While learning about the New England states, we completed this fun mixed-media sailboat painting. It combines one of our favorite activities, wet on wet watercolor painting, with recycling easily found papers. I love how playful and whimsical the finished paintings turned out. Enjoy!
11" x 15" 140lb watercolor paper (27.9 cm x 38.1cm 300g)
brown paper bag
optional - pattern which you can download HERE
Begin by taping your paper to your waterproof work surface. I used 1" painter's tape. I lined the tape up with the edge of the paper so it was only tape to the table at the corners. Rub your fingers over the tape to make sure it makes a good bond. You do not want paint seeping under the tape.
We used a wet on wet watercoloring technique. Begin by using a wide brush and getting your whole page wet.
Pick a blue, and water down the color. Using your wide brush, sweep on blue in long horizontal strokes. Make sure the brush is wet enough so the paint bleeds on the paper. Leave some white edges, especially in the top half which will be the sky.
Using an assortment of blues and greens, use wet sweeping horizontal strokes to make the sea. This should be about the bottom half of the paper.
Using an old brown paper bag, cut out 5 boats. These should be in varying sizes. Larger boats will be placed in the front of the painting, with smaller boats will be up closer to the horizon. (Explain the concept of "prospective" to children, and how things that are closer to us appear larger.) Everyone except 7 year old Pixie was able to free form cut boats. She was struggling so I drew boat shapes for her and she cut them out. I've included a pattern page which can be found HERE if you'd like some help with shapes :)
Next, cut out sails with sizes in proportion to the boats. Again, everyone but Pixie did this free hand, but you may wish to use the pattern.
Match the appropriate boats and sails and paint. Paint. Allow to dry. Try to keep them flat, but it they do roll, you can straighten them out when you glue them to the paper.
Position the boats and sails on your watercolored seascape.
Feel free to trim any boats or sails to get them to fit or for proper sizing. When ready, glue them to the watercolor paper using a glue stick.
Using a thin brush at detail to the painting including masts and birds with black and waves with blue. Point out that the larger birds are closer.
Remove tape and hang you paintings!
We invite you to add photos of your kids' completed Mixed-Media Sailboat Paintings to our Wee Folk Art Kids :: Arts & Crafts Flickr group.
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