Friday, March 8, 2013

Mixed Media Tutorial: Parrot Fish in Watercolor and Pastel

Materials: Watercolors, brushes, cloth, table salt (large pieces), oil-pastels, watercolor paper, masking tape

Here's a mixed media lesson that has great color opportunity and lots of surprises. I tried it out with 11 year old students and they had so much fun. I looked up Colorful Parrot Fish in Google and found some beautiful fish images which I showed to my students.

Alicia, age 11

Isabel, age 11

Step 1: Start by drawing the chosen fish from observation (from the printed pages) in pencil. Try and not include too much detail, that will be done with the paint and pastels later on.

Step 2: Using oil pastels, outline the fish and the coral. Color in some parts of the coral but be free and loose so that the pastel doesn't cover the whole area. The paint will cover these white spaces.

Using pastel

Step 3: Wet the fish section with clear water using a brush. Keep the brush loaded with a lot of pigment and dab the fish without mixing the colors too much. Allow the painting to dry completely.

Step 4: Now for the background, wet the rest of the page and dab in some beautiful blues, greens and purple to create a colorful underwater world. While the paper is still wet, sprinkle a generous amount of salt and watch how it absorbs the water and draws in the pigment. Notice how the oil pastel does not mix with the paint? Allow to dry completely.

Step 5: Dust off the salt. Repeat step 4 if the background is not dark enough.

Step 6: To emphasize the patterns and texture, use watercolor paint and oil pastels and add in detail.

 Look at these beautiful fish! We had too much fun on this project. Xoxo. Quaymberley.