Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Zentangle Watercolor Animals

Update: Check out the Art of Ed's post today about watercolor techniques. We used many of these techniques in our lesson.

What could be better than intense color, rich pattern and funky animal drawings? Well...if you add a QR code that shares a recorded student reflection with who ever scans it, that will top it!

Here is the outline of our most recent work- Zentangle Watercolor Animals (with QR code reflection)

1. Begin with demo of/practicing watercolor techniques
The techniques we focused on were:
  • Dry Brush
  • Wet-in-wet
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Salt
  • Scrape
  • Crayon Resist
  • Wash
Great video demos here if you need a refresher on basic watercolor techniques.
2. Practice drawing a large scale animal or animal head. Outline in Sharpie- remember to vary the thickness of the lines! 

3. Break up the animal shape with lines to create multiple spaces. Paint various watercolor techniques within the spaces.

4. Draw Zentangle patterns over the dried paint spaces. Discuss why it's important to put contrasting patterns next to each other. 

5. Use Croak.It! app to record a 30 second reflection about art making process. The questions we answered were as follows:

6. Use QR Code Maker app to turn the Croak.It! recording into a scan-ready QR code. Print and post on completed artwork.

Students enjoy all the aspects of this project- especially practicing all the various watercolor techniques. Adding the QR code was a nice way to wrap up the work and reflect in an unconventional way.


  1. we're frosted in and I attempted the oil and fluid water shading with my little girl... epic fizzle... I think I need a superior clarification! We restricted it to two hues... does the paint get dropped in the oil, does the oil get spread on to start with, paint first? HELP!

  2. Asif- Paint with very liquid but very pigmented paint first. You should be able to drop the oil into the wet paint on the paper and see the result. If the paint has absorbed into the paper, the technique will not work. Hopefully that helps!

  3. Hi there! Great lesson! I was wondering if you printed off animals for the students to draw from or if they came up with them on their own? I know my students would have a difficult time without animal images.