Art education, inspiration and encouragement for children and parents in Arlington, VA
Wet on Wet Technique with ages 5-8
Watercolors are extraordinarily fun, inexpensive art materials you and your child can use to do art together. Yes together, you need art too!
Here is a highlight of our class in case you would like to reinforce the learning or repeat the lesson at home:
Slow down and draw - Patience and Perseverance
Looking at pictures and real life is a great opportunity to get your child to see and not just look. Describing what they see first and then drawing it is the first step to a good drawing.
To be helpful, I draw on my own paper and explain what I'm thinking as I draw. I let children copy my drawings and I tell them there is no "correct" way to make a drawing. There is only the way that works best for the person drawing. Letting them see different ways to draw gives them a wider visual vocabulary.
Go Lightly - Practice
Most children do not know how to apply light pressure, Practice making doodle sketches with them using the lightest pressure possible.
Draw lightly on watercolor paper. I suggest touching the four edges of the paper with my drawing and I encourage students to draw large (if they are use to making micro drawings). If children are unafraid to draw large, I encourage them to work to make an interesting composition (for young children I focus on balance: does it look like it weighs the same from side to side and top to bottom?). .
Wet the Paper
Use clear water and wet the paper all around the drawing without getting the actual drawing wet. Use a larger brush to work faster.
Wet on Wet Background
While the paper is shiny wet., load the brush with a cool color (blue, green purple). Make a long, straight or winding, slow, line shape with the brush. Do not brush over and over the same area-move on!.. Get another color and make another slow, brush line shape near the other color. Watch the colors mix. Continue until all the background is filled in. (This is the mesmerizing part).
Let the wet background dry (about 10 minutes). Paint the actual drawing. Use wet on wet, or just paint with the watercolor as usual.
Jean Frank Stark
I make art and have taught to children for over 20 years.