One of my favorite watercolor technique is using salt. It is very simple, the results are beautiful and it beautifully combines science and art.
Let the kids use watercolors – any way they want to and when they are done (and the painting is not dry yet), sprinkle some salt on it (we used just regular salt but the rock/ice-cream salt is great too). Then let it dry, get the salt off and you are done… almost.
We decided to cut out Easter eggs out of the paper and they played with different ways we could use them. We made a paper-plate nest for them, we cut it in half and made a chicken that was just about to hatch from one, we used glitter glue to make it even fancier, made a 3D egg to stick in out flowers, used sharpies to draw simple lines and patterns… and stuck some on black paper (and wow, did they stood out!). I am sure you can come up with even more ideas… unfortunately, we ran out of the eggs at this point 🙂
Btw, if you want to explain your kids how the salt affects the paint… here is an idea I read somewhere. You may want to emphasize the idea that salt absorbs water by asking them how they feel after eating very salty chips. They get thirsty because the salt absorbs the water in their bodies just like it absorbs the water in their paintings. Simple for even a 3-year-old to understand.
So, this is my favorite watercolor idea combination: wax resist and Claude Monet. It makes sense to me. Everybody had crayons at home, wax resist a very simple technique that even the smallest kids can master very well, and Claude Monet… well, what can I say? I love Impressionists and the “not finished” or “almost abstract” feel to their paintings is easy for kids to master.
So, what can you do?
I also included a .pdf document that has all the instructions (including the home-made watercolors) and you can print it out, share it… whatever you want. It is but a small preview from the magazine-in-making. If you like it, check out the Kickstarter campaign an spread the word. Thank you guys and enjoy the colorful project with your little ones.
As always, there are more ideas at our Pinterest and Facebook pages.
Making your own watercolors is much easier than you may think. I know I was surprised. This is how to do it:
Part of the fun is trying to come up with a list of things you need to chop, cook and strain to get the colors you want… but if you want to start with some foundation (instead of running all over the kitchen and your garden), here is a good starting point:
Next time, I’ll show you what you can do with these beautiful colors, introduce Claude Monet and Impressionism and show you a fun and engaging technique with cool results that your kids are sure to like. Stay tuned.
This project is part of the arTree magazine. If you want to learn more about it, follow us on Facebook and check out the Kickstarter campaign – there ares till two more weeks to become one of the first subscribers to a brand new ad-free magazine filled with art.
Isn’t it amazing how much the kids change between 2 and 4 years of age?
They move from scribbling to drawing with a purpose – from messy circles to people, buildings, animals, and basically anything they see around themselves. Their imagination is running wild and so are their artworks. Every art is accompanied by a story that just keeps going and going… Their pictures are filled with tons of symbols and hidden meanings (and even though these are often difficult for adults to understand, they make sense and are very important).
These paintings were done by a 2-year old and a 4-year old – at the same time, following the same instructions. There is a monochromatic night sky with snow, a metallic-crayon spider web (a project my son insisted on drawing this weekend), and butterfly/dragonfly collage on a dry-powder-watercolor-treated paper.