Lesson Objectives: To show how different textures can be used in art to add interest and detail.

Time Required:  1 hour

Artist: Vincent Van Gogh, The Road Menders

Source: http://www.thatartistwoman.org/2010/09/owl-projects-take-2.html


  • White 9×12 Watercolor paper taped to a board
  • Watercolors: blue, purple, and black
  • Watercolor brushes
  • Cups for water
  • Paper towels
  • Tempera paint: white, yellow, and black
  • Sponges: small and owl shaped (in the EA supply room)
  • Round discs the size of a quarter
  • Tissue
  • Newspaper, brown paper bags, brown tissue paper cut into strips
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Q-tips
  • Paper plates or paint palettes


Discuss how texture is used in art.  Discuss what mixed media is: using multiple medias on one art project.


  1. BEFORE PRESENTATION: Pass out watercolor on boards. Write names on blue tape.
  2. With a pencil, draw a curved horizon line in the bottom 1/3 of the page.
  3. Using a wet paintbrush, get the watercolor paper wet from the top down to the horizon line.
  4. Demonstrate how to create a “puddle” in the watercolor, getting it juicy so it will flow onto the already wet paper (wet-on-wet technique).
  5. Use a mixture of blue and purple to create a sky.
  6. While the paper is still wet, wrap a round disc in tissue, gather the tissue around it so it’s in the shape of a circle, press it onto the paper and lift out a moon. (The tissue paper will absorb the color in the shape of a circle).
  7. With the black watercolor, paint beneath the horizon line.
  8. GIVE PRESENTATION while the paper dries.
  9. AFTER PRESENTATION:  Glue on strips of paper with Emler’s glue and Q-tips to create a tree trunk along the edge of the paper being careful not to go onto the blue tape! Make 1-2 branches. 
  10. With watery black watercolor, lightly paint on some black to the trunk and branches to add shadows.
  11. With white tempera paint and a sponge, dab some paint lightly along the ground as if it had lightly snowed.
  12. With black tempera paint and the owl shaped sponges, print several owls sitting on branches.
  13. Using the wooden end of a paintbrush, add a dab of yellow paint for the eyes and a very small dab of black paint for the pupils (might want to use toothpicks).