Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Watercolor Resist Painting for Kids

Every other Wednesday evening at church I try to come up with an arts based project for the kids to create. I am NOT a fan of coloring sheets and I don't like having kids make things that are messy, going to be messy at home or that the parent's are going to be forced to keep forever. And, I want the project to either reinforce what Doug preached about the previous Sunday or introduce what he will be preaching on this Sunday.

So with those parameters, I found this painting on pinterest that was perfect.

But, knowing that I had three young ones that would not be able to write the verse easily, I wanted to make the project more accessible.

So I opened up a word document and used a block letter font and wrote the verse pretty much like it is on the inspiration piece.

Once I got the words positioned on the paper, I changed the color of the lettering to yellow.  (Tip.. use yellow ink/pencils anytime you need to be able to see the lines, but you need to be able to paint over them. Yellow colored pencil/printer ink hides.. graphite doesn't.)

I then printed the verse onto watercolor paper.  You can purchase 9x12 watercolor sheets inexpensively. You can then cut down to 8 1/2 x 11 if your printer won't accept larger paper.

The first step is to use a white crayon or white oil pastel and completely fill in the inside of the letters. The was in the crayon resists the water. This process is very individualized, as the kids can choose not to fill in the entire letter if they don't want too. I like keeping the edges of the letters a little rough but filling the rest of the letter pretty solidly.

Once the letters are completely filled in, use watercolor and paint the paper.  At this stage, I suggest more paint, less water as you want to protect the paper from bubbling up too much.  You can always add more water to the brush, but keep it simple.

All of the kids had fun and painted their paintings completely differently.


Besides wanting the kids to have opportunities to create art, I have learned that busy hands create open minds when it comes to learning.  Sure, I could make the kids sit still and then tell the kids the story of Samuel and Eli. I can make the kids look at me and be quiet and "respectful." But they will probably not remember much of anything.

On the other hand, I can have the kids make art that reinforces the story and as they are working, they are listening to the story and asking me questions.  The kids never look at me and there is no way to know that they are paying attention. But when they finish their project, they have a deeper understanding of the story and a connection that lasts.


And this is why I love art. 

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