Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Out of this World" Watercolors

Second graders are learning about watercolor techniques. When we talk about how things are made, the materials are what we are using, the techniques are how we use them. We're making paintings of planets in outer space. One of our planets will be painted using the salt technique. That's when you sprinkle salt on the paint while it is still wet. As the paint dries, the salt crystals suck up pigment gradually. This produces crystal or star-like effects in the paint.

The second technique is called wet-on-wet. This is when you paint an area in the painting with one color, and while it is still wet, paint over it with another color. Add a stripe and watch it spread out. With this technique, you can't really control what the paint is going to do, but it creates very interesting effects.

The last one for this week is called "puddle painting". You paint the area with clean water -- lots of it. Remember, you're making a puddle. Then you load up your brush with a really watery mixture of paint. Then, drop it on the puddle and watch what happens. The object is to add color without having the brush touch the paper. Drop it on from above.
These are techniques that show the possibilities of what you can do with watercolor, and some of the effects created by random application of paint look a lot like what you see in photographs of planets in space. Tune in next week to see how they turned out!

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