One of our favorite artistic endeavors this year has been learning the Waldorf technique of wet-on-wet watercolor painting. It’s very simple for the beginners and the effects are just lovely!
Don’t be surprised when your kids begin to create more of these masterpieces than you can keep up with. They lend themselves to many uses…..book covers, bookmarks, paper fans, dividers in binders…..seriously, I could probably fill a page just with ideas for this alone! Encourage their exploration and join in yourself too…..it’s incredibly soothing.
Here’s what you need:
–Watercolor paper (anything else tends to rip when it gets wet)
–Watercolor paints (we love the Stockmar paints for their brightness)
–paintbrush, preferably with a natural bristle
-a sponge and cup of water
-something to place under the paper. Traditionally it’s a wood board but a cutting board or vinyl place mat will do just as well.
Start by dipping the sponge into the water and wetting the paper well. Leave it for 5 minutes to let the paper really absorb it.
Now choose 2 colors of paint. Blue and yellow, green and yellow, red and blue, or whatever strikes your child’s fancy.
Read them a story and let them explore with the paint as you do. Earthschooling has a lovely e-book of gentle watercolor stories for around the year that are just long enough to last through a painting session – I highly recommend these and they are only about $10.
That’s it! They learn to blend, to make patterns, to allow the liquids to flow together and create new blends on their own, and most importantly they learn to focus on the process rather than trying to create a predefined end product. (Please note that I didn’t blend as much as my kids would with the water, or soak the paper for as long as you should, for the purpose of illustrating the flow of paint and brush).
Have you tried wet-on-wet painting? Other kinds of painting? What do your kids love the best?