Sunset Silhouette

Grades 1-2

Course: ART 207-03 - group 7

Rebecca Guijar, Kelly Denis, Araceli Ibarra, Kaci Center





1.      Students will learn how to apply watercolors to a wet surface.

2.      Students will learn how to cut in detail.

3.      Students will learn about the blending of colors to make a sunset or sunrise.


Student Materials:


1.      Watercolor paints

2.      Black construction paper

3.      Paintbrush

4.      White watercolor paper (9 inches by 11 inches)

5.      Glue

6.      Scissors

7.      Cup filled with water

8.      Newspaper to cover table

9.      Pencil


Teacher Materials:


1. Previous examples of students' artwork



1.      silhouette

2.      sunset

3.      sunrise

4.      blending

5.      watercolors




Introduction: Discuss the basic techniques of water coloring and
1. Dampen entire surface of the white paper using paintbrush and water.
2. Using sunset colors, paint one stripe at a time across paper
3. Set aside to dry.
4. Make silhouette figures out of black construction paper and cut out.
5. Glue figures to dry water-colored paper.
Closure: Discuss.



*Note Source: Arts & Crafts. American Education Publishing. pp.64-65

Comments/ Suggestions:


Experiment with red and blue watercolors to produce purple, and create sunrise background scenes.


Summary of Artistic Development in Age Group:


The sunset silhouette is appropriate for first and second grade children, because they are at a symbolic or schematic stage. During the silhouette, the children will be utilizing their line and shape making skills, which will lead them to using their muscular coordination when using scissors to cut out the silhouette pieces. The silhouette pieces are not to be in too much detail. The pieces are simple shapes, which is appropriate for this particular age group. The children will be using primary and secondary colors for the sunset, which will enhance their ability to use more realistic or expressive colors in their artwork. The sunset will not be a skyline or a band across the sky, which is what they are familiar with. Rather it will be across the whole page, and will help and encourage them to stimulate their thinking of spatial and perceptual space.


*Source: Herberholz, D. and B. Artworks For Elementary Teachers. pp.102-109.


Cultural/Historical Background of the Lesson:


The use of silhouettes is thought to have originated during the Stone Age when it was used in cave murals. These figures were filled in with a solid color. These types of drawings received the name of silhouette after a man named Etienne de Silhouette, who cut paper shadow portraits. Silhouettes are most often thought of as being profile portraits, but they are often used for landscapes.


*Source: Sihouette. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved November 11, 2003,

from Encyclopedia Britannica Service.