Wet on Wet Kaleidoscope of Color

Lesson Plan, Grades 4-12, Art, Social Studies, Drawing


Lesson Plan and Artwork by Edwin Leary

In this lesson students will explore wet on wet techniques and wet on dry applications using markers as a watercolor pigment and gel crayons to convey a direction, feeling or mood.


  • Students will learn the techniques of nontraditional markers. 
  • Students will observe and experiment with changes in line and color with the use of water.
  • Students will use elements of design to layout a composition.

Supplies Needed

Heavy Weight Watercolor pad 9 x 12", 30 sheets/pad
Twistable Gel Crayons, set of 12
Neon Markers, set of 6
Markers, chisel tip, set of 6
*Here are the supplies needed for this lesson plan for reference. Find a convenient carousel of shoppable products for this lesson below.


Standard #1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Standard #2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
Standard #3: Define and complete artistic work.
Standard #4: Analyze, interpret, and select artistic work for presentation.
Standard #5: Develop and refine artistic work for presentation.
Standard #10: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.
Standard #11: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical context to deepen understanding.



Present to students the wet on wet technique.


Have the students experiment with additive color (markers) over wet paper. 


Then do the opposite with dry paper, spritzed with water. 


Let students observe the ongoing changes of color, line and texture.


Have students select what color combinations are most successful to create their “Kaleidoscope of Color”. 


Create an abstract design of a subject of interest. Creating a composition reflective of the elements and principals of design.


Have students use those selections on the heavyweight watercolor paper using a combination of wet on wet or wet onto dry techniques.