This is an abstract watercolour project based on symmetry. Students also learn how to use watercolours in a controlled method. I found the lesson years ago in a April 2001 issue of Arts & Activities magazine. The author was Art teacher Steve King.
This is a fairly simple watercolour project which I consider "structured creative". That is, it gives some guidelines for success, but students can make their own design and colour decisions.
So start off by cutting out a simple but original shape from cardstock- I always use empty cereal boxes. The size of your shape depends on the size of the watercolour paper you've chosen.
I usually use between 2 and 4 inches.
Cut out the shape- this is what you'll be using as a tracer for your abstract design.
Fold a sheet of watercolour paper in half vertically or horizontally- you can also lightly pencil in a center line if you don't want a fold in the paper. Take your shape and place it somewhere on the center line and trace it lightly with a pencil.
Then flip the shape over and trace the exact mirror opposite on the other side. Now keep going until you fill the page. You'll create an abstract design with some interesting negative shapes.
For the painting stage, you can tape down your paper to the table or to a board so you get a nice white border. I demonstrate how to leave a very thin white line around each shape (so the colours don't bleed together) and to move around the paper so you're not painting beside a wet area. I tried to emphasize creating fairly transparent colours by adding just enough water, but some students made their paintings quite opaque- perhaps afraid of using too much water.
Here are some Grade 9 results:
Here's some in a square format: