Watercolor Landscape

Here's a simple watercolor project I tried out last week. It turned out to be a good way to teach the very basics of watercolor, namely that if you paint on dry paper, you get clean lines, and if you paint on wet, you get fuzzy.
1. Working with 11" x 15" watercolor paper, the students first drew along with me in pencil. I asked them to draw a horizon line near the top, and then an upside down skinny "V" to look like a road that disappears into a dot when it goes far away. Curvy roads were also allowed.
2. The areas on either side of the road were going to be fields, so the students were to divide them into about 3 or 4 sections.
3. A simple house was added on top on the horizon line.
4. I gave each student a thin brush and choice of bright liquid watercolors. (I like to dissolve the Crayona tablets in spillproof cups ahead of time.) They were to "draw" with their brushes and paint over all their pencil lines, taking care to make them as neat as possible. When finished, they could dab at their lines to speed up the drying for the next step. This again is an example of "dry" watercolor painting.
5. For the "wet" technique, I showed students what happened if they painted their fields with a color, and then added small dots or lines on top. Fuzzy shapes would appear, which could be plants of any nature. Lastly some green landscaping was added on the horizon, along with a blue sky. And a new discovery, the pencil lines erase easily when the paper is dry, which makes for a much nicer looking painting when complete. I was so happy with the overall results, I'm putting this project in my keeper file.
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