Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Watercolor Wednesdays

Today was our first 'Watercolor Wednesday' during playschool.
Our family has been working to complete painting materials for Waldorf inspired watercolor technique..painting boards, paint pot holders, a long handled and wide brush...

I barely know anything about the hows or whys behind Waldorf Watercolor painting, but I'm learning through books and friends.
Pop Pop graciously helped us cut, drill, and sand the painting materials during his last visit. We purchased 2x4's a our local hardware store, a saw bit to cut holes, and a whole lot of sanding paper.

It was labor intensive, but the outcome is beautiful.
This Fall, we are beginning with the color Yellow. We will paint with yellow for about a month or more; fully appreciating the color, telling stories about it, and really experiencing the brightness. On a sunny day like today, it was perfect.

While the children sat, I modeled painting while slowly telling a made-up story about a giant yellow sunflower. this sunflower grew so very tall and the bumblebees loved to sit upon it. The birds sometime ate the seeds and dropped a few on the ground as they flew that space, a sunflower grew and grew. Wouldn't it be lovely if every bird in the world dropped a sunflower seed and a flower grew? The whole world would yellow:)

The children were so quietly introspective about this process..even toddler W.
I look forward to sharing this experience with them every week.
Lastly, a bit of knowledge I gleaned this past summer at Sunbridge while we participated in a Waldorf watercolor painting session; as if we were the students..
The teacher ked us to our spots at the table which were tall enough so we could stand while painting. This was a very different experience for me. She also had the brushes places so the bristles were facing the student..

This ensured that when the student picked up the brush to paint, it was already in a comfortable and "correct"position in their hands. (try it- you'll be amazed. Also, place the brush facing the opposite way and experience how much more work it is to get the brush in position for painting!)  Learning to grip a writing utensil isreally hard to do for a child who isn't developmentally ready. I've seen kindergarten teachers come up with all kinds of tricks to get children to hold a pencil correctly.. attaching a rubber band somehow, using a rubber grip, etc. Doesn't it just make sense to wait until they're physically able on their own?
...Wishing you a joyous week.


  1. i have just spoken about this very thing on a baby group board i am part of. we all have 5 year olds now and one mum wanted to know if it was only her child who could not use a knife. I have gently advised about a childs muscles not having developed enough at age 5 for many things like writing and cutting. but i feel many people feel under pressure to have their child doing everything so quickly with no thought to whether they are physically ready. We are loosing childhood too fast in this day and age :-(
    sorry rant over!!
    Great painting. we are loving our watercolour painting and getting such lovely pictures! I will be re-telling your sunflower story. such a lovely idea! xx

  2. beautiful ... my group LOVES to watercolor and hear the stories that we tell during that is such a special and peaceful time to learn and grow together in the knowledge of color, space, time, it builds such a sense of community among the children. lovely ...sigh...
    light and peace to you

  3. Loved this post. Emma has been painting a lot of yellow at preschool these past few weeks. :) I love the watercolor painting supplies - they seem to invoke a feeling of appreciation and care.
    Hugs ~

  4. So sweet! This feels even more special to me b/c K has her painting day at school every Wednesday. Today was huge for her b/c now that she is 6 she gets 3 colors to paint with instead of 1 or 2. <3 <3 <3 I still need to catch up with you :(

  5. Your dad is so great! Good point on the way the brush faces and on the timing of holding a pencil. I remember writing in preschool, so I didn't know kids weren't ready for pencil-holding in Kindergarten.

  6. I love 'hearing' you describe your painting day. and love that tip about the brush! I will definitely try that next time we paint. I completely agree about waiting til they are ready to do it naturally. So often parents and teachers are trying to force children into their own ideals about what the child 'should' be able to do at a certain age.

  7. Dear Rebecca,
    Are your painting boards timber then? did you all them? How do you clean them.
    I also love to make our materials at thome and have not made these yet. Just wondering if you can advise please
    Loved the Michaelmas post too

  8. Wow, your supplies turned out great! I think your boards are thicker than ours, are they boards or plywood? And what did you seal them with, a beeswax/oil finish? I made the boards in the summer but haven't got to making the paint pot holder! I love them!

  9. So wonderful! We had a watercolour Wednesday today, too. What great ideas. It was our first foray into watercolour today, and I'll be incorporating some of your ideas next time (will we wait until Wednesday?). By the way, I love your blog. Your home and your ideas are so inspiring. Best, Kelly

  10. What a lovely lovely post! I love the idea of painting in one color and all of the Waldorf techniques you beautiful!

  11. We did this today! I told my own version of the sunflower story and as my children are a little older I incorporated orange and red (autumnal colours) into their palettes.
    They asked for the story over and over as they painted!
    Thank you for the inpiration.

  12. Your painting supplies look wonderful, I love water colors! Looks like a wonderful place for children to explore art! ~April

  13. Love the homemade materials... Great Inspiration for my homeschool classroom! Thanks for saring.


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