Thursday, January 24, 2013

wet-on-wet watercolour painting for early childhood

Watercolour painting at our house is a very relaxing and soothing activity that we often do in the afternoons just after Indi's nap. Both the children are still in an introverted kind of mood which lends itself well to a quiet task. Wet-on-wet watercolour painting is a beautiful choice for young children because they can experience the flow of colour and colour combinations without having to worry about creating forms.

Before Indi wakes up I cut the watercolour paper into rectangles (with Waldorf style rounded corners) and soak it in water for about 15 minutes prior to painting. I generally only lay out 1-2 colours which compliment each other so that the children can experiment with colour combining without ending up with brown muddled paintings in the end.

I sponge the paper off once I remove it from the water and then say the following verse

Now I take the brush so gently, 
In my hand with loving care, 
Watch the colour flow so softly, 
On the paper clean and clear

Then the children are free to do as they please for as long as they desire. Indigo needs a bit more guidance and supervision but North is happy to create without any interference. We usually don't do more than two sheets each. Often I join the children in painting too. Watercolour paintings make lovely gift cards, notecards and/or background paper for calendars and to do lists amongst other beautiful papery things.

Sarah Baldwin's watercolour painting tutorials (part I and part II) are very informative. I haven't done the rainbow story yet (part II) but I'd like to soon- I think North would especially enjoy it.

Some days we do regular painting with the classic non-toxic, thick bright coloured paints, but watercolour days are my personal favourites. The mood left behind after these moments is one of peace and contentment.


mamatribe said...

Where do you source your paper from? The watercolour 'paper' I have used each time I try this ends up 'pilling' after I've soaked it and apply the stockmar paints.

Meagan said...

Hey Mama Tribe,

I bought some really thick watercolour paper at the local art shop on sale but I know what you mean, in the past the kids have had to be careful or the paper will begin to pill. I think being gentle is part of the learning process but you can buy watercolour paper at varying thicknesses. xo m.

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