Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Watercolor Painting

The boy and I really enjoy painting day, in our case, Monday. Ironically, it was one of the subjects I was most anxious about. So many thoughts going through my head, "I'm not an artist." "The supplies are too expensive." "What if I don't get it right?" "Do I really have to tell a story while demonstrating?" In the end, it turned out to be a subject we both look forward to.

Fortunately, I've spent a bit of time in the Waldorf classroom. In this way, I was able to observe how his teacher presented painting. Plus, I've done a lot of reading and checking out various websites. I felt like I was getting a hang of the technique. Just recently I found "Water Color Painting in Waldorf Education," available as a .pdf. It doesn't include the color plates, but there's a ton of information...for free!

Now for the supplies.Yes, water color supplies can be expensive, but this is where a little homesteading ingenuity really helps. I decided to go ahead and spend the money on those things that mattered: paint, brushes, and paper. And scrimp on the rest.

Does it really matter if we're painting out of lovely little pots in a wooden holder? No, it doesn't. Does it matter if the paper absorbs paint unevenly? Yes, it does. So, we saved some bucks but still acquired quality supplies: 3 Stockmar paints: red, blue, and yellow; Fabriano paper from Dick Blick, 2 "professional" grade brushes bought on sale at Michael's (A large flat brush for washes is all you need in K-3. We added a smaller flat brush in 4th, and this year we've added a third pointed sable brush; we're moving into more detailed work.) 

Where did we save money? I used half-pint canning jars for the paint pots and an old refrigerator door shelf as our "holder." Instead of $18 painting boards, which look lovely to use, I spread a $2 shower curtain over our table and clip it to the table using tablecloth clips/clamps. I also bought natural sponges at the hardware store, for blotting excess moisture from the paper. Painting aprons came from a donation from a former grocery store employee.

A few more money saving tips: If you buy your paper in large sheets,  tear them in half prior to painting, you'll get 2 paintings per sheet. The water colors get watered down; don't use them straight from the bottle! Squirt a little "worm" into your jar and add water, about an inch to begin with.You want the colors to be translucent. The 3 bottles I bought last year will probably take us through this year as well. Cover and refrigerate the paint pots to keep the paint fresh. If you or your child like to do freestyle paintings (not part of the painting lesson) determine if you can use a lesser quality paper. We've been using cast-offs from a friend. The paper is kind of yucky, but it works for just "playing."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for the comments!