Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Marker ink as watercolor

Don't throw away those dried up washable markers! They can be soaked in water to create "re-purposed" watercolor paint! I had about 24 packs of markers from last year that I just couldn't throw away. They had just enough juice in them but not enough as far as the students were concerned. I had read online (Pinterest, Cassie Stephen's blog) how to soak markers in cups of water over night to create this "marker juice" paint. So I went forth and sorted the colors, soaked them, and what I discovered was...free paint! Woo-hoo!

Soaking markers

I really like to use watercolors in the classroom but I find the primary grades tend to muck up the lighter colors by not properly rinsing brushes and the older students were less mindful about applying the paint with enough water to make it flow. Marker ink were a great way to paint with the effect of watercolor.

The more markers you soak in a cup, the brighter and bolder the color. If you want to dilute colors, just use less markers or add more water to the cup. It is so simple and is a great way to control the color's brilliancy.

The students were really amazed by how simple this was and even went home and asked their parents to help them do it with their dried up markers. Whats more is that it is washable. If it spills on clothing, hands, etc...it is easily cleaned up.

Here are some photographs of the marker ink paint in use.

3rd graders used the marker ink to mix intermediate colors.

1st grade painted Henri Matisse's "Fish bowl"

3rd grade painted Paul Cezanne's "Still life with apples"

These marker inks are a great alternative or addition to watercolor paints. They also can serve as a stepping stone to tempera painting as students learn to mix colors and handle brushes.