Nature is full of some of the most unbelievable colors. Consider the spectacular neon blue Dart Frog, the iridescent, rainbow-colored Lilac Breasted Roller, the Toucan, and Scarlet Macaw. Our underwater landscape is literally swimming with color as well, populated by colorful sea creatures including the orange Clown Fish, brilliant Mandarin Fish, and so many other finely colored finned friends.
The Weedy Sea Dragon is another example of an underwater wonder with incredible coloring. A marine fish related to the seahorse, the Weedy Sea Dragon features a reddish body with vibrant yellow and purple markings, bright white polka dots, and leaf-like appendages, all of which serve as camouflage for this sea weed-dwelling critter. With this incredible coloring, long, thin snouts and tails, and skinny bodies with bony rings, the Weedy Sea Dragon borders on comical and makes an engaging study for young artists.
Your students can explore the wonderful world of color with our Gradient Color Designs lesson plan. With such a varied palette and such spectacular coloring, the Weedy Sea Dragon is the perfect subject for a color study. Students will begin by studying and sketching the Sea Dragon. Then they’ll create value studies within the palette of their Sea Dragon pieces using colored pencils and water soluble pencils and crayons, beginning with heavy layers and reducing pressure to lighten the color. They’ll learn to burnish color, use water to blend, and work with layering, hatching, and cross hatching for texture and interest.
Click to view the Gradient Color Designs lesson plan, featuring step-by-step instructions, a complete materials list, and a photo example of the finished product. This plan is designed for upper grade students.