The Magic of Wax Resist

Students are inspired by James Rizzi's artwork to create wax resist landscapes or cityscapes.

Inspired by James Rizzi, fourth grade art students drew landscapes or cityscapes in crayon, then painted their art with watercolors to create a wax resist.

Supplies:

  • Poster board (I used light weight)
  • Crayons
  • Watercolor paints
  • Cups
  • Brushes

Downloadable PowerPoint: Wax Resist Scapes

Students are inspired by James Rizzi's artwork to create wax resist landscapes or cityscapes.

I love love love the first painting project with a class! For 4th graders, I have discovered that wax resist is magical. It introduces my students to watercolor, and gives their work some structure. The crayon outlines help to define what could easily be a messy first attempt at watercolors.

Students are inspired by James Rizzi's artwork to create wax resist landscapes or cityscapes.
James Rizzi, 2011

I began the lesson by having my students observe a painting by James Rizzi and discussing what types of personalities they saw in the artwork. They shared their answers and we talked about how the artist showed those personalities. Students are inspired by James Rizzi to create wax resist landscapes or cityscapes.
I got the idea for this project from Deep Space Sparkle. I wanted to broaden how my students could interpret the assignment, so I let them choose if they wanted to create a seascape, landscape, or cityscape. They got to decided if they showed personality by adding cartoon faces or doing something different, like choosing their colors based on what personality they were trying to show.

Students are inspired by James Rizzi's artwork to create wax resist landscapes or cityscapes.

We spent the first day sketching and tracing over the sketch with crayon. I did a demonstration to show them how important it was to push down hard with the crayon. Then I showed them two watercolor techniques: wet on dry and wet on wet. It is always so much fun to wow them with the magic of colors mixing together!

Students are inspired by James Rizzi's artwork to create wax resist landscapes or cityscapes.

In one class a student asked if they could do an outer-space scene. I said “Of course!” That idea took off like wildfire, almost half the class ended up doing something related to outer-space; it was a great opportunity to teach them how to use a compass. I was so excited by the results, I’m going to add it as an option in the PowerPoint for next quarter’s classes.

Students are inspired by James Rizzi's artwork to create wax resist landscapes or cityscapes.

I felt like this project really hit the sweet spot of everything I want in an assignment. My students learned about an artist, got experience with new materials and techniques, and they were able to express themselves creatively in all kinds of different ways! This one is a keeper!

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s