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November 19, 2012

The Art Lesson - Tomie dePaola (November Virtual Book Club Blog Hop}

This month Tomie dePaola is the featured author for the Virtual Book Club.  My boys and I enjoyed reading his works and getting lost in his writings.  Our favorite book of his is The Art Lesson.  The Art Lesson is an inspiring story for children, encouraging them to work hard to follow their dreams and stay true to themselves.  

After reading The Art Lesson, I pulled out my watercolor pencils and invited the boys to draw pictures with me.  This was a bit tricky.  JZ (5) and J-Bug (3) love to draw especially using colored pencils.  This was their first experience with watercolor pencils.  I tried to encourage them to shade large areas and use multiple colors.  They preferred to use one color at a time and draw light lines.  I don't like to push them or make art seem like a chore with too many instructions, so after a few suggestions I let it go.

J-Bug had a hard time drawing, and he asked Daddy to draw Spiderman.

As I mentioned I don't like to give too many instructions to the boys while creating.  Instead I try to set an example.  I am not an artist.  Drawing is not a talent I was blessed with, but I can draw enough to demonstrate how something works.  I shaded large areas, so we could see the full effect of the watercolor pencils.  You can see where I started to add water to the tree.

JZ saw me shading and using multiple colors, so he grabbed a couple colors and did his best.  He was very proud, and so was I.

After making several drawings we pulled out paint brushes and dipped them in water and painted over our art to watch the colors spread.

Before water:


The truth is this activity might have been above their heads a bit.  Neither boy seemed to care too much about the water.  They enjoyed drawing, and they loved the book.  They might be a little young for watercolor pencils.  I'll bring them out again someday in the future.  For now we'll probably stick to colored pencils and watercolor paints separately.

The Art Lesson and other Tomie dePaola books available on Amazon:

More Virtual Book Club:
  • October - {Amy Krause Rosenthal} Little Pea
  • September - {Lois Elhert} Eating the Alphabet Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z
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  1. Gorgeous pictures! We love the Art Lesson also - such a great message for kids (and adults) to believe in a child's dreams and encourage them.

  2. I think it's great that you let them experience the watercolor pencils. Modeling is a wonderful way to teach. Next time you try the watercolor pencils, they'll know what to expect.

  3. So cute! Watercolour pencils are a hard one to teach with, aren't they? We've tried it a couple of times and finally gave up in favour of liquid watercolors and regular colored pencils.

  4. We are starting to experiment with new art materials too, and watercolor pencils are on my list to try soon!

  5. What amazing artists you have at your house!

  6. We love watercolor pencils at our house. Although my kids are a little older. Keep introducing them to new materials, playing and experiments is the best way to learn!

  7. How have I never heard of watercolor pencils? Where have I been? Thanks for introducing this to me. Looks like the boys had fun in their art lesson.

  8. I've never heard of watercolor pencils either! Crazy! Those are awesome! I think the trick is modeling it for them because my daughter used to just color everything one color until my mom showed her how to use different colors to color in a coloring book. She's a coloring machine now!

  9. Lovely little picture. Thanks for linking up to tip-toe thru tuesday.

  10. i liked these photos very much.. thanks for sharing it!!!
    cool math 4 kids

  11. You might try having the kiddos blend together several colors then add water to mix them together and see what they get. It's also fun to dip the watercolors into a cup of water first then draw with them. Or you could have the kids spray the paper with water (before or after coloring, it really doesn't matter!), but you might need heavier watercolor paper to do that. With young ones, it's usually easier to start with a smaller paper on pencils since the point is so small, coloring becomes tedious to them. Hope this helps, that sure looks like fun!


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