Wet-on-wet watercoloring is a wonderful painting method that an educator, parent, or artist can use to:
:: Teach the development of technical skills,
:: Accompany story-telling, and
:: Express emotions that the colors elicit.
Before teaching children, complete four watercolor paintings on your own. This is a great opportunity for you to learn a new artistic medium!
Soak watercolor paper in water for about ten minutes, then place it on a smooth board. Sponge off the excess water. Apply Stockmar paints with a brush. The brush is a hog’s hair brush that is broad and with a tapered tip.
Watercolor brushes, size 8, 10, or 12 filbert
Artist board or piece of melamine larger than the paper
Day One Painting
Begin with the three primary colors: blue, red, and yellow — just masses placed on the page. Blend the primary colors to form the secondary colors: purple, orange, and green. The center of the piece is created by using the “lifting off” technique. First pull the paint off the paper by adding more water with the brush to lift the pigment, then a dry brush to wipe the paint off. Then, bring a bit of the color back, aiming for a peach blossom color. This technique relies on the ability to relinquish some level of control over the colors and masses, and just let go!
Day Two Painting
Use the color blue, and a bit of violet. The goal is to try and let the masses forming on the paper guide the image, yet not be confined by it — to allow the developing shapes and movements to define the space as water, or rolling hills.
Day Three Painting
It is important not to be too confined by a specific image, as watercolor cannot be controlled like other art methods. By applying the paints in broad gestures first, each one of us will see something different to work with on the page. When you do not control the application too much, you will have a better use of the technique.
Day Four Painting
Create a mythological scene. Spend time first on the background colors, and then on individual characters.
With a confident attitude, try using wet-on-wet to teach painting to your children, to tell a story, or to simply let the children enjoy the expressiveness of colors! You do not have to be an amazing artist; teach with a joyful and sincere heart.
Wet-on-Wet Watercoloring with Children, by Rick Tan, video.
Art Books and Supplies through Syrendell.
Rick’s artwork featured on postcards and calendars through Syrendell’s Etsy.
Rick Tan, MD, is a Waldorf teacher, artist and musician who lives in Davis, California, with his wife and three children. He blogs about Waldorf schooling, teacher training, and homeschooling at The Waldorf Way. Rick and his wife Jennifer enjoy leading art, handwork and curriculum workshops, teleseminars and consulting with homeschooling families, and more information can be found at their website, Syrendell.