It's been a while since I've posted a craft project. And this one falls right in line with our Easter preparations. Which thankfully are happening more and more in our hearts and conversations and less and less at Target and in the kitchen. The remembrance of Jesus on the cross on Good Friday is somber and full of reflection. Easter is when all the lights come on and the day is full of celebration in thanks for our risen Savior. There are several activities and Bible stories I am hoping to share with you in the next couple of weeks so that you can pick one or two and use them with your family to prepare your hearts for the somber waiting of Good Friday and the jubilant celebration of Easter. Yesterday, I led a craft with the kids at our church which is appropriate for kids age 2-adults! Everyone loved it and was able to complete it on their own. I was a little surprised at how intimidating watercolor is for most people, but it's really simple if you just remember three words. Water, paint, paper.
For your supplies you need watercolor paper, watercolors, a paint brush, a cup for water, and painters tape. Notice I said watercolor paper. Cardstock, printer paper, and construction paper aren't made to hold the amount of water that you need to use for painting with watercolors. So do yourself a favor and go grab some from a craft store. I get mine at Hobby Lobby in a notepad. It comes with 30 sheets for about $10. Take along a 40% off coupon and you'll get it for a steal at $6! For the paint, I prefer Crayola watercolors. They take on water very well and the colors are extra brilliant. Some of the cheaper brands tend to take a long time to absorb any water, so if this is the kind you have around your house, just put a couple drops of water in each color and let them sit there for a while before you paint (about 10 minutes). Any old brush will do just fine for this project. And be sure you have painters tape, not masking tape, duct tape, or packing tape. (I know, I used masking tape in the pictures...)The other kinds will rip the top layer off your paper at the end and make you sad (which it did for mine).
To begin, tape around the edge of your paper. This accomplishes two things. It creates a border for your art and adheres the paper to the table so it won't move around while you are painting.
Next, tape a cross in the center of the paper.
Now begin painting. Do you remember your three words? Water-paint-paper. If you are doing this with small children you will say that phrase 600 times before its all said and done. Now just let them have complete freedom with what colors they choose. This may drive some of you nutso, but it's time to let go. If you can't stop messing with theirs, make one of your own! Don't worry if all of the paints begin to look brown. You'll just run a little water over them at the end and they'll clear right up. Keep reminding them, water-paint-paper!
Keep painting until all the white paper not covered by tape has been painted. It's important to paint right up to the tape lines. Don't worry, it won't seep under.
When everything white has been painted wait until the paint is dry, or at leats not dripping wet anymore. Then slowly remove the tape. Now the contract of the white cross against what may have seemed like a mess of paint and ugly colors stands out brilliantly.
To take this art project deeper this about it in terms of the dark, swirling, mixed up paint as our sin. It's a mess. There is no reason or order to it. It is out of control. (See why I wouldn't let you control it?) But there is hope! By dying on the cross, Jesus literally erased our record of sin (Which is what your painting depicts as you remove the tape). By believing in Christ we are justified. Elyse Fitzpatrick puts it like this:
Justification means that our record before God is 'just as if we had never sinned.' Never sinned? No, never. And while this is wonderful news, it is only half the story. It also means, 'just as if we had always obeyed!' We've been given a record of complete righteousness!
Now what if your child's painting (or yours) didn't turn out dark and ugly? That's great! You can focus on the glorious day when Jesus rose from the grave and washed all our sins away!
I hope you enjoy this art project, watercolor can bee so soothing a peaceful. But more so, I hope that it will stir your affections for Christ as you rejoice in the fact that we as believers have been given the righteousness of God. (Romans 3:21-22) Let your parched soul drink in that truth today.