Canal House Reflections


canal house reflections print

Third graders just finished making reflection prints. They made reflections of the canal homes in Amsterdam, and they just loved the printing process.


  • white paper, 9″x12″ (we used sulphite paper)
  • watercolor markers (we used Mr. Sketch)
  • oil pastels (we used Crayola)
  • spray bottle

Day 1:

We looked at photos of canal homes in Venice, Italy and Amsterdam. The third graders were excited to see houses that had canals out front instead of streets! We looked at this photo of Amsterdam canal houses, and paid special attention to the reflection of the houses in the water.

Houses in Amsterdam reflected in canal.

Houses in Amsterdam reflected in canal. Photo source:

Then we looked at this beautiful artwork, ‘Canal Homes of Amsterdam’ by San Diego artist Grant Pecoff. Students noticed  how the reflection was wavy, probably because of waves on the canal. They also noticed the roof tops were a little wavy as well!

Canal Homes of Amsterdam by San Diego artist Grant Pecoff

Canal Homes of Amsterdam by San Diego artist Grant Pecoff.

Time for the art project!

canal house collage


1. Fold paper ‘hot dog style’. On the upper half, make canal houses. Color the sky completely.

2. Take artwork to the printing station. Spray the lower half of their artwork with water.

3. Fold the colored half down and rub.

4. Open carefully. If the color didn’t transfer to the bottom half, spray a little more water and try again.

Let dry.

Canal house reflectionsDay 2:

The dry artworks looked great. However, we noticed the top half was a little blurry after printing. The students re-outlined the buildings on the top half of their reflections. Then they re-colored the top half with matching oil pastels.

After the reflection has dried,  outline top half with sharpie, and color with matching oil pastels.

After the reflection has dried, re-outline top half and color in with matching oil pastels.

 canal house reflection

We mounted these without left and right borders so they can be displayed side by side, just like real canal houses!

This lesson was adapted from this fun lesson on the Fine Lines blog. To learn more about San Diego artist Grant Pecoff, and see more of his colorful artworks, please visit his website .



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4 thoughts on “Canal House Reflections

    • Hi Hope

      They turned out great. I like the spots, too. We were also lucky the Mr. Sketch markers coincidentally matched the Crayola oil pastels.

  1. Thank you so much for your suggestions on parent volunteers. I had my first one today and thanks to your list it was a great success. Consider me a fan!

    • Hi Melissa

      I am so happy to hear you are going to have parent volunteers in your art room!!!! It opens up so many options for you…for example, for this canal reflection project, one volunteer ran the print station. A different volunteer mounted the dry art. Delegate! They want to feel useful.

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