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Honour the Child

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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Sunday, 18 October 2009
Rowan loves to make art, and I love to work with her to offer her new opportunities to explore her creative nature. So, being Waldorf wannabes adrift far from a Waldorf community we have dipped a toe into the Waldorf method/ practice of wet-on-wet watercolour painting.

Waldorf watercolour painting engages the child with the colours~ their nature, the feelings they evoke, how and where they are found in nature. The exercises are not the traditional 'paint a picture/ what is it?' art we are used to doing~ and this was tough for Rowan (4) to grasp~ because she had new paints and wanted to paint a picture of Puppy.

Once we opened with a story about the rainbow and then choose to begin our painting with yellow (which was a wonderful choice as the late afternoon sun was casting strong yellows over the yard outside) and read some yellow verses and talked about yellow things and feelings, she began to enter into the contemplative, more abstract nature of this style of painting.

I recommend the PDFs at the Waldorf & Earth Schooling Channel which include lesson plans, and many, many stories, verses and ideas for beginners like us! (We started with yellow and the Rain Gnome and Golden Purse stories). Stockmar has some great starter pages with wet-on-wet and watercolour helps.

I know our present set up is not very orthodox, but we are working with what we have, and if we decide to make a habit of it, we'll upgrade (so please disregard the elephant placemat in lieu of a board LOL).

From a local supplier we picked up:
  • 90 lb.watercolour paper
  • paint pots for mixing/ dipping/ storing
  • cheap watercolour brushes (flat, wide)
  • watercolour paints (24 tubes for $12 LOL)
In total we spent $22, and if I read ahead I would have waited and purchased only three tubes of paint (red/ blue/ yellow)~ but the 24 set was all the shop had and we wanted to get rolling!

Other than these supplies we just grabbed a couple of household things: scissors (to round the corners of our pages to open up possibilities), a piece of sponge for setting the paper and a container with water to soak our paper.

We did four pages with yellow: one to experiment with its flow and changes across the paper, one while talking about feelings of 'yellow', one of the golden coins in our story (while re-telling) and one on which we blew the paint about with a straw and to which we will add blue and red in time.

It was a great 'frame-bending' experience outside the usual art activities and it really did help Rowan to slow down and be mindful while focusing not on an end result but on the colour and the process, and on listening, too!


Moonangelnay said...

sounds wonderful! we hope to homeschool our son using waldorf principles which im really looking forward to but so far have lacked resources or found anyone experiencing the methods as freshly as we will do sometime soon so thanks for posting this! sounds like you and Rowan had a lovely time and the pdf is something i'm about to check out now! thanks!

Luisa @ Dance in my garden said...

Thanks for sharing this...I am wanting to implement some waldorf principles into our home learning.

Abigail said...

What a fabulous post, I'm going to have to hunt down a store with those supplies to do with my daughter.
Greatly appreciating the links!

hazy_lilly said...

Thank you for writing your experience. It was refreshing and a reminder of how fun it was when I first started painting with my oldest son, who is now in Highschool. Thank your for mentioning the waldorf channel I was debating on purchasing the stories. It sounds refreshing to have a source.

Mark said...

Good Post. Thanks for sharing it here. I like watercolor painting very much.

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