Tuesday, August 1, 2017

elephants from india watercolor and pastel

This past spring my husband and I did a month long safari vacation through India. It was one of the most exciting and memorable vacations we have ever done and I really wanted to share some of it with the children in the studio and so I created an India Jungle Safari summer art camp.

My thought was that I would use some of the hundreds of animal photos we captured to inspire campers artwork and one of the first projects did not disappoint.

We happened to be in Jaipur during a festival and all the domesticated elephants were elaborately painted. It was stunning and I had a couple of photos to share with the kids. I also referenced google images to show them others as their interest was peaked.

9 year old


We then got down to creating.

First, the campers sketched an elephant head onto watercolor paper. I kept stressing for them to draw it BIG so they would have lots of space to later decorate.
6 year old

10 year old


I then put out liquid watercolors in primary colors for them to create a background using a wet on wet technique. The paper was so large that by the time they finished, it was dry enough to begin working on the elephants.

12 year old


I did put out some black liquid watercolor but I find it is a bit blue, so warned them upfront. We also discussed that since there is no white in watercolor, to create a grey they would need to dilute the color with water.

8 year old


Once they were finished, we put the paintings away for the day to dry.

The next morning the campers were given chalk pastels and sketched out a design to decorate on their elephant heads. When they were happy with their design, they dipped the chalk pastel into water to create a "paste" and began drawing.

10 year old


They LOVED this part of the process and got lost in creating. In fact, they began to cover surfaces on the elephants outside of their original plans because they just did not want to stop.

10 year old


The final results are stunning.