A while back I posted 6 tips for success using these popular watercolor sets, and then even more watercolor tips here. Adding to all this, one of my readers, a missionary teaching art to kids in Kenya, recently shared a couple of new ideas with me. I think her advice is genius so I wanted to share it with you here!
“The classic Prang watercolor paint tray is designed with individual sections on the tray cover to give the painter a place to lay the color puddle to paint from. Simply use a spray bottle with a water mist to soften all the colors and leave small puddles of water in those divided cells on the opened cover. The student then wets his paintbrush in a puddle, tips his brush lightly onto the softened paint, and carries that little bit of concentrated paint back into the puddle with which he will then paint. (This also helps the paint stay transparent.) Using this method, the paint lasts a long, long time, the colors don’t get mixed as often, and not much actual paint ends up in the water dish being wasted. Also, the divided cells that were used to paint from seldom have to be washed clean – once the paint dries, it can be brought back to life with a wet brush.
Another tip is to use a tube of watercolor paint to fill the oval once the color has been used up. Usually one color gets used up quickly while others are still full. Student grade tube watercolor paint works just fine. Once it hardens in the tray oval you are good to go for many more paintings.”~ Judy Stokes, the Rafiki Foundation
I love the idea of using student grade tube watercolors to refill Prang watercolor sets – I don’t know why I never thought of that! Blue (sky and water) and green (grass and trees) always seem to be the first to go, while brown and black rarely ever get used up. I used to order the individual Prang refill pans but they can be difficult to find and usually require purchasing in dozen quantities. Refilling with a tube makes a lot of sense and creates less waste…..
…. and misting the colors with a spray bottle is a super quick and efficient way to prep watercolor sets for painting. Using the puddles created in the cells of the lid will help train students to mix plenty of water with their paint! Thanks for these great tips, Judy!
Judy Stokes has been creating and teaching art lessons to students and student teachers in Africa for many years through the Rafiki Foundation. You can read more about Judy’s current ministry projects here.
Do you have any favorite tips for working with watercolors? Please share them in the comment section below!