Thick and Thin Trees

This project produced a lot of really nice paintings in my afterschool watercolor class today. It's a bit of a stretch to ask kinders to paint very gentle and curvy lines, but they got the idea at least that tree trunks are thick and branches are thin. Not a bad place to start.
1. I'm finding I can get pretty good prices on watercolor paper if I save up my coupons for Aaron Bros. and Michael's. I gave each student an 11" x 15" sheet and had them draw a yellow sun near the top of the paper with a yellow crayon. They were to press hard to make the sun really show up.
2. Using my dissolved Crayola tablets, the students covered the page with wide bands of color, slightly overlapping to get a little bleed.
3. This step is important as it helps to keep the tree lines clean and without any fuzzy edges. I gave each student a paper towel and had them lay it over the entire painting and press to soak up any wet spots. They repeated this for about a minute to get them as dry as possible.
4. I had saved dozens of black watercolor tablets since I generally use bright palettes.  I dissolved lots of them in just enough water to make black paint the consistency of heavy cream. The gave each student a small cup, along with a medium size watercolor brush. I showed them how to paint gently to get a smooth horizon line and a natural taper to the parts of their trees.
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