Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Wiped Out!

Now I remember why I kept putting off watercolor painting; the set up is so time-consuming. I basically had to mix 21 jars of paint; 7 colors each for all three of us. I had to drag the table from the garage and clean it. I had to get all of the stray crayon marks off of our painting boards (we use the back sides for drawing and they always end up with a few crayon marks on the painting side). I had to tear the paper to size. I had to clean the paint brushes, even though they had seemed clean when put away last (this always happens). I had to find boxes to put the paint jars in. Note to everyone else: make preparing for your first day of painting a project for the week before! I thought I would get it done during quiet time but it took longer than that.

The boys were so excited; hopefully once painting becomes part of the routine they won't get as excited because it made it hard for them to wait until project time (although T was able to focus on reading during practice time, which we did while I mixed paints). Also, I felt like I talked way too much. They weren't watching me or taking cues from me. It was as if we had never done this before and they didn't remember anything. This is tough; T is so verbal (to the point of needing help learning to keep his self-talk internal). He wants to talk about every little thing we do, all day long. It really breaks the mood to even have to stop and say "watch me".

I watched the first painting section on the Enki DVD, and decided to use that color character story with the boys. I told that story while I painted, then I took my painting away and told the story again while they painted, so they wouldn't just look at my painting and copy it. That was a pretty good tactic and all 3 pictures are different.

The boys really wanted to paint "pictures" with form (before we started, that is). We do so much crayon drawing that it was difficult for them to sink into the color without requiring that it become a form. That is why I decided to use the story.

The boys enjoyed painting, but it is really hard for them to remember all of the rules about cleaning the brush between each dip into a paint jar, drying the brush, not rubbing the brush into the paper, etc. By the time he was done with his painting T wasn't very interested in cleaning up the supplies.

Next week won't be so tough. The paints are ready to go, and hopefully we can just leave the table set up outside.


  1. I will definitely remember to prepe the week before, that is a good tip and I so would have thought I could do it that same day. LOL

    Between your post on the wet-on-wet painting and Kats feedback, this is a really informative and helpful post about the realities of implementing this activity.

    Im really starting to get excited about our lessons getting rolling again. Thinking about doing the arts and the nature crafts this year is really exciting me. Especially with the Enki crafts guides. I really like the ideas in there and the use of so many natural materials.

    I will watch the painting DVD and listen for the story your taling about. I havent gotten that far yet. :-)

    Will you do this just once a week, or wht is your plan for frequency? Also where did you get your paint jars?

  2. Clarification: I mention that the boys have learned to rinse the paint brushes, and I mention using a brush for each color. A brush for each color was done earlier, when we did wet-on-wet regularly. Painting with tempera paints, glitter paints, pan watercolors etc. they have learned to clean the brushes.