If our students walk 7 blocks west of our school, this is what they see:
here, however, as we all know, once you start working with kids, you learn all sorts of things that you hadn't planned for when putting the idea together!!
First there was the set-up. We were painting 2 different pieces: the sky and sand with watercolor on illustration board, and the ocean with watered down tempera on plain copy paper. I had the watercolor pan, paper towel and a small water container next to each other at each place. I used this as an opportunity to reinforce that artists usually keep their water right next to their paint to avoid unintended drips on their paper. I have found that this is NOT instinctive to young painters!!! When I was giving directions, I had painters who hold their brush in their left hands switch the paint and water to the other side of their board.
In the center of the table was a round plate with watercolor brushes and small pieces of foam core that students used to elevate the top of their board so that the paint would run down and have movement. I also had a larger container of water dedicated to final cleaning of brushes.
tint of blue near the horizon.) I loved that one student actually used the word "tint" in her comment! YEAH!! Then I demonstrated how to do a wet-on wet application for the sky, including how to make a little "swimming pool" of water in the lid of the watercolor pan and add pigment to it. They actually did this before starting the sky. First, they quickly washed the top of their paper with clear water, leaving white spaces of paper if they wanted clouds. Then, just a quickly, with a full side-to-side brush strokes, added the blue from their "swimming pool."
While kids were cleaning their lids, I traded the watercolor brushes for flat brushes so we could paint the water. This involved quickly brushing side-to-side with either the blue or green tempera and then adding strokes of the alternate color on top -- mixing the two colors together right on the paper. Then, while some kids were sponge painting watercolor on the bottom of their boards for sand, groups of 8 or 9 at a time came back to me at a table near the sink to roll on white tempera for whitecaps.