by Lauren Fallat, LPC LPAT ATR-BC
Mindfulness has become a popular buzzword in recent years, as people have begun to recognize the value of living in the present moment. While there are many ways to practice mindfulness, art therapy is one of the most accessible and enjoyable. Using the inspiration of geodes to create watercolor paintings is a great way to pair nature imagery with the wet-on-wet watercolor technique.
Geode painting can be used with preschoolers all the way up through adults. This activity can be adapted to different materials and mediums based on individual needs and available supplies, which makes it adaptable whether you are at home or on the go.
What are geodes? A geode is a type of rock formation that is found in sedimentary and volcanic rocks. Geodes often look like normal rocks on the outside but have amazing crystals on the inside. They are made up of different types of minerals and the inside of a geode is hollow and is filled with small crystals. They are usually round or oval in shape and have an external shell that is different in color from the interior of the rock. Though typically found in dry areas, geodes can form in a variety of environments including coal mines, caves, and near hot springs. Geodes are beautiful, mysterious rocks that can be found all over the world.
Painting them is a great way to show off their natural beauty as well as engage in a mindful painting activity. The process of painting a geode can help you to focus on the present moment, and to pay attention to the details of your work. There is something about the ebb and flow of colors on a wet canvas that is so mesmerizing, soothing, and calming. In addition, watercolor painting is often seen as a relaxing and therapeutic activity.
Geodes are natural rocks that have a crystalline interior. When you paint them, you can let your creativity flow and enjoy the simple act of creating something beautiful. There is something about the ethereal beauty of watercolor paintings that is incredibly relaxing and calming. Perhaps it is the soft, translucent colors, or the way the paint seems to flow across the paper in an almost effortless manner.
For this activity, you will need thin and wide-tipped markers, watercolor paints, a palette or tubes of watercolor are sufficient based on what you have available to you, a cup of water, paper towels or rags, 2 pieces of watercolor paper or mixed media paper (at least 9 x 12”), and a variety of sizes of watercolor brushes to your liking.
For this activity, you will utilize the wet-on-wet painting technique (you can reference one of our previous blogs for further instructions by searching “wet-on-wet technique” in the search bar) to create your unique geode paintings! You can first look up different images of geodes for inspiration and to help in choosing your color scheme. Then take one piece of paper and rip (not cut!) 2 oval shapes, one palm sized and one a bit larger than your hand. Glue these ovals onto the second piece of paper, larger oval first and then the smaller oval in the middle of that one stacked on top of each other. Take your markers and begin to make outlines around the oval shapes in the middle. Continue to add marker lines with small spaces or gaps in between, at least 5 lines. Experiment with a wider tipped marker and expand the size of the gap between your lines as you expand out.
Finally, you can add the watercolor paints to your geode. Add two darker colors to the middle ovals and then use water to expand the paint outward as you continue to make more rings with the watercolors. Remember to relax and bring your focus to the lines and colors being created!
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