Wildflower Watercolor Prints with Stephanie Barr Lesson Plan


  • Students Will Be Able To (SWBAT) use watercolor to build layers of colors.
  • SWBAT create their own backgrounds and contour lines.
  • SWBAT define contour lines.


  • What is a contour line?


  • 5×5 Gelli Arts® plate
  • Liquid watercolor in spray bottles
  • Permanent fine point black markers
  • Small flat/round brushes
  • 6×6 white paper


Contour Lines: The outline of an object.


Show students line drawings of wildflowers from various sources. Talk about contour drawings and how to create them without lifting the marker. Demonstrate how to create a contour drawing and how to use the Gelli Arts® plate. Note: because of the edges created by the watercolors on the Gelli Arts® plate, this lesson could easily be turned into a Postage Stamp design lesson.


Step 1: Students will choose from several different wild flower line drawings to use as a guide for their project.

Step 2: Students will trace the lines of the drawing with their index finger without lifting it to practice before ever using the markers.

Step 3: Using the Gelli® plate and the watercolors, students will lightly spray their plate with the liquid watercolor and then lay their 6×6 white paper over it, rubbing firmly for several seconds to allow the paper to absorb the watercolor.

Step 4: Lift the paper to reveal the watercolor background

Step 5: While the background prints are drying the students use a pencil and paper to practice contour drawings of the wildflowers they have chosen.

Step 6: Students complete their contour drawings using a black permanent marker on their dry watercolor background print.

Steps five and six can be reversed depending on your class time and management style.

Step 7: Once the contour drawing is complete, spray a drop or two of chosen colors onto the Gelli Arts® plate to use as a palette. Students will very loosely fill in the petals, stem, and leaves of each flower with a tiny brush and the watercolor

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