Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Dandelion Watercolor Lesson Using Alcohol, Crayon Resist and Salt

This lesson is all about process - virtually anyone can do this!

You will need:
Watercolor Paper
Liquid Watercolor paint in yellow, blue and green
Pipettes or droppers
Table Salt
Crayons in green, yellow and orange
Brushes and water
I used:

The finished painting is inspired by a field of Dandelions.
The Crayon creates a wax resist for the stems and a few yellow flowers.

The alcohol creates the dandelion when it has finished blooming and has the ray of florets.
I know I used to play with these as a child, blowing the seeds away and making a wish.
The salt suggests these individual florets floating in the air.

Begin by drawing some random length and shape dandelion stems with crayon.
Add the yellow bursts at the top of a few stems.
Add a little bit of orange in the center of the yellow and then get the paper wet with at least two coats of water brushed over the surface.  You want the paper to be wet so the watercolor paint will be going onto wet paper, wet into wet.
If the paper starts to curl on the edges just pick it up and bend it to flatten it again.
Drop some yellow onto the paper in the sky and the foreground.  Just put it wherever you want.

Next add some blue into the sky and some green in the foreground and just let it mix with the yellow.
Now stand the painting up and let the colors run down the paper.
Drop some alcohol onto the empty stems with the pipette.  If you don't like the shape the drop makes you can draw the alcohol on with the tip of the pipette.
Sprinkle a little bit of salt around the painting.
When the salt dries you will get that crystal like effect.
I think it looks like the dandelion florets floating in the air.

 Now your students have done:
Wax resist
Wet into Wet
Alcohol reaction
Salt reaction

All in one painting which requires no drawing or painting skills.  
Great for any age and any level of ability.  
Process art is very relaxing and freeing - even for students who have a high ability level.

Have fun! 
Some of my students' work - if they like it, I like it!  I don't try and force them to do it a certain way, just give them options.


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