Last month in art we created our first Collaborative Tile display. You will see these again in the future, with different mediums and themes. This first theme was centered around happiness, and used liquid watercolor paints with permanent markers.
Students were asked to pick a word that represented happiness to them. Lower Elementary students chose a noun, grades 4 and 5 chose a verb, and grades 6-8 chose an adjective. The words were written with permanent marker, then the tiles were colored with liquid watercolors. Once dry, students picked a background mat. It is tempting for children to pick their favorite color but they are learning to pick a background that enhances and complements their work. The tiles were displayed as a group and brought happiness to office visitors the last few weeks.
Once we completed this project, we continued exploring colors in liquid form. We colored with permanent markers, which previously did not smear when combined with watercolor inks. This time, we applied rubbing alcohol, which breaks down the permanent ink and creates fun effects on the drawing. Next, we dripped concentrated liquid watercolors into milk, then dripped in the rubbing alcohol. This was a variation on an experiment using food coloring, milk, and dish soap. Finally, we did some free choice exploration using water, rubbing alcohol and concentrated watercolors during which students could try whatever combinations they desired. One first grader discovered if you saturate blotter paper with rubbing alcohol, it will no longer absorb water; it stays on top of the paper for a while.