Spider Webs

spider webWe visited the school again last Wednesday for a delightful art class with grades 5 and 6.  These kids are really conscientious about their work, very thoughtful and engaged.  That made it a real pleasure to paint with them, even if there were 28 in the class.

The subject was spider webs, which wasn’t the best for last minute Mother’s Day gifts, but the techniques are high on the awesome scale.  The lesson was “the paint won’t go if there is no flow”: the paint will go wherever there is water for it to move in.  This is really important since we painted right out of the palette without mixing puddles first.  People generally get sticky, dry paint if they do that – they forget that it’s water-colour paint.  And watercolour is totally awesome because of the qualities of the water.

So, to paint the web.  We first designed it in clear water, making juicy 3D water slides for the paint.  Then we “fired in” the colours.  Zip!  Zoom!  The paint rockets along the water trails, branching into every intersection, shooting around the web.  Watercolour at its best!  It’s so fascinating to watch the web paint itself, the temptation is to fill the entire paper with strands.  However, we did want some room for other things.  The stalk of grass was painted in a similar way, using lots of water and dropping in colour.  Then finally the spiders, dragonflies, and butterflies were done using a variety of methods.

Unfortunately there is only a picture of my demonstration.  The kids’ paintings were whipped into the drying rack just in time for buses.  Their paintings were far more creative than mine!




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