7th/8th Grade Watercolor Fish Paintings

Watercolor Fish

7th/8th grade Painting

Erica Mathieson

Title: Watercolor Fish


The students will be given a variety of watercolor exercises which they will complete prior to creating their final fish painting.  The exercises will consist of: brush handling, creating gradients, blending and mixing colors using watercolor paints. Once students have completed the exercised, they will move on to sketching and painting their final compositions. The students will be given a packet of required exercises that need to be completed before they can move on to their final composition. Each step will be demonstrated for the students before they begin and I will work with the students at their pace as they complete each step. Once students are feeling comfortable with the medium and the techniques being used, I will show a PowerPoint presentation consisting of sample images for students to draw inspiration from. I will demonstrate how to break the “big picture” up into smaller shapes to help students begin their final compositions.


The student will:

Experiment with varying brush techniques

Learn to blend color together in a successful manner

Work with a medium that is typically difficult to control

Show ability to go from dark color to light color

Analyze shape in order to create a realistic representation of a fish through drawing and painting


Day 1:

  • Pretest: Who has used watercolor before, how often, what do you know about it?
  • Brush technique demonstration
  • Begin pages 1 and 2 of exercise packet

Day 2:

  • Review: what did we learn last time, what surprised you?
  • Creating patterns and blending colors demonstration
  • Begin pages 3 and 4 of exercise packet

Day 3:

  • Review
  • Creating gradients demonstration
  • Begin pages 5 and 6 of exercise packet, finish any unfinished exercise

Day 4:

  • Teacher check in-have you mastered the skills?
  • PowerPoint presentation
  • Drawing demonstration
  • Begin sketching

Day 5:

  • Finish sketching
  • Begin painting final composition

Day 6:

  • Work Day and teacher check-ins

Day 7:

  • Work Day and teacher check-ins

Day 8:

  • Work Day and teacher check-in

Day 9:

  • Assessment



  • Watercolor paints
  • Water cups
  • Paintbrushes
  • Watercolor paper


  • Computer
  • Projector


  • PowerPoint Presentation
  • Sample images
  • Exercise packet





Evaluation and Closure:

Students will be given a rubric for the assessment, on which they will give themselves the grade they think their artwork deserves. They will provide me with a written statement explaining why they graded themselves the way they did, what they feel is successful in their composition and what they think could improve. They will visit two of their peers and ask for feedback and other perspectives. I will grade the students on how well their composition demonstrates mastery of the unit objectives as well as use of class time. Effort and improvement will also be considered when assigning a final grade.


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