My Watercolor Painting Tips

Bird+CageIn preparing my watercolor project for this week, I realized that I’ve come to trust a couple of tricks that I think can bring out the best in children’s art. One is to use thick, chisel tip markers whenever possible, as shown in the bird cage bars above. Children make the coolest of wobbly lines when they draw, and the thick black lines just accentuate them. 

Secondly, when it comes to painting, try a combination of markers and crayons, especially white crayons, before painting. I’ve learned that if students use only crayons, some don’t press hard enough so they never show up. And if using only black marker, the lines can look kinda boring and flat. But have students to do both and voila!, a bold, colorful painting with a little sparkle of crayon resist. Have fun and I’d love to hear any feedback on this combination…

UPDATE: I am planning on doing a visual tutorial on this drawing soon, but meanwhile, here’s the steps:
1. Draw little bird, stick, and legs. Draw cage base, then outer frame, then inner wires.
2. Trace bird with fine point black permanent marker. Trace all the cage lines with a chisel tip black marker so they are thicker. 
3. Trace all the cage lines with a white crayon. Do it loosely, no need to be precise, but press hard.
4. Paint all with Dick Blick Liquid Watercolors. The Turquoise Blue makes everything look good.

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