This week we painted flowers for Mother's Day. The original plan was to paint a little watercolor painting to attach to a card to give to Mom. That way she would get a personal card and a piece of art to keep and display too.
Often kids have different ideas, like painting on a full sheet of paper. They wanted to paint a PAINTING, so they did. A few even painted a second one for Grandma.
First each child chose a vase that he or she liked. Then they chose flowers that would work with the vase as far as size and color, and they arranged them in the vase.
Now they needed to study their subject very carefully.
What is the shape of the vase?
How large is it compared to the flowers?
How can the entire subject be fit into the composition without going off the edges?
(This often happens, usually cutting off the flowers at the top, which we didn't want to do.)
I reminded them that they have "creative license" to change whatever they want to. So if the vase is tall and skinny, they can make it shorter so the flowers will fit on the page, like this one with the pink tulips.
The only 'rule' was that no pencils were allowed. I didn't want them to focus so much on drawing. I wanted them to trust themselves and dive right into the process of painting.
They began by visually measuring how large the vase will be, and then sketching the shape of the vase with thinned watercolor. They then painted at will, with very little instruction. Some added a few details to the vase if it was clear glass, like stems and leaves. Others painted it a solid color.
Then they added the main flowers, stems, leaves, and the smaller flowers. They learned that white flowers could be added by simply choosing a color to paint the outlines; then adding the centers with a few dots of color. Let the white paper do the rest. They also learned that adding water to thin colors creates watercolor tints such as baby blue and pink and lavender. No white paint required.
For the background, our artists also needed to select colors that would complement the floral arrangement.
This artist painted a small floral (my original idea), which we glued to a folded piece of cardstock.
Below are our flowers for Mom!