Little BBQ is a hands on learner. He loves to get his hands dirty and create something. I am always searching for some fun new projects for him to dive try out. I came across a watercolor book at Goodwill. The book, Watercolor: Red Yellow Blue by John R. Koser is written for adults, but I have been able to translate some of the techniques for young artists. One activity that we have been doing is called noncontact method. In this method, parts of the canvas are covered by mat board so they will not get paint on them. Then a tooth brush is used to splatter paint onto the open areas of the canvas. Mr. Koser uses primary colors to create his paintings. To create a green section, he would splatter paint yellow and blue. By doing this he is adding depth to his paintings. Within his paintings you can see some of the primary colors come through instead of a solid block of green. By doing splatter painting, he is adding texture to his paintings. The noncontact method allows him to block off complete parts of his painting to focus the colors into one section. For example, if he wanted to make a red barn, he would block off everything but the barn and splatter paint red on the barn. To add some lighting effects, he could add a little bit of yellow where light is shining on the barn and a little blue to create some shadows. In the end, you will end up with a very unique looking barn.
For Little BBQ, this is too much information, but I did want him to focus on the mixing of colors. When we did his color blocking, I allowed him to use up to 3 paints per section so we could make observations about the colors and how they mix together. We also discussed which colors were more dominant. I allowed him to add as much or as little color as he wanted to each color block. Like all preschool art, it is far from perfect. You can see sometimes he smashed the paper too hard when he went to cover it up causing the colors to smudge together. Another time he put the wet toothbrush on top of his work causing the water stain to stay on the paper. These are usual things for preschool art. I think at this age the act of doing the process, exploring, and observing is far more important that the end result.
Materials Needed (inspired by Watercolor: Red Yellow Blue pp 82-83)
1 crayon or pencil in any color
1 sheet of construction paper or other heavy weight paper
Scissors (I cut the paper for Little BBQ since he does not have the coordination to make sharp turns while cutting)
1 sheet of white paper
Watercolor paints (you can use a full set of colors or just the three primary colors)
Water (to rinse the toothbrush)
1. Draw a picture on the construction paper. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It can simply be some scribbled lines.
2. With the help of an adult, cut the individual shapes out of the paper. Make sure to save the cut out shapes.
3. Tape over the cut lines on the paper to make the construction paper stronger.
4. Place the construction paper over a sheet of white paper and cover up all the cut out holes with the corresponding cut out shapes except for one hole.
5. Using the toothbrush, splatter paint the exposed hole. You can use up to 3 colors in each hole.
6. Once a hole is filled with color, cover it with the corresponding cut out shape.
7. Uncover another hole and continue repeating steps 5, 6, and 7 until all the cut out holes are filled with paint.
8. Remove the construction paper, and your painting is finished!