O’Keeffe’s Flowers

Art Lesson Plan

Students will create watercolors of flowers using Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings of flowers as a guide. Students will learn about Georgia O'Keeffe as well as become familiar with her style and artwork. Students will compare different kinds of floral artwork and understand that artists take many different perspectives when creating their work.

Georgia O'Keeffe: Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists by Mike Venezia - a good, simple resource for you as well as your students; reproductions of some of O'Keeffe's "close-up" flower paintings (most of these are oil on canvas paintings); several pieces of floral artwork by other artists done from different perspectives (ie; not close up, in a vase, in a field); watercolor paints and brushes for the class; watercolor paper; several large, colorful, fresh flowers


  1. Display O'Keeffe paintings for class to study.
  2. Have class reflect on her style of painting, the subjects used, the lines, the colors, etc. Keep a running list that students can use to refer to when they create their own paintings.
  3. Display other artwork depicting flowers. Have the class reflect on the differences among these and O'Keeffe's. How would you characterize O'Keeffe's style of capturing flowers? What are the different perspectives artists' have taken on similar subjects?
  4. Peruse Mike Venezia's book with your class, discussing things you feel would help further their understanding of O'Keeffe's painting style.
  5. Review the characteristics that the students need to try to contain in their watercolors.
  6. Let them paint. You may want to provide extra paper for students to practice on first so they feel more confident.

Have students share paintings with classmates. Talk about the difficulties, the likes and dislikes, and the outcomes. Have them reflect on their art in writing.

Were students able to use the basic techniques that they outlined earlier? Did they follow directions? Did they participate when class defined the characteristics of O'Keeffe's art?

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