Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Watercolor Postcard Activity at The von Liebig Art Center

Handmade watercolor palettes were created by doodling with Caran D'Ache Neocolor II watercolor crayons on scraps of rough-surfaced paper. The color swatches dissolve easily with a water-loaded brush yielding brightly colored semi-opaque saturated washes. Without making much of a dent on a custom set of 18 watercolor crayons, 50 compact watercolor palettes were created to extend the expressive range of regular Crayola watercolor pan sets (it only took about 3 hours and 2 people scribbling away with the crayons).
Soaking up inspiration: group of Manatee Middle School students touring Kathy Spalding's 120 foot watercolor Rookery Bay Continuum and bronze sculptures exhibition at The von Liebig Art Center.

Attentively listening to the introduction by the Naples Art Center's Director of Education, Nicole DuPont Strub.
Classroom set up for watercolor postcard image transfer and coloring activity for 25-30 students: each student was provided with a turtle template, blank postcard, paper watercolor palette, pencil, brush, paper towel, and 2 cups of water. 15 Crayola 8-color watercolor pan sets were pre-moistened with a water mister and set on the middle of the tables for the students to share. Staedtler drafting dots were also provided to secure the template/transfer paper to the watercolor postcard.
Students learned how to transfer the outline of a turtle without a lightbox by making their own carbon transfer paper on the back of the coloring outline with a soft pencil and transferring the image to a blank postcard.

Everybody was quite eager to start the watercolor painting phase of the activity. After a quick coloring demonstration some students went with a more realistic coloring approach while others let their imaginations fly and picked more whimsical color choices to paint their postcards.

School group teacher and Art Center docent supporting the students' learning process.
The entire group was very disciplined and focused in their paintings.
Even had a few minutes left to complete a few manga cartoon portraits for a handful of students that finished painting their postcards.


Gentian said...

That's great! Seems like they had a lot of fun. I liked the Watercolour cards. Good idea.

B2-kun said...

I suspect they enjoyed it, since I overheard a few students wanting to continue painting at the Art Center for a bit longer. Originally I used watercolor cards instead of business cards at art workshops in SF a few years ago (by including my contact information in a card with a watercolor palette scribbled in it along with a coloring sketch). Using a single tin of watercolor crayons to make so many watercolor palettes is fairly space and cost-efficient so long as adequate volunteer labor is available. Alternatively, the students themselves could scribble their own watercolor palettes as a group effort from the beginning.