When creating my book, Olly & The Spores of Oak Hill, I decided to paint the chapter art using watercolors. Many of these paintings incorporated my fictional mushroom characters (Cremini, Truffle, and Magpie). When the Medina County Library asked me to do a watercolor class for kids and teens, I jumped at the opportunity. The class filled fast and I had a full house with 20 attendees.
I thought it would be fun to share the basics of watercolor with kids and teens wanting to learn a new hobby. We discussed the supplies needed, some tricks and tips, and practiced some basic watercolor techniques (wet on wet, wet on dry, color buildup, gradients, precision painting, masking, and outlining with pencil or marker).
Here is the example I used to start the kids into the project:
My goal was to show the students how to paint their own whimsical mushroom creatures, much like the ones in the book. They all did a wonderful job creating their own unique vision of magical mushroom creatures, pictured at the bottom of this post.
At the end of the class, Mel Vavra, the Teen Librarian at Brunswick Library, picked her favorite paintings and those artists won prizes (signed copies of Olly & The Spores of Oak Hill, watercolor paper, a 48-color paint set, mushroom plant stakes, and twig pencils). Each student was able to take home their prizes, their painting, a paint brush, a paint palette, and mushroom stickers.