We are big into watercolors these days. E has finally learned that he must wet the paint pallets with water in order to saturate his brush with paint. He has found it interesting to experiment with different brush types too while using watercolors. Recently we tried using larger sponge brushes to make a beautiful watercolor resist mandalas.
Lately while E is working at his art table I have found myself doodling and painting a series of mandalas. I love the colors often found in mandalas, and the process is quite relaxing! I guess my laid back vibe peeked my boy's interest because the next thing I knew we were looking up mandalas together. Mandala is Sanskrit for Circle and in our research we examined the shape, pattern, and design organization in different mandalas. Soon enough, my boy said he wanted to create one of his very own.
We started by choosing a shape to focus on. E just learned how to make circles, so he wanted to make circular mandalas. After choosing the shape we moved onto colors. It’s to be expected that a manadala of a three-year old would be less about symmetry and more about the concept, oh and the color, of course. Plus, at this point, in E’s art process he is more interested in separating out colors and shapes so he can identify them individually and less into mixing everything together. I can see the beginnings of order arising out of his art. Very exciting.
To make the colors of the madala pop more we painted over the crayons with black watercolor. This is where the precision and focus that artists often put into mandalas came out in this preschool version. E was fascinated watching the paint gloss over the crayon and soak into the paper. It truly was relaxing at our art table that afternoon!
To make your own mandalas you will need:
Watercolor paper (Or paper from the recycle bin...which is what we use often)
Small/medium sponge brush
First take a look at a few mandalas in a book or online (We liked looking up “mandala” on Google image search.) Next talk about how mandalas are meant to be circular in shape. Ask your child to choose a crayon color to draw a large circle on his paper. Next, allow your child to make shapes and patterns moving toward the center of the circle. Side Note: With young children it is more about the process rather than the product, so it’s okay if children draw outside of their main circle. Once the child is done drawing give them a set of black watercolor paint and a wet sponge brush. Using the sponge brush, have them paint over their crayon drawing with the black watercolor paint. Allow to dry and then display for your child’s pleasure.