Watercolor technique for little children

Today a little bit late post about watercolor technique for children which I intended to post yesterday – my usual day for children and family topics.

Watercolor technique for little childrenIf you are lucky to have art loving child at home you probably wonder how to provide him with the most suitable art materials and how to display his paintings. Today I’d like to share some tips about watercolor technique for children.

Paper:

I would say this is the most important factor. Children love to use a lot of water, so very thin paper (which we usually give for economic reasons) immediately gets wet and tears. If you want to give your child opportunity to create really beautiful painting buy a thick, proffesional watercolor paper in art store. Weight of paper should be at least 190g/m2 (90 lbs) – this one is quite cheap and still buckles but is far better than standard drawing paper. I would rather recommend buying 300g/m2 (140 lbs) – this one is quite stout, I use it for my paintings too. I think that quality of paper is not so important as the weight, so I just buy the cheapest 300g/m2.

Streching paper:

In order to avoid paper buckling you can strech it in a way shown for example here (in short: wet paper evenly, place on a table, fix with masking tape and let dry). As my son usually paints on more than one piece of paper (see “Timing” below) I find this procedure too complicated. I usually just fix a few pieces of dry watercolor paper with masking tape, let my son paint on them and wait until they are totally dry before I pull off the tape. It’s not as good as technique shown in video above but still helps a little.

Colors:

Black color usually dominates all the other colors and everything goes muddy grey. For this reason I usually ask my son not to use black at all. The other idea is to take the black out of the paints set as Kate from An Every Day Story suggested here. Below you can see how I didn’t manage to do this – although the painting is still interesting (for me ;) ) it has much less details than the one above.

Watercolor technique for little children

Timing:

Sometimes I think it’s good idea to stop the child workig on particular painting (of course gently) when you see it’s good and draw his interest to the next one. Otherwise children often “overpaint” – mixing paints, adding more paint and more water and at the end painting looks more like a youghurt than a piece of art. So if you want to have a beautiful piece of art just watch and give him another sheet of paper in the right moment.

Images via my son.

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