Tag Archives: India ink


Beyond the Border Art Lesson

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Beyond the Border Art Lesson

Watercolor & India Ink Project

My Beyond The Border project is geared toward middle school art & high school art classes although could be modified to upper elementary art. The placement of the focal point is important in this project, so we used the Rule of Thirds to place our focal point.  Putting it here made it more natural for the subject to extend out into the borders. We also reviewed Watercolor Painting Techniques and pen & ink techniques.

Objective: Create a 2D mixed media art piece that explores the expansion of the main subject matter that is in the inner rectangle branching into  the border around it-going beyond the border. The main subject should remain in color, but everything else turns black & white outside the main rectangle.


  1. Choose on your subject matter (suggestions: butterflies, insects (colorful), birds, sea animals-with flowing fins or tentacles, flowers, candy (spilled candy!), ).
  2. In your sketchbook, draw a rough sketch of your design. Place your focal point in the Rule of Thirds. (Quiz Grade)
  3. Start with the outside border, then draw an interior rectangle.
  4. Creatively & selectively expand part of your design onto to the outside border.
  5. When you have your final design approved by me, you may begin on the final paper.
  6. Begin LIGHTLY drawing your interior rectangle by measuring 3 1/2” in from each side.
  7. Draw your main subject matter in lightly.
  8. Add your back ground extending ONLY PART of it to the edges of the paper. (visually, I recommend at least 3 sides)
  9. Paint your main subject with watercolors.
  10. Apply India ink to the subject matter (outline & add details) & to the area beyond the border (this part will ONLY be black & white- can use hatching & cross-hatching, stippling or other Pen & Ink Techniques to show value changes & textures).

Student Examples:

Teacher Example

20121029-204830.jpg 20121029-204941.jpg 20121029-205031.jpg

Beyond the Border Art Lesson

If you choose to use this lesson, please reference back to www.CreateArtwithME.com as this is my original lesson. Let me know how the project goes for you or any alterations/improvements you made- I am ALWAYS trying to improve my lessons for the students!!

Teacher Example (unfiinished)

Teacher Example (unfiinished)


Watercolor Butterfly with Graphic Style Background

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 Graphic Style Art Lesson

I happened upon the idea for this piece in an unlikely place- the restroom of a retirement home! Unfortunately, the artwork on the walls didn’t have any artist name anywhere on the pieces of art. The basic idea was a pen & ink drawing of a bird or butterfly colored with vibrant watercolors & a black & white graphic style background. There were four prints & they were so eye catching that I was inspired to create my own! This could be a project for 6-12th grade.

Supplies: drawing or velum paper, sharpies or black ink, watercolors

  1. In pencil, draw a butterfly, bird or insect. Outline your lines with Sharpie-vary the width to add interest. You can also stipple some of it to add texture. If you choose to use ink instead of sharpie, then you should paint it first, then apply the ink.
  2. If using sharpie, now paint the image with watercolors.
  3. Next, use a ruler to draw a rectangle behind the image. It needs to go from top to bottom.
  4. Draw in any additional visual elements (like flowers, swirl ides, etc.). You can have them go in & out of the rectangle area for more interest.
  5. Use a sharpie or ink to fill in the background.


If you choose to re-blog or use this lesson in any way (written or photos), then please make sure to link/credit Create Art with ME.

Related Lessons:

Beyond the Border

Basic Watercolor Painting Techniques Lesson Plan & Worksheet

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