Painting With Watercolor

What You Need:

  • Watercolor paint
  • Watercolor paper (11” x 17”)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Water cup
  • Pencil
  • Leaves

What You Do:

  1. Have your child go on a hunt outside for a beautiful, unique leaf. She can pick a few and choose her favorite to work from.
  2. Have her lightly trace her leaf twice with pencil onto watercolor paper. There should be a nice-sized space between the two traced leaves.
  3. For painting the first leaf, dip a paintbrush into the water cup and cover one of the drawn leaves with water, saturating the paper so it is wet.
  4. Paint in the leaf with one color of watercolor paint. Observe how difficult it is to control the paint, and yet how “painterly” the watercolor paint appears. She can allow the paint to dry for a few minutes and with a detail brush add in some details that she sees from the actual leaf onto the painted leaf. The lines will be difficult to control and may spread.
  5. To paint the second traced leaf, she can now use a detail brush and use the same color watercolor paint on the dry surface. The experience is completely different. She should have much more control and be able to add in fine details.
  6. Allow both leaves to dry completely. Cut them out using their traced outlines and mount them on black paper.

Helpful Tip: Mix more water with the watercolor to get a lighter color or tint, and use less water for a stronger color which is good to use for shadows or dark lines.

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