Watercolor Painting is one of the most popular methods used for basic training and education of art. Blossom of watercolor painting started in Great Britain end of 18th century. Watercolor paints are made by mixing pigments with dissolvable solutions like Arabic gum. There are two basic techniques for color mixing. First one is called direct mixing on the plate, the second one is by applying of one color on top of another directly on the paper, regardless technique used final effect will be the same however with the use of second one final result will be achieved with deeper shade because the original color will be translucent over the one applied on the top of it.
Fantastic way to practice with watercolor paints is to use them for a painting of underwater world. It provides opportunities to train different ways to mix colors, use different types of brushes, work on shapes and composition.
We have started our class with practice drawing of few underwater elements which are going to became part of our composition. We worked on the shells, different types of water plants and seaweeds, small fishes, starfish and even a seahorse. Kids have realized that they can really draw everything by breaking down the picture in front of them into the elements of individual lines, curves, and proportions between them.
Once they felt confident about all of the elements and planned out the composition of their artwork they have started drawing on the earlier prepared watercolor paper (which is a bit thicker than regular paper). There was some hesitation with the selection of colors and where to start but I always say that empowerment works the best for everyone, so once they got to use their imagination colors started flowing into the paper.
We tried out different shapes and sizes of brushes and slowly started working on the details. The best way to bust confidence of young artists is to let them block bigger species of white areas first so they can see quick progress on the paper in front of them.
They have realized that their art may look more interesting with an uneven distribution of water in the paint. Would you even suspect that? I don’t think you can achieve this result with use of any other paint. We worked and worked very hard and we finally didn’t manage to complete our artwork on time, so we will have to get back to it next Saturday before we can go ahead and start with next interesting subject which is going to be “perspective”.
Try Watercolor Painting and share your experience with us. What other subjects would be a good exercise for middle school kids except for Underwater World? It would be lovely to hear your suggestions and observations.