Friday, October 5, 2012

watercolor vegetables (Miroco Machiko)

Browsing the internet this summer, I came across some of the most beautiful drawings and paintings I have seen in a while, produced by a young artist from Japan named Miroco Machiko. So often, we teach from master artists who are no longer living, and it was really refreshing to inspire the students with the work of an up and coming young woman with a very unique take on natural images. Most of her work involves plants and animals - they have a childlike quality to them with the bold shapes and exciting colors, often with a dark background, creating a "glow."
Third graders looked at examples of still life drawings and drew crayon contours of an assortment of vegetables. Next, we used liquid watercolors for the veggies - learning to make the colors "bleed" - and a final layer of black for the negative space. This was the first time we have used liquid watercolor, and the students really enjoyed the quality of the colors.

***Update *** Students,  I sent an email to the artist's website, and she kindly sent us a reply, which I copied and pasted here. How cool!

Hi Hope Knight

I looked at art works of your students. It is my pleasure to see many colorful vegetables with freewheeling thinking.
Thank you for utilizing my works for your class. 

ミ ロ コ
マ チ コ  mirocomachiko

My example, so fun to make!


  1. I also came across Machiko's work on Pinterest and instantly fell in love with her childlike style. I plan to do a lesson inspired by her work next month. I Love your students' watercolor vegetables! Great interpretation of her piece!

  2. I was going to ask you how this project turned out! I think it's just lovely :) Great job!

  3. Just lovely! I really have to try the liquid watercolors, the color is so vibrant!! :)

  4. This is an awesome watercolour lesson! Thanks so much for sharing this artist.

  5. LOVE! the kids did a great job with the watercolors and crayon resist.

  6. That is amazing that you got a response from the artist!!! WAHOOOOO!!!!

  7. I love the concept. A great way to encourage vege eating too.

  8. We do this in fifth grade, but I let them choose vegetables, as well. I found some fruit and veggie color pages online for reference. Lois Ehlert does some great children books with vibrant watercolor fruits and veggies- Let's Paint a Rainbow and there is an abc book of fruit.


Comments are very appreciated - thanks for stopping by!