Monday, May 28, 2012

travel paints

In preparation for our trip, I've been pulling together travel
watercolor pallets for myself and the kids. This seems like the
most portable art option, although (popular to contrary belief)
watercolor is not a very kid-friendly medium. Here's why: 
kids are very straightforward about painting. They start big 
and add details later. This works fine if none of the details
are lighter than the main mass. But watercolor doesn't have
a lot of easy options for adding whites or light colors at the 
end. In fact, many watercolorists work backwords, saving the white
highlights at the beginning. This takes a good deal of planning...
or at least awareness. Also, if all the colors go on while the
initial round of painting is wet, watercolors tend to blend together
into a puddle of brown. So kids get frustrated with the colors 
coming out not nearly as clear and bright as they were in the box.
All that to say that I am baffled with our tendency to start 
children with watercolors. Let's go back to finger paints!! 

Okay, I'll hop down off my soap box now.
 Because, after all, I am toting a variety of adorable travel palettes
loaded full of juicy watercolor paints to dive into with my kids
on vacation. Hopefully I can teach them some techniques that will 
lead to satisfying outcomes in their travel journals. 
To get palettes set up, I had to figure out what pigments they already
contained. So I've had a delicious time painting color
swatches and comparing them to tube paints and friends' supplies.
Now the Art Basket is loaded up, as is the Summer-Enrichment-Program
Briefcase and the Making-Fabric-Flowers Bag. I'll share more about 
these soon! In the meantime, I'd better go pack some clothes.... 

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