Level IV-Art Lesson 4: The Hawaiian Heliconia
Learn to draw a flower and discover how easy it is to use watercolor pencils
The lesson is suitable for students in grade 6 through adult.
Art Lesson Description:
Have you ever noticed how many varieties of red there are—from the purplish red of red cabbage to the orange red of a ripe tomato? Similarly, the green colors in plants vary from blue-green to yellow-green.
This lesson gives students a chance to sharpen their sense of color while learning to imitate the heliconia’s range of reds and greens. Since watercolor pencils are easier to control and mix than regular watercolors, we will use watercolor pencils as our primary medium.
This lesson includes both POWERPOINT and VIDEO versions of the lesson plus 2 downloadable printouts: a warmup and a drawing of the heliconia.
List of Supplies for Each Student:
- 1 warm-up for the heliconia (this is included with the lesson)
- 1 sheet of 11" x 15" watercolor paper
- Masking tape
- 1 scrap of 5” x 5” watercolor paper for the painting warm-up
- Drawing board: (Make your own by cutting an 18" x 24" piece of 1/4" masonite)
- Watercolor pencils
- Set of brushes
- Watercolor paint
Suggestions for Cross-Curricular Connections:
- Too Many Mangos by Tammy Paikai tells about sharing, Hawaiian style.
- Beyond Ohi’a Valley by Lisa Matsumoto tells about Hawaii's rainforests and invasive species. Beautifully illustrated.
- O Kaina Ke Kumu Koa/ Kaina the Koa Tree takes you through Hawaii's varied habitats.
- How the B-52 Cockroach Learned to Fly by Lisa Matsumoto is fun for both children and adults. The story of one Hawaii's huge cockroaches.
- Climate of Hawaii
- The Hawaiian Tourism Authority provides a brief summary of Hawaiian history.
- Discover the many species of heliconia.
- Heliconias are also called wild plantain and are related to banana plants. Learn about their characteristics.
- Learn how heliconias are used in everyday life--from cooking to roofing--in the tropics.
- In Honduras, bats have a special way of forming heliconias into a sheltering tent.
- The heliconia got its name from Mt. Helicon, which was important in Greek mythology.
Other plants in Hawaii
- Find several books about Hawaii's habitats.
- Ancient Polynesians brought many plants on their canoes when they came to Hawaii. Learn about these "canoe plants." Find pictures of them here.
- Learn how settlers affected the kinds of plants and animals that now live in Hawaii.
- For a list of plants that are native to Hawaii, click here. For pictures of them, click here.
- Learn about the characteristics of color and the psychological effects of colors.
- Learn more about the color wheel and color properties.
- Find out what colors animals can see. For more information about this topic, click here.
- Dogs and cats can see some colors. Find out which ones.
Approximate Time to Complete the Art Class:
- Introduction through guided drawing: 25 minutes
- Adding watercolor: 55 minutes
- Total time: 80 minutes