Follow these steps to mix more interesting greens…
- 9×12 white construction paper or watercolor paper
- Watercolor set (I like the Prang OVL-8 set)
- Watercolor brush (#8 – #12 round is good)
- Water and container
First, help kids “see”
1. The first step is to help kids “see like artists” by recognizing the vast array of greens that are all around us in nature. Bring in plant and leaf samples, take a nature walk, examine the work of famous Plein Air painters like Claude Monet, or simply look out the window! Point out the subtle and not-so-subtle variations in the variety of greens that most people (not just kids!) may otherwise overlook. The photo below is one example of the variety of greens you’ll find in nature:
|Imagine if you used only the green in your paint set to paint this picture!|
Next, show them the color wheel
Then, let them experiment with paint
Now, use those new skills in a painting
Finally, protect your paint sets by teaching proper clean-up
All this color mixing can leave paint sets looking a little “worse for the wear”. Paint sets need to be properly cleaned to be ready for the next students who receive them. Imagine how discouraging it would feel to open your paint set, ready to paint, and find a dirty, sticky mess. A student shouldn’t need to clean their paint set in order to use it!
When students learn that cleaning up is an essential part of the painting process, it becomes a healthy habit. You don’t just close the lid and walk away when class is over. Students are happy to comply once they understand this process ensures they will get a clean set next time, too!