I keep learning the importance of keeping new techniques simple, simple, simple, especially when working with 5 and 6-year olds. This week my afterschool watercolor class made a cityscape with lots of puffy clouds.
1. I gave my students 11″ x 15″ watercolor paper, a pencil and lots of scrap cardboard rectangles. After drawing a ground line, they could arrange and trace the rectangles however they wanted to create their cityscape. Roofs, doors and windows were added in pencil before the oil pastel tracing was done. I like pastels instead of crayons because they just make a more intense outline.
2. After the tracing was complete, the buildings were painted in with their favorite colors. Older students could add layers to their cityscape to start to work with depth and perspective. I again used my Crayola tablets dissolved into spillproof cups so the students could paint directly with liquid paint.
3. Lastly the sky was painted blue. I demonstrated that if they took a crumpled up tissue and dabbed at their sky while still wet, a cloud would appear. The more dabbing, the lighter the cloud. Simple, but effective as every student walked away with a “cloudy” painting. Wish my success rate was always that high!