Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring Trees

- Watercolor Paints
- Watercolor Paper
- Paintbrushes
- Painters Tape (optional)
- Tempera Cakes
- Straws

I originally saw this idea on that artist woman. I knew my kids would get a kick out of "painting" with straws and it was a perfect time to break out a spring lesson.

1. I pre-taped each child's paper to a drawing board. (Thank goodness for the prep period I have before this class... and I only had painters tape because of what I had leftover from my own use in my home. Otherwise, I don't think I could afford painters tape in my budget annually.) At first, I taped them to their table spots. Realizing that I would need to move them after their class, I had taken them all off and then retaped onto the drawing boards (again, thank goodness for the prep period! You live and you learn).

2. The background was a wet-on-wet technique. I showed the kids how to dampen the paper with water first, and then paint on top with the paints. This really helps the paint to bleed.

Blue was used for the sky, with green and hints of brown for the earth. 

3. We waited for those to dry till the next class and worked on another project. When the students returned the next week, we painted our trees. Starting at the bottom, we "dip-clip-dripped" the paint. I used tempera cakes for this simply because I have a larger well of brown paint compared to a watercolor well. I also actually poured some water into the brown well, making it really liquidy. 

The method:
Dip- Place straw into well.
Clip- Place finger on top of straw so that paint gets sucked into straw and doesn't spill out.
Drip- Place straw on paper where paint is desired and let go of finger. 

I know "clip" doesn't really make sense... but it was the best thing I could think of that rhymed. When there was a little puddle of paint, the students then began to blow into the straw making sporadic branches. 

4. Add pink flower buds with either a q-tip or paintbrush. 

Now ours didn't turn out like that artist woman's. Ours are a little more.... abstract. I'm not sure how she got hers to look so... treelike! Maybe first painting the trunk and then blowing off branches from there? Maybe using a larger straw to suck up more paint? It's a project I plan on trying again... Meanwhile, I think the kids' art still look beautiful and I love the pretty, clean white frame on each of their paintings.

1 comment:

  1. I love the way your trees turned out.
    In "that artits woman's" blog, I saw that she is using Q-tips to spread some of the ink.
    It is often hard for children to direct the ink on the right spot.