I did have to make a change and use sharpie instead of india ink because I think my ink has gone bad. I didn't know that could happen, but mine stinks so bad that I even refuse to have the bottles open. I guess I will be pitching all of that this year and buying new.
Anyways, we had worked with several different watercolor practice projects. I am actually really happy with how those worked this year and how I feel like the students got a better idea of how to paint with watercolors. I then told them that for this project they would need to pick an animal, insect or fish from a real photo (so no cartoons or photoshop creatures). I told them to look for bright and colorful, especially since I would not allow them to use black in their piece. If they needed black or a dark color they needed to mix colors until they got what they needed. Some struggle and complain about this, but I think it teaches them to think outside of the box and to be resourceful for themselves. Also black watercolor can spread like a wildfire if it is not controlled and ruin a piece so fast that I consider avoiding it as a safety precaution.
After they drew the animal, they had to draw in some habitat. Not a lot, but just enough to add something to the outside edge of the paper. I then had them draw a border that came into the paper 2" from the edge. I then told them that the entire animal had to be painted even if it came outside of the box (and I told them it should come out somewhere) and they had to paint whatever background was inside of the box. After they painted I had them use sharpie to add to the outside with outlines and texture to their overlapping background pieces. I can see how india ink would get darker and probably a little bit more effective. I will try that step next year.