Happy Accident Painting
By working with ink, watercolor and wet paper, students will be forced to go with the flow as they create happy accident paintings.
By Andrea Mulder-Slater
- Students will be directed to observe the effect of wet on wet watercolor and ink.
- Students will create a happy accident painting using watercolor and ink [and/or markers].
- Students will learn to appreciate the fact that mistakes are not always mistakes. Sometimes if you go with the flow, beautiful creations will result.
What You Need:
- Watercolor or other thick paper.
- Watercolor paints and brushes.
- Newspaper to cover work area.
- India ink or washable markers for younger students.
- Shish kabob sticks.
- Water and containers.
What You Do:
- Talk about mistakes and how artists often change a so-called mistake into something else. We call these “happy accidents”.
- Talk about watercolor paint and discuss the fact that it is a transparent paint.
- Compare watercolor paint with tissue paper — you can see through it and as more colors are layered atop one another, the more mixing and blending occurs.
- Review color mixing. Yellow and blue make green; Red and yellow make orange; Blue and red make Violet.
- Demonstrate how when wet yellow paint is added to wet red paint on the paper, and orange color will appear.
- Students should be encouraged to try mixing colors on the paper in this way.
- Students can then begin adding watercolor paint to their paper.
- The paint should be nice and wet so that it runs and blends on the paper.
The entire paper should be filled with color.
- Students can pick up their papers and move them around to make the paint run in every direction.
- As the paint is drying, your kinderartists can begin to pick out shapes that appear on their paper. The shapes might be people or animals or plants … whatever they see.
- These shapes can be enhanced by adding black ink lines (either with a marker for the younger kids or with a Shish kabob stick dipped into ink for the older kids). The ink will run in the areas that wet — this is encouraged.
- When complete, discuss the results with your students. What shapes and images did they find in their paintings. Were they surprised at finding all the wonderful shapes?