Painting with Tempera Cakes

I blogged about my fav kid tempera paint a while back, here. I ordered the boys their own for Christmas, and picked up a roll of art paper ($5) and some brushes at IKEA ($2)

The IKEA paper was heavy enough for William's painting attempts but was too thin for Aldous. I suspect this is because Aldous paints more with the water than with the paint, and likes to paint in one spot for, say, an hour.

Getting ready to paint. Doug and the boys look at the Modern's (Fort Worth) catalog. This has nothing to do with our painting today: there's no real lesson, just teaching the boys how to use the paint. I suppose that's a lesson, but it's boring.
 I had them draw some shapes on their papers with oil pastels. I like Sargent's oil pastels for kids: they're smooth enough to make actual paintings with but not so soft they smush them in their fingers. Not waxy at all. I prefer their jumbo sticks, but I didn't have a box of those handy (altho, I would bet money I have 10 boxes of those somewhere). I get the jumbo oil pastels from Nasco (my fav), but I think they sell them at Molly Hawkins, too. They're cheap. These skinny ones were given to me at a conference.

I let them choose three colors for this. I recommend taping down the paper for small children and some children with special needs. Sometimes having to manage the paper proves to be a bit problematic while also trying to manage water and paint.

when I asked the boys if they could think of a shape, Aldous said "triangle" and William said "crescent"

To get this paint "started" you have to put several brushfuls of water on each cake, then stir it until air bubbles appear. By the time bubbles can be seen, there is plenty of pigment in the water you dropped on. 

See the air bubbles? (and the hairs from the brushes? ahhh, new brushes....)

 William took a long time with his painting. He was putting color in a lot of the sections he had made with his pastels.

Aldous was infatuated with the dipping. He liked to put the brush on the paint, THEN in the water, then on the paper. We tried to correct it, but he liked the water more than the paint.

The paint resists the oil pastels.

William got his paint a little messy, but not too bad. He had the routine down of wash the brush, stir the paint, paint the paper, but he isn't quite thorough enough with the washing part. No big deal tho.

 Aldous chose a great color for his resist, especially since he decided to use so much of it's complement. He dug a very thorough hole in his paper with the purple.

Digging a purple hole.

Clean up

Cleaning up this paint couldn't be easier: just run it under the faucet. I try to arrange the palette so the lighter colors are at one end so the dark colors don't run into the lighter ones.

Use the paintbrushes like mops to get stray color off of the blocks (this is why it's ok to mix colors ON the block...it doesn't really mess up anything)

Mop all the edges of the palette.

Let excess water run off, then set aside to dry. it's ok if there is a bit of water under the block or in the palette wells WITH the block because this will help them stick to the palette.

See? Nice and clean!

Washing the brushes is easy, too. Put a drop of dish detergent in your hand (I learned this in college!! ha ha!).

Wet the brushes, then get plenty of soap on them in your hand.

Brush them firmly around your hand in a circular motion. You'll be surprised at how much paint is still in brushes you thought you rinsed out thoroughly.

Rinse clean, swish around your hand a couple of times while rinsing to get all of the soap out.

Wash the ferrules and the handles. Put the brushes to dry somewhere where the water can run out of the ferrules, but not smush the bristles. Like a dish drainer, or something similar. Having smushed bristles is less of a problem than having waterlogged brush handles and glue, and rusty ferrules, tho.

Here are the masterpieces!   So, Aldous learned that there are multiple steps including water, paint, and paper, but he struggles with the order. He also tends to paint repeatedly in one place, but that's not a big deal. I just moved his chair.

He NEVER stands still for a picture, but he was very proud of his artwork and stood very still for this.

William's artwork. William has the order of the steps down, but needs to work on spending more time washing the brush thoroughly. He also understands adding water to the paint cakes and stirring to get a lot of pigment. In this regard, he's a genius. I used to have a handful of high school students when I was teaching who never did catch on to that, despite practice, and always had the saddest, palest colors on their artworks. They would complain, too,and say "Miss, this paint sucks!!", and then I would teach them again. :)

William was plenty proud of his work, but he was more interested in pointing out that Aldous had made a hole in his. ahhh, brothers! For the record, Doug dressed him.

That's all! Enjoy your kid paint!


Helen said...

Kasen painting drives me crazy because of the color mixing. I'll have to try these! (Love that you pointed out Doug dressed them. lol)

momtofatdogs said...

"Doug dressed him". Ha Ha Ha ! Of course you pointed that out! 23 years ago my brother lived with me. He provided day care & I provided the roof. He dressed my kids super funny. They both ended up looking like Pippi Longstockings. And tags? Who needs tags? It's not like he looked at whether or not they were in the back or not! If thier sleepers didn't have feet in them, he'd have had those on backwards too.


Mrs. Bianca said...

These are great! I think Aldous is a natural for watercolor! Great artwork too. Thanks for sharing on the cleanup. If/when I ever get a dedicated craft area, I may invest in these. I have lots of other paint to use up before getting more. :)

Sarah (La Maison Boheme) said...

Love the boys' art! And those Tempuras are awesome.

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