LEARN AT LASM: SPICING UP WATERCOLOR

Watch the video to learn how to make your own paint from common kitchen items with LASM Exhibitions Coordinator Beth Welch and LASM Educator Hali Krista! They will teach you about the history of paint, the chemistry behind paint, natural pH indicators, and more, while guiding you through this hands-on art & science project.  

PAINT RECIPES

MAKE PAINT FROM SPICES & BERRIES

You will need:

  • Paintbrushes

  • Small bowls or cups to mix paint

  • Paper (preferably watercolor paper or other heavier paper) and/or print-outs of LASM coloring sheets 

  • 1 container with small wells (such as an ice cube tray)

  • 1/2 teaspoon of spice (per paint color)

    • Beth used paprika, ​smoked paprika, turmeric, and ground thyme, and even non-spices like coffee grounds, blueberries, and raspberries, but you can try anything in your pantry!

  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda (per paint color) OR 1/4 teaspoon of flour (for berry-based paints only)

  • 2 teaspoons of water (per paint color)

MAKE PAINT FROM FOOD COLORING

You will need:

  • Paintbrushes

  • Paper (preferably watercolor paper or other heavier paper) and/or print-outs of LASM coloring sheets 

  • 1 container with small wells (such as an ice cube tray)

  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda (per paint color)

  • 1 tablespoon of water (per paint color)

  • 5-8 drops of food coloring (per paint color)

JASON AND AMPERSAND COLORING SHEETS 

Jason.jpg
Ampersand coloring sheet.jpg

CLICK HERE or on the images above to download, print, and use these LASM coloring sheets to inspire your creativity! At the bottom of this page, you can download our full LASM coloring book for more objects to color.

"Jason," the authentic, 65-million-year-old, 1,500-pound Triceratops prosus skull on view in LASM's Solar System Gallery,  is on loan from Raising Cane's and the Graves Family. 

The LASM Ampersand ("and" symbol - &) is used to represent the intersection of art & science, which is central to LASM's belief that Art & Science inform each other, our lives, and the world.

 COLLECTION INSPIRATION

Charles Burchfield

Arching Trees, 1948

Watercolor on paper

51 ½ x 26 inches

Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 1990.007.001

In the video, Beth mentions the piece Arching Trees, which is held in LASM's collection, by Charles Burchfield (1893-1973). Burchfield (1893-1973) is known today as one of America’s most original watercolorists.

 

Growing up in Salem, Ohio, Burchfield spent many childhood hours exploring the woods near his home. During these adventures, he developed a kinship with the natural world and the mysteries it revealed. This spiritual devotion to the natural landscape can be observed in many of Burchfield’s early works, a style that he referred to as "romantic fantasy."

 

The paintings Burchfield created in the middle of his career display his stark shift to the style of Realism. Realism as an artistic style is exactly what it sounds like - the attempt to represent the artwork's subject realistically and truthfully, without embellishment or idealism. Historians believe that this stylistic shift from romantic fantasy to Realism resulted due to the artist’s service in World War I. For many years, he lost his original romantic perspective on nature, but in the 1940s, when Arching Trees was created, the distinctive, symbolic imagery of his early work returned. In this painting, you can see the renewal of spring represented by new growth that pushes from the Earth and a bright red cardinal that alights on a branch; this signals that life will soon return to the grey wood.

What will you create with your homemade watercolors? Will you strive to document your subject realistically, or will you be inspired by Burchfield's romantic fantasy style? Will you use colors that are true to your subject, or will you use colors that are different from what you see? What meanings will you assign your colors, if any? There are so many questions to ponder as you create your masterpieces with your homemade paints!

BETH'S EXAMPLES:

Beth used natural tones to paint Jason the Triceratops, mimicking his true earthy colors. This is similar to the artistic style Realism. She used the same natural tones to paint her ampersand! When painting her ampersand, she even added shadows, making the symbol look like a realistic, three-dimensional object.

HALI'S EXAMPLES:

Are Triceratops skulls blue, green, pink, and purple in real life? No! Hali chose to use these colors to add energy and fun to Jason's brownish-gray fossilized form. She used the same bright colors to paint her ampersand.

FULL ART & SCIENCE COLORING BOOK

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100 S. River Rd., Baton Rouge, LA, 70802

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lasm@lasm.org