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Art Journaling and Arts Integration: Create a Background DIY

Integrating art into a literature class has several pitfalls that I'm working to overcome.

One of the main issues is scaffolding the art and literature together in a way that makes sense, doesn't take up too much time, and doesn't involve a ton supplies.

In this very brief visual tutorial, I teach students to look for colors and images in the poem "The Flower School" by Rabindranath Tagore and then create a simple, fast background.

The colors I chose for the background are blues and greens for the rain and the explosion of color after the rain.

The flowers are pink, white, and yellow with a bright green mixed in.

I did a second background that focused more on the pinks and greens with some hints of yellow/orange and white.


1. Acrylic paint

2. Mixed media paper

3. Brayer or old gift card

4. Flower stencil

Step 1: Put dots of paint all around the paper.

Step 2: Use the brayer or card to spread the color around. Add more color if you want to emphasize a color.

Step 3: Place the stencil on top of the wet paint. Put dots of the flower colors on top of the stencil.

Step 4: Brayer or scrape the color across the stencil

Step 5: Gently remove the stencil and let the background dry

I teach this technique in my online courses for homeschoolers and in my freshman English I class at NEXT High School in Greenville, SC.

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