Art Classes: Level IV


Learning to create emphasis

The lesson is suitable for students in grade 6 through adult.


Art Lesson Description:

A friend who is a native of France - and an orchid fancier - introduced us to the orchids that nestle in the grasses of the pastures in southwestern France. These pastures, which are home to nearly 70 different species of terrestrial orchids, are an orchid lover’s paradise! There are orchids that stink, orchids shaped like human bodies, orchids that look like insects, and we could go on and on.

This lesson uses one of those orchids, the Orchis moria, as its subject, and we use it to introduce students to the magic that results from applying several techniques for painting with wet chalk. At the same time, students learn to use several principles for giving emphasis to one object in a picture. The result is an effect that just might remind you of the work of the famous French watercolorist, Paul Cézanne!


This lesson includes both POWERPOINT and VIDEO versions of the lesson plus 2 downloadable printouts: a warmup and a drawing of the orchid.

List of Supplies for Each Student:

  • 1 fine-tipped black magic marker
  • A printout of the warmup
  • 1 sheet of watercolor paper (11” x 15”)
  • 1 drawing board
  • Masking tape
  • A set of chalk pastels
  • A bottle of water
  • A good-sized watercolor brush
  • (Optional) Dark ink, dark watercolor, or a dark colored magic marker
  • An HB or 3B pencil with a dull point


Suggestions for Cross-Curricular Connections:

French culture



Language and literature


Approximate Time Needed to Complete the Art Class:

  • Drawing the orchid: 20 minutes
  • Coloring the orchid: 40 minutes

Original orchid
Original orchid
Drawing the orchid
Drawing the orchid
A finished picture
A finished picture

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