Artist & Writer, San Francisco Bay Area

Mindful Painting at CoG

In the Art Studio with CoG Engineers, starting with red watercolor before adding more colors of paint

Week 2 at the Center of Gravity, here are the youngest kids getting a close look at their brushes and applying paint to their hands watercolor paper. 🙂 This week we worked with the colors red, yellow, green, and blue. I showed them how I divided the paper into four spaces, dividing the paper horizontally and vertically, though all I told them was “see here how I’m drawing a line down the middle like this” then I turned the paper “and another line down the middle again.” As I placed the papers before them, especially the youngest needed to get a sense of paying attention to their paper where they’d be doing the artwork.

  • I had them point at one of the spaces on the top of their paper, then point below it, then point at the other space on the bottom, then point at the space right above that. I watched as they guided their fingers around the paper. This was to call their attention to all the space, to think about what they would do in each part.
  • I passed out oil pastels one color at a time, and I gave them direction to draw one color in one space, then use another color for the next space. I knew this wouldn’t’ work for all the children. Some began drawing as soon as they get the color, others are taking in so much information about what’s happening in the art studio that it’s hard for them to hear the instruction, and that’s OK. They’re just getting started.
  • Next I passed out one watercolor at a time. and as best as they were able, they applied color into different parts of their picture.



  • continued our reminders on using the paintbrush with a gentle sweep like a broom, not smooshing it :).
  • emphasized rinsing in between colors and mixing paint on the paper rather than in the palette
  • encouraged them to make their art on the paper rather than on the paper towel (for drying the brushes after rinsing) and not just mixing colors in the rinsing jar (this is why I prefer non-transparent rinsing cups)


  • since we had already talked through each of the four quadrants of their papers, I reminded them to think of the whole paper (“what will you paint in that corner?”


  • observed that watercolor paint sticks to the paper but not the oil pastel. Oil vs. Water.
Two projects with corresponding palette used by these two preschool artists
%d bloggers like this: