Smeary Paintings

Veronika loves the look of watercolors, but they can be hard for her to use because she often forgets to alternate her paintbrush between the cup of water and the tin of dried paints. This alternative method creates a similar smeary, watery look, but was easier for her to do.

To start, I used a wide paintbrush to spread water all over a sheet of thick paper. Veronika then used a smaller paintbrush and picked out pink and purple tempera paints to dip into. The colors bleed and run across the sheet in such a pretty way!

I wondered aloud if we could achieve a similar look with markers, and then “painted” water over a second sheet of paper. Veronika tested it out, and while the effect was neat, I only recommend this with markers that are near the end of their life, as it quickly wears them out.

Veronika now became inventive with the project. First, she poured the cup of water I’d used into the cup of paint, and tested how this mixture looked on the paper.

Then she poured the whole watery mix over the paper; it was a good thing the paper was thick! She made swirls through the goopy mess with her paintbrush, making deep lines.

As a side note, this watery method is great for kids who love to paint rainbows, since the ethereal quality captures the fuzziness of a rainbow on a true rainy day. So for our final sheet of wet paper, I drew a rainbow with markers, and then she “painted” still more water on top.

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