1.24.2011

Winter Landscapes


We don't get snow in our part of California, but I love looking at winter landscapes in January. Two favorites are Monet's Magpie, and John Henry Twachtman's american take, Winter Harmony (above). (Isn't this painting so peaceful? It totally reminds me of that muffled silence you feel walking in the woods in the snow. Beautiful.)
On this note we did a fun lesson in my son's class last Friday - the ubiquitous winter birch tree watercolor lesson. There are many variations of this concept online and I went with Patty's version (I think she is so creative, and her lessons always seem to work out really well).
Isn't this fourth grade landscape (below) spectacular? The second graders produced equally lovely paintings. Throwing salt on wet watercolor work was especially exciting for the kids (and me). This would be super easy for any parent to do at home, as well.
(By the way, I totally recommend using liquid watercolors rather than the cheap-o ones in the pan. The colors are so much more vivid and the kids' paintings come out beautifully every single time. It is well worth the trouble to track them down if you do any amount of art with your kids at all. Here's where we get ours, and keep in mind that a little goes a looong way. I use them pretty much weekly in classes of 30 kids and am only half way through each container of color. That's a lot of paintings! :) )

5 comments:

Anne Marie said...

I love visiting and seeing your posts but have not commented much. However, I just tried liquid watercolors for the first time with my kids the other day. I think I added too much water/not enough color because the colors were very light. What ratio of water:color do you use? Thanks for the great post!

Bethany Hissong said...

You always do really fabulous lessons with the kids! And that Monet is one I copied for an oil painting class in college (j'adore). I just recently learned that if you use salt on watercolors and then frame them behind glass, the salt will sometimes draw too much moisture to the painting. An alternative is a spray bottle of water.

lynne said...

Hi Anne-Marie! I use small plastic bowls and put the liquid wc straight in, with no water dilution. I also put a little bowl of water right next to the paint which they use to lighten the color and play around with. So not much water for a really vivid color! This is my first year using them so I'm still figuring out myself. I would love to learn more tricks...

And Bethany - I had no idea about the salt!! But it makes sense when I think about it. Thanks for the heads-up!!!!

melissa said...

Wow that is a beautiful winter scene. I love the long blue shadows cast from the birch trees. I'm sure the salt part was a lot of fun for the kids too.

I've missed your posts and I'm glad to hear from you again...

Jennie said...

I am often surprised by the paintings of children. They seem to effortlessly create such beautiful and striking shapes and scenes. They appear to have none of the limiting inhibitions or attachments as to what a drawing "should" look like, which adults often struggle to leave behind.

I love the winter watercolor.