In this mid-winter month of January, the sun is slowly sharing itself a
bit more each day. As it's golden rays gently stream through our
windows, we follow the warming sun wherever she leads and bask in it's gentle kiss upon our faces. Today we set out our
watercolor paints. We notice the beauty of color that is laid out
before us even before our brushes have even met the sturdy papers. I look forward to sharing with you this process for creating watercolor lanterns.
These watercolor painting lanterns are traditionally hand-held with string and carried for a most beautiful Waldorf inspired celebration called a lantern walk. This walk happens in the fall and is one of my most favorite traditions each year. On these gray days of Winter we are ever seeking after color. This project proved the perfect way to satisfy that desire!
.: A Tutorial :.As the colors now swirl, first yellow and red meet--saying hello to orange forming a warmth into the day from this new convergence of color that has been greeted.
Shades of blue dance upon the papers reminiscent of a cold winter's
day. It shares a stories of icicles, and the hues of a snowy landscape under
the sun as it disappears into the evening sky.
On this day let us set out to bring color and beauty to our hearts, and on this day we create rivers of color mixing, meeting and dancing all in synchronicity. The sun continues to stream through our windows and extends it's rays of warmth and inspiration to all of us.
When your painting is dry you may wish to add more color to form a vibrant lantern.
When you are ready and your painting is dry, gently rub the painting with cooking oil. Use a cloth, adding enough
oil to soak all the way through the back of the paper.
The oil will penetrate the paper and create a lovely translucent effect. Your painting should be allowed to sit overnight to dry. You may wish to rub some of the oil away the next day with a dry cloth.You will now want to cut a fringe of about 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" tall slits all along the long edge of your paper and next curl the entire paper into a cylinder, adding glue along the edge to hold it together. I used a large beeswax candle to serve as a weight to hold my edges glued into place overnight. As your cylinder has now been successfully glued and formed, you may now flip it over to the bottom slits that you previously cut and start to fold down each piece one by one until they all fan closed.This will form the bottom to your lantern.Flip your lantern over and place it on the table.
Because we are working with paper and oil, I like to add glass mason
jars into my watercolor paper lanterns that will safely hold a small
beeswax candle to form a glow into our day.
This color, this day, (and the sun that continues to play a good game of
hide and seek with us) brought forth from our creative hearts these lanterns
that now grace our tables. As the beeswax candle burns within, the
golden glow gently filters through with outstretched arms. The warmth we feel is so
reminiscent of the way the sun pours through our windows, kissing us
on our faces as we paint with watercolors.
The watercolor painting style we choose is called wet on wet painting. To do so, you soak your watercolor paper in water until it is wet from front to back. With tubes of watercolor paint you may mix a bit of paint into a jar with water and proceed to paint. We appreciate using a painting board, quality paints, brushes and watercolor paper
We also appreciate telling a story along with our painting time, there are some good ideas in the book "Painting with children" which also talks about the color wheel.