A fun way to make a bat painting as the permanent marker makes it easy to draw and color, and the coffee filters and watercolors never fail to amaze me with their vivid color. There’s a reason why I call them the “poor man’s watercolor paper”.
• Jumbo coffee filters, from restaurant supply store
• Old steam iron
• Sharpie marker, black chisel tip
• Mesh plastic canvas
• Liquid watercolors (I used Dick Blick)
• Optional: Bat template to trace
PREP: Use steam iron to press the coffee filters flat. You can do a large quantity at a time by flipping and pressing and flipping and pressing, until everything is completely smooth and flat. Let cool before students work with them.
1. Students either draw their own bats with the black marker, or trace them from the template. I find that kinders and 1st graders have trouble drawing the bottom bat wing, so I provided my template. Older students could draw their own in varying sizes. Note: Cover your tables before you color with marker as the ink does go through the paper.
2. The filter is placed on the mesh plastic to paint. The filter background is painted as desired with a warm color palette (red, oranges and yellow). This not only reminds students what warm colors are, any overlapping is guaranteed to look nice.
3. The filter is allowed to dry on the mesh.
4. The filters are lightly steam ironed again. You can do many at a time so it doesn’t take long, and it really does make the filter look like rice paper when you are done.