Watercolor Easter Eggs

Hello Friends.  Sorry it’s been so long since my last post.  I’ve been diligently working on projects for my co-op students, many of which (like this one) will eventually make their way here.  I finally found a little time to blog though…and just in time for Easter. 🙂

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite Easter traditions is coloring Easter eggs.  I just love all of the beautiful bright colors, and the reminder of the new life that Jesus makes available to us.  The only problem with REAL Easter eggs, however, is that they eventually go bad.  So this year, I decided to let my art students paint their own Easter eggs with watercolor paints, and then decorate them with colored pencils and acrylic jewels.  I must say, I found this project very satisfying, and these eggs don’t have to be thrown out or eaten!  I hope you enjoy this project as much as I did.

By the way, I just set up a “student gallery” page, so I can display all of your lovely artwork.  If you would like to submit a photo of your art for display in the student gallery, just email it to be at theswansnestart@gmail.com.  Please include your first name, age (if you want), and general geographic location (i.e. Virginia).

Ok, here we go… We’ll begin our project by masking off a 10″x8″ area on our watercolor paper.  This will enable us to use a standard size matt and frame.   Start by subtracting 10 from the (landscape) width of your paper.  Then divide the answer by 2 to get the margin for each side.

For example, my watercolor paper was 12″x9″, so 12-10=2 and 2 divided by 2=1.  That means I need a 1″ margin on each SIDE of my painting (with my paper “landscape”).

Use your ruler to draw three (light) dots marking the margin on each side of your page.  Don’t do the top and bottom margin yet, just the sides.

My margin was 1″, so I used my ruler to draw dots 1″ from the edge in three places down both sides my paper.  I had to draw my dots kind of dark to make them show up in the photo, but it’s better to draw them very lightly.

Once you have your dots in place, you can put a strip of masking tape on each side of your paper, lining the inside edge up with each set of 3 dots. (Painter’s tape is actually better, since it is less likely to tear your paper than masking tape, but masking tape is cheaper and works fine as long as you are careful when removing it.)  Make sure that the dots are under the masking tape, so that you will be able to erase them later.  The masking tape will help you to keep your design and paint inside the 10″x8″ area.

Ok, ready for the top and bottom margins?  Here we go…  Subtract 8 from the (landscape) height of your paper.  Mine was 9″ high, so 9-8=1 and 1 divided by 2 is 1/2; therefore, my top and bottom margins each needed to be 1/2″.

Use your ruler to mark the top and bottom margins in three places.  You can see below that I used my ruler to put 3 dots 1/2″ from the top of the page and 3 dots 1/2″ from the bottom of the page.

Using the new dots as guides, put a strip of masking tape across the top and bottom of your paper.  In addition to keeping the paint from running out of your work area, the masking tape will also help keep the paper from buckling so bad once you get it wet.

Now we’re ready to add eggs!  As you can see above, I used an egg-shaped template to trace my eggs onto the paper.  I made this template myself by simply printing out an oval onto card stock from my computer.  You only need one template to trace over and over.  You could also just cut an oval out of a folded piece of paper to use as a template.  You can put as many eggs as you want, but I think it is easier with no more than 5 or 6.  DRAW YOUR EGGS LIGHTLY, so that you can erase if you need to.

If you draw any eggs overlapping, you’ll want to erase part of one of the overlapping eggs, to make it look like it is behind the other one as I have done below.

Once you are happy with your egg placement, gather your painting supplies: paints, brush, paper towel (to blot your brush when you get too much water), and 2 cups of water.  One cup of water will be “clean” water to paint with, and the other one will be “dirty” water for rinsing your brush between colors.  Be careful not to sling any water around when you rinse your brush, because it will leave spots on your painting if it lands on any painted areas.

Ok, we’re ready for the fun part!  Begin by wetting ONE EGG with clean water.  Wet the entire egg, but ONLY the egg.  If you have overlapping eggs, choose one of them to do first, so that it will have time to dry before you do the other one.

Once the egg is wet, you can add your first color.  Begin adding it at one end, and “float” the color over about half of your egg.  Then add a second color to the other half of the egg, and let them mix in the middle.

Be careful to keep the paint inside the egg as much as possible.

Now, you’ll want to let that egg dry before you paint the egg that is touching it, so move on and paint the eggs that aren’t touching first.

Once your first egg is dry, you can paint the one that is touching it.  Then you can move on to the background.  The background is painted in sections.  Begin by wetting the area around your DRIEST egg.

Once you have a small area wet, go ahead and apply your background color to the WET area.  Be careful to keep the water and the paint off of your eggs as much as possible.  Once you get one area painted, do another one until the entire background is filled in.

Once your background is complete and DRY, you’ll be ready to decorate your eggs.  I used regular colored pencils and acrylic jewels glued on with tacky glue.

IMPORTANT:  Your paint must be COMPLETELY dry before you add colored pencil.  Wet paper is weak paper, so if you try to draw on your painting with regular colored pencils before it is dry, you will probably tear your paper.

To decorate my eggs, I started by picking a color to outline them with.  I just picked a color I thought would look nice for the egg I was decorating at the time.

After outlining the egg, I drew my design using as many different pencils as I wanted. 🙂

You may find it easier to work if you CAREFULLY remove your masking tape at this point.

If you drew your guide dots too dark (like me), you may want to erase them now…

Ok, back to the eggs…keep going until you have them all decorated the way you want them.

Below is a photo with more designs on it.  I did the bottom painting first without measuring out the 10″x8″ area.  It’s pretty, but would be harder to fit in a standard frame.

Once you finish with the pencils, you can use a little tacky glue to add jewels, sequins, or beads if you’d like.  Try not to use too much glue, and stay away from anything too wet (like glitter glue), because it may make your watercolors run.

That’s it for now.  I can’t wait to see how you’ve done!  Don’t forget to submit a photo of your art work along with your first name, approximate age (optional), and general geographic location to theswansnestart@gmail.com for the student gallery.

Happy Easter…He is risen!


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. wendi
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 01:06:36

    Beautiful Sandy! Thank you for the post 🙂 We can try again at home 🙂


  2. ivoryspring
    Mar 30, 2012 @ 14:20:42

    Very pretty, Sandy! You have to come out with your own line of greeting cards soon!


  3. Trackback: Easter Soap Carvings | The Swan's Nest

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: