Let’s play with nature, kids!

by Roberta Guiotto

Watercolour by the sea: wet-on-wet technique

Watercolour has an ancient painting tradition dating back, even, to cave paintings that were made by applying colour with fingers, sticks and bones. Even the Egyptians used water-based paints to decorate the walls of temples and tombs, just as Chinese and Japanese masters still use watercolour to paint on silk. The watercolour technique offers children the possibility of experimenting with different colours, given the ease with which colours mix with each other: one can start with primary colours, giving children the opportunity to discover how they spontaneously combine with each other to create ever-changing shades and tones. And the great thing is that this activity can be done on the beach, in front of our beloved sea, and the children are sure to have a great time. We will need: watercolour paper, brushes, a sponge to dry off excess water, a wooden board (alternatively a plastic-coated placemat to fix the paper to), watercolours in tube or paste form.  After fixing the sheet on a surface, wet it all over with a brush, or dip it directly into sea water (an alternative that the children will like very much) and then place it on the plastic board or placemat. We dry the excess water with the sponge, while we create small spots of colour with the brush: in this way the watercolour will fill in the empty spaces on its own because the sheet is wet. If we decide to portray the sea, we could use different shades of blue and we will see that the colours, blending together, will reproduce the waves and the different nuances. If we add another colour, and then another, an infinite number of colours will appear on the sheet. It will be real magic for a child’s eyes and is a wonderful way to teach colour mixing. What can I say, have fun little artists.  
in collaboration with Manine verdi
Jesolo journal Aprile 2022

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