Wet on Wet Painting

We've been trying wet on wet painting. It's a technique I've seen used at our local Steiner School when we visit their Summer and Christmas Fairs. There is quite a lot of Steiner-based discourse regarding wet on wet painting but I confess I just liked introducing the children to a new painting technique without there being too much 'thinking' behind it. I'd be interested to hear what any readers think - am I missing something? I used Windsor and Newton Cotman Watercolours, which come in little tubes for ease of mixing and to avoid colour contamination. Z and E had three different sized flat-headed brushes to paint with. Using a painting tray the paper was immersed in water before starting.

I limited the colour palette to yellow, blue and red so that they could blend the colours themselves and they were quite happy using just single or two colours together. The great thing about this method was V could also get involved as it doesn't require much pressure to make a good splash of colour. If you'd like to try this yourself I found this pdf from Stockmar quite useful.

Stockmare Wet on Wet Technique


  1. I'm with you on not really knowing / needing to know the theory behind it all, I think it's simply great for kids to try new things, and experiment. Anything with water is bound to be fun for them, it's inevitable when we do "watercolour" painting at home here that the whole page ends up totally wet at some times.
    I actually went to a Steiner school for a year when I was 9, and I remember doing countless 'wet' paintings of rainbows! For years my Mum made gift tags out of the chopped up discards :) My Mum was actually an artist herself, and she didn't really like that we did so much 'wet' painting at that school, it was really limiting, and I remember her asking the teachers to let me do 'dry' painting, but they didn't want me to! At home I did very intricate little watercolours and acrylics, Mum made sure of that! ;)

  2. I take Torin to our local Steiner parent and toddler group and we've done it there - he had a great time! I didn't even realise there was a theory behind this type of painting - at their level, the Steiner philosophy doesn't really come in much at the toddler group - it's all about using natural materials and respecting the earth, which I like and think is a good thing really. Looks like you all had fun!

  3. You see, I was right! You guys are always doing something fun and exciting!
    I don't think it's worth worrying about the theory - surely it's more important to be having fun at this stage, and encouraging creative expression?


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