Rose Colored Glasses?
Even for adults, watercolor is a difficult medium. Students are usually given a crayon or oil pastel to draw their picture before they paint. The crayon lines act as a resist and the paint is held in place by the drawn lines. These paintings have no resist lines! The students used the principle of water attracting water. They wet the shape they wanted to color with clean water before they added the pigment. Developing new skills and techniques is an important part of a good art education. These paintings are fun and unpredictable and are a stepping stone for greater experimentation with watercolor in the future.
Patterns, Letters, and Numbers
“Things the mind already knows,” Jasper Johns.
This quote and work of Johns is the inspiration for these drawings. Pattern, movement, color, contrast, and repetition are all important in these wonderful oil pastels.
The student’s used their observational skills to create a realistic pencil drawing. This drawing was traced onto velum and color was added to create an expressive selfie. Wonderful patterns and colors, plus a sense of fun make these drawing special.
In the first lesson, see below, the students became aware of the edges of the paper and their importance in a composition. Keeping this in mind, the kids used leaves as their models and made these wonderful mixed media drawings. Using both oil pastel and watercolor crayons they created different textures and colors and some of the children worked with compliments (opposite colors on the color wheel) to add excitement to their drawings. These playful compositions have a sense of movement and rhythm.
Using white paint the students divided their papers into symmetrical masks. The shapes and spaces created by the white lines are filled with colors made from white, and two complimentary colors; yellow and violet, or blue and orange, or green and red. Compliments add excitement to a painting but they also combine to create a wide range of values. When the painting was almost complete a bit of black could be used to add texture and detail. I encouraged the kids to blend the paints on the paper. They succeeded in mixing unusual browns, grays, deep greens, purples, and rusts. Creating these abstract paintings taught the students how to configure a composition that uses the entire paper. These wonderful paintings are formally balanced and the spaces made by the white lines are interesting and unusual. The results of all this creativity is artwork filled with lines, shapes, spaces, values, color theory, rhythm, movement, balance, and texture all organized into a strong composition that’s fun to view.