I learned in my art class this week what delight it brings to a 5-year old to discover that a “white” crayon has a purpose to be used on “white” paper. What I thought was just a lesson on mixed media, was really a lesson to enjoy the simple discoveries through the eyes of a child!
I was all “smiles” when, Sparrow, a little girl in my class explained to her mom how when you use crayons on white paper, watercolor paint will glide over the crayon because it is a wax and protects the paper. Sparrow pointed to the white crayon she placed in her sky that was visible after painting it blue. Then, her mom explained to me how she has been puzzled about what purpose the white crayon serves because it does not show up on white paper.
The joy of seeing things through a child’s eyes! This made this project choice even more special to me. As a teacher, it is so easy to get lost in the details of a project (the giving out of step-by-step instructions and trying to keep on task), that it is awesome to be reminded of the precious wonderment of sweet little minds and hearts!
This all came about from designing “Mixed Media Spring Flowers”. We used mixed media paper (thicker paper to hold the watercolor paint, but smoother than watercolor paper), black permanent markers, crayons and watercolor paints.
I gathered the class around my work station and we talked about the various flowers that bloom in the Spring. Then, I demonstrated to the children how to use curve lines to make daffodils, tulips and petals for flowers. I explained that they would be using the black markers to outline the shapes of flowers and that they would use the crayons to add detail.
After the flowers were drawn, I showed the class how they could line and make shapes inside the flowers (and on the paper), but not color in the entire flower with the crayons. I explained that the crayon would need to be heavy/dark lines and not soft lines (NOTE: Use a lint (tape) roll or painters tape to pick up any excess crayon flakes before painting).
Then, I took a brush and used the watercolor paint over the crayon to show how the crayon is a wax resist (protects the paper). This is when I pointed out how even a white crayon is great to use and stays white after applying the paint.
The students had fun creating their blooms and using the crayons to make lines, circles, zig zags, etc. on the paper (some of the smaller children did need help in pressing harder with the crayon in order to make a heavier layer).
When the class finished with the crayons, they began painting with the watercolors.
It was a thrill for them to see how the crayon stayed visible and kept the watercolor from absorbing into the paper. I just love the beauty of their designs/work…it always brings such joy (just love their shapes and creativity)!
Enjoy time with the children in your life by making your own Mix Media Spring Flowers! It is a “funtastic” way to make cards, secret messages for your family to discover, paintings and more!!! I would love to see what you create, so feel free to post/share with me your masterpieces.