool Backgrounds

3rd Grade students reviewed Warm and Cool colors as they painted two 6x9 papers with watercolors. We discussed the wet-on-wet watercolor technique to blend colors together. Some students tried this on their background papers.

The next art day I demonstrated how to use a dropper to apply ink to the painting and a straw to blow the ink into tree-like shapes. I love the "Ooos and Ahs" that happens when you demonstrate something the students get excited about!

I set up the tables with small cups of India ink on a paper plate with the dropper. The students placed their papers onto a "placemat" (12x18 contraction paper that we reuse under paintings). When they were set up they got a straw and began to do their trees.

Students were on task and had fun watching the ink roll the direction they blew.

A couple of my classes worked extra well and were finished with their trees early. I had a plan if this happened and I was glad to be able to give it a try. When I saw students were going to finish early I stopped the group and showed how to do an ink monster. I dropped some ink on the center of a 9x12 paper and then blew the ink until it had soaked in and couldn't go anywhere else. This excited the students even more. I told them next class we would add to these ink blobs to create monsters.
Students that had a bit of problems trying to control the ink to create trees were more relaxed and were able to find success at the free-form blown ink blob.

The next art class I helped students glue their warm and cool trees onto a black paper for display. As I worked on this the classes that had time the week before to do an ink blob for a monster began to transform them using googly eyes and colored pencils. 

I honestly think the ink monsters were a huge hit and many came out even better than the trees!

 See some ink monsters here --


  1. I *love* the ink monsters!!!!! I have got to try that! Isn't it weird when your extra-time activity is what the kids like best, and what turns out the best?