Sometimes when I'm browsing the internet, I'll find a really inspiring contemporary artist. I recently discovered an artist named Colleen Wilcox, from Hawaii! Her seahorse painting and octopus painting especially inspired me.
So, I shared her artwork with my 5th grade students (sometimes it's more meaningful to them to see a modern-day artist instead of an historical artist from a long time ago).
Then, the students created their own undersea artwork, focusing on line, color, and pattern. They first drew their ocean scene with crayons, and later painted with watercolors. I asked them to only make lines with their crayons, and to fill shapes in with paint, instead of coloring.
Here are some results from my 5th grade students.
Below are the paintings from Colleen Wilcox that I showed the students. But, I encourage you to visit her website, and browse her other work!