Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Watercolor Techniques #1 Flat and Graded Washes

While he is quite young (five or six), he should begin to illustrate his notes freely with brush drawings; he should have a little help at first in mixing colours, in the way of principles, not directions. He should not be told to use now this and now that, but, 'we get purple by mixing and so,' and then he should be left to himself to get the right
Charlotte Mason Volume 1 Page 55
So I talked before about putting together a series of watercolor tutorials, and I am going to have some time to do this over the summer. I will try to post a new tutorial/lesson each week. They are going to be designed to help you introduce specific watercolor techniques to your children. I would recommend that each week you spend a few minutes sharing these lessons with your children and then give them time to explore on their own. By just giving your child time to work with watercolors on his own he will probably learn a lot about how colors mix when they are wet, how painting on a wet surface is different than a dry one, etc.

As I post new tutorials you will be able to find links to them in my sidebar.

For tutorial #1 you will need:

How to make a flat wash:

1. Dip your brush in the water and then load it with paint. 2. Paint a stripe across your paper (near the top). 3. DO NOT dip your brush in the water. Load it again with paint. 4. Paint a stripe directly under the stripe you last painted, overlapping slightly. Repeat until you have a large block of color.

How to make a graded wash:

1. Dip your brush in the water and then load it with paint. 2. Paint a stripe across your paper (near the top). 3. This time, dip your brush into the water and let some of the paint come off of the brush. (Don't swish your brush just dip it in.)

4. Paint a stripe directly under your first stripe. The darker color of the first stripe will blend with the lighter color of the second stripe.

5. Repeat steps three and four until there is no color left on your brush. 6. Experiment with different colors and brush sizes. My purple graded wash was made with a much smaller brush, so there are more intermediate shades of color.

If you and your children use my tutorial, I would love to see your paintings. Feel free to email me photos or leave links in the comments section.

Be sure to check back next week for another watercolor technique tutorial. You can also subscribe to my blog in a reader or by email using the links in my sidebar.

And if you haven't already heard, I am now accepting pre-ordrs for the Hearts and Trees summer kit. It is just what you are looking for to help you add art, nature study and handicrafts to your homeschool.


Jessica said...

I've been dying for years to learn watercolor painting but haven't known where to start or what to start with.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I don't know yet if I'll get the kids involved or just keep it to myself:)
Next stop Hobby Lobby!

MomToCherubs said...

Fantastic tutorial - parts 1 & 2. Thanks for contributing to the CM Blog Carnival.


judahmo said...

Hi Amanda-

I've seen these posts and thought they would be fun and we did the first one today! Thanks so much for sharing all of your creative ideas! I'll email you some pictures as soon as they dry!

bergblog said...

My daughter (16) did this watercolor lesson with my boys (ages 4-11) with much success! Thank you so much for sharing your talents. Look at how much fun we had!

Shayna Bridge said...

I'll have to keep this in mind.This is beautiful work and you make lovely.Thanks for sharing.

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