When I was complaining about water spills/tempera painting with little ones,
another art teacher (30 years experienced) told me he doesn't use water.
(For years he didn't have a sink - now he does, but still skips the water).
I have tried this, and now I love to tempera paint with the kids - believe
it or not.
I put out kraft paper on the table (cafeteria picnic style table) and I
reuse it a million times. You can also use newspaper and throw it away.
Then... I show the children (believe K's learn this well), how I will.....
1.I squirt out puddles of paint, a couple of inches apart) on a piece of 12
X 18 manilla paper. They may put their brush in from the side of the puddle
(NEVER in the middle) and drag out some paint to mix with another color. Of
course, I explain that if they put their brush in the middle of the puddle,
they will get the original paint color messed up) I have the kids repeat
this to me several times in unison, in a question and answer way.
2. They mix their colors on the manilla paper, and after they are done
painting with that new color, they clean their brushes on the newspaper or
kraft paper (as best as they can). Yes, the brushes never get totally clean,
believe me they work hard at it; but the colors they make ARE SO much
richer, because they are never as pure. They get beautiful colors - and not
just primaries and secondaries.
3. When its time to clean up, I have them clean brushes as best as possible
on the paper, I then go around and collect them in a container of water,
throw out their palettes and NO SPILLS.
I love this because it is easier, colors are richer and I don't have to give
kids paint in its own container and tell them not to mix it up. They love
experimenting with the color mixing and constantly call me over to show me
their new colors. Fran in NJ