Educational Programs



Silhouette and Watercolor Workshop

Age Appropriate
Project Time
Grades 2-8

4- 6 hours

Pre-teaching: YES

“Dreams are where we want to be and hard work is how to get there” is not a phrase I can say I coined… but if applied to one’s life, how powerful its message really is.  The first time my husband said this to me, it made me stop and think, so much that I’ve been applying it to my life in the office, studio and classroom ever since.

For eight years I have been working diligently to support my husband and assist him with reaching his goals as an artist- my job as promotional director is very time consuming, and as I enjoy promoting my husband, if I’m not careful, I can easily put every last drop of energy into working in the office.  Two years ago I had a near death experience which developed into a life changing one.  It shook me upside down and while I was working on turning right-side-up, I realized I have dreams of my own.  Then the questions started coming…from that little voice inside, “What are you doing to accomplish your dreams?”  “Very little”, was my reply.  The voice continued, a bit louder now, “Do something that makes you feel special, do something that feels right”, so I began to paint, I painted all through the night (excerpt taken from The Shadow, my children’s book in the edit stage).  Finally, I surrendered to the voice within and said, “Kick it into gear turkey, life is too short, go for it!”

During my programs, while discussing goals and accomplishments, I ask the students, "How many accomplishments does it take to make a goal?  Sometimes this can be tricky for the students to answer, however there is usually at least one in the group that replies with the answer I’m looking for, "as many as it takes".  At that moment I share one of my goals, "I want to be represented in a two-person show with my husband and artist, Black Pinto Horse".  With a smile of satisfaction, I share that with a lot of hard work and determination, falling down and picking myself up, I can say that I have reached that goal- our works have been displayed together in the Great Falls Public Library- I have continued to book our show in galleries and museums across the nation. 

I won’t stop there….as I have many dreams.  My grandest goal: to author and illustrate children’s book.  Like stacking pancakes, what once is a dream becomes a goal through conscious effort, and one makes a reality, through their accomplishments.  Incorporating watercolor and paper cutting, we will share our aspirations and dreams, while setting goals and listing ways to accomplish them. 


Given a piece of 140 lb water color paper and watercolors students will paint a sunset/ sunrise and glue a well designed silhouette that represents/symbolizes their dream cut from black paper that represents.

Unit Goals

Students will understand the art of Scherenschnitte and its significance to the Pennsylvania Germans
Students will be introduced to historic examples of paper cutting, paper cutting artists, illustrators and animators and be able to explain its origin
Students will be able to define Silhouette, Medium, Blending, Cold Pressed & Support
Students will be able to list the Primary and Secondary colors- color theory
Students will be able to paint a sunset/ sunrise with watercolors using techniques demonstrated
Students will be able to compose and cut out a personalized design that represents their dream
Students will be able to write a story about their dream, including ways they will accomplish it
Students will be able to present their story to their peers


They will demonstrate their understanding by using watercolors to paint a sunset and develop a well composed silhouette paper cutting of their dream using black construction paper.  Students will present their art to their peers and complete a self evaluation rubric.

To receive a packet of information or schedule your fine art program with Emily Yellow Bird, please her @