Lesson Objectives: Students will create a textured mountain in the impasto style using tissue paper, acrylic paint, and watercolor.

Time Required: 2 sessions: 30 min for the first, 1 hour for the second.

Artist:  Andre Derain, Henri Matisse Portrait


Materials (Day 1):

Watercolor paper 9×12

White tissue paper

White acrylic paint

Elmer’s glue

Small pieces of tag board

Materials (Day 2):

Watercolor paints: blue, purple, white, black, brown, green, yellow



Cups for watercolor

Paper towels


Discuss the impasto technique: using very thick paint to create texture.

Procedure, Session 1:

  1. Pass out watercolor paper and pencils. Write names on back.
  2. With paper placed vertically, draw rough outline of a mountain shape in pencil.
  3. Mix acrylic paint with glue to make it thick. Have students “paint” acrylic/glue mixture using their piece of tag board as a paintbrush into the mountain outline. The thicker tag board will hold up better with the thickness of the paint/glue mixture, and there is no need to be very precise in this step.
  4. While still wet, start laying down tissue paper into the paint, scrunching it up to add texture,
  5. Cover every portion of the mountain in this manner.
  6. Paint over the tissue paper with the acrylic/glue mixture and tag board.
  7. Let dry.

Procedure, Session 2:

  1. Pass out dried tissue paper mountains.
  2. Use different colors of blues for a watercolor sky. Use tissue to dab off paint in areas to create clouds.
  3. Paint mountain with black, brown, and a dark blue. Show how to mix black and white to get gray. Show how to use water to blend/dilute the colors. You can even add white for snow at the top.
  4. Paint base of mountain green and yellow for grass/trees.
  5. Let dry. Mount and return to students.