Mary Cassatt - Project Steps - Mary Woodward Elementary PSO

Mary Cassatt - Project Steps
Project Overview: Students will use various watercolor techniques to paint a lilac inspired by Cassatt’s “Lilacs in a Window”.
Project Materials:
6”x9” Watercolor paper
#2 Pencils
Liquid watercolors (magenta, yellow, violet,
green, turquoise, blue, brown)
Large brushes, small square brushes
Small sponges (dampen before class)
White paper towels
Containers of rice
Small cups for scooping rice
Paint palettes
Containers of water
Green watercolor pencils
Volunteer Preparation
Stock caddies with #2 pencils, large wash brushes, small square tip brushes, droppers and cups for rice.
Dampen sponge squares and add to caddies.
Prepare paint palettes with magenta, yellow, violet, green, turquoise, blue, and brown liquid watercolors.
Fill containers with water.
Tear off 1 paper towel per student.
Teachers are welcome to participate in the lesson - let them know! 
You will complete the project first, and then go through the artist slides to give the project time to dry and for students to see the
final effect.
We have created a step by step video for this project. The video is located on the desktop of the laptop. Play the video one step
at a time – pausing after each video segment to allow students to complete each step before moving on.
After the project is complete, go through the artist slides. As the presenter is talking, remove the paints, brushes and caddies
from the table and begin cleaning them in the sink. Leave the artwork and containers of rice on the table.
The only step not on the video is to remove the rice from the painting AFTER the artist presentation. Instruct the students to pick
up their painting with two hands and carefully return the rice to the rice container.
If the containers of rice become saturated with purple color, replace the rice with new rice that is located in the back bookshelf.
If the watercolor bottles get low, please contact us ASAP. Additional sets of watercolors are in a box under the back table.
Step 1: Sketching and background – 10mins
Volunteers: Pass out 6”x9” watercolor paper,
containers of water (2-3 per table group), and paint
palettes (2-3 per table group)
Step 2: Painting the lilac, adding rice – 5mins
Volunteers: Help the kids decide if their lilac
is too wet or not wet enough before letting
them add rice.
Video Step 1 – 2 minutes
 In pencil, write name and class code (i.e. Jane K-OR,
or Joe 2-BE) on the back of their paper. Paper needs
to be like this:
Video Step 5 – 3 minutes
With a #2 pencil, lightly sketch a line for the branch,
stems, heart-shaped leaves, and a large rounded
Dip your sponge into water ONLY, and
then squeeze out most of the water. Your
sponge needs to be wet but not dripping.
With a small square tip brush and brown
watercolor, go over your branch and stems.
Then with green, paint in your leaves.
Dip just the corner of your sponge in
some VIOLET paint and using a dabbing
motion, begin filling the triangle with color.
Then add some magenta and even a little
Grab a green watercolor pencil and add
some detail to the leaves (add veins, outline
the edges, shade in some areas, etc.).
Scoop up some rice and gently shake it on,
covering your entire triangle shape. Make
sure your triangle is wet but not puddled
before adding rice.
Let the rice work its magic while we
paint the stem and leaves.
Video Step 3 – 2 minutes
With a dropper and water ONLY, get your entire
paper wet. Use your large wash brush to spread the
water from edge to edge. Make sure the whole paper
is completely wet.
Video Step 4 – 4 minutes
With the dropper, add some drops of yellow paint to
the bottom half of your paper, then some green. On
the top section, drop on some turquoise and blue.
Use your large wash brush to push the paint around
to fill in any white areas, being careful not to mix the
colors around too much.
Scrunch up a paper towel and BLOT your paper
until it appears dry. Do not “wipe” the paint.
Video Step 6 – 4 minutes
Video Step 2 – 2 minutes
Step 3: Paint stem, leaves, remove rice – 10mins
Volunteers: The kids may require help
removing rice. If the rice doesn’t fall off easily,
it needs more time.
***STOP – Proceed to Artist Presentation***
Volunteers that are not presenting can clear off
paints, brushes, water, etc. during
presentation. Keep rice containers on table.
Final Step after Artist Presentation (no video)
Finally, carefully pick up your painting and
tip the paper over the rice container to let
the rice fall off. Gently tap to remove the
remaining rice if needed.
If the rice is really stuck to paper and the paint
appears to still be wet, don’t remove it – let it
dry overnight.
At the end of class:
Mounting, Labeling, Hanging:
Move finished artwork to the drying racks (please
double check for names on the back).
Organize and re-stock caddies and rice containers
as needed.
Rinse water containers and paint palettes and
place in drying rack.
Wash brushes and lay them out on towels to dry.
Sharpen green watercolor pencils as needed.
Watercolor paper has a tendency to curl
and may need to be pressed between heavy
books before mounting.
Mount artwork with Elmer’s glue (not a glue
stick) on 9” x 12” black paper. Press flat
between books as you go.
Affix student labels to the center bottom of
the black paper. **Please respect the kids’
artwork. Do not place labels directly on
or overlapping the students’ paintings.**
Hang artwork in the teacher’s designated
space using clear tacks.
Thanks for
in Art Lit! 
“What day is my next class? What time?”/ “When is the next
volunteer training?”/ “Is anyone using the Art Lit Room tomorrow at noon?” etc.
To answer these questions, please check the calendar under the Art Lit tab
If you miss training or just need a refresher, documents for the latest project
can also be found under the Art Lit tab at
Can’t find tacks? Running out of supplies? Have questions about the project?
Text or call Kari (503)516-7249 or Laura (503)504-7676.