Now that we've finally plowed through our supply of donated powdered tempera, as the man responsible for managing our curriculum supplies budget, I've had to re-think how we use it. We can still use it for floating powder paintings, for instance, but it is now cost prohibitive to just turn the kids loose with the stuff as we once did, letting them mix their paint to whatever consistency and in whatever amount they wished.
It was a glorious and engaging project, however, one that I hope one day to be able to afford again, but in the meantime, we came up with an alternative: we just stirred flour into regular tempura paint, then used tools like these . . .
. . . to "paint" with our thick paint.
The texture was less like mud than when using the powdered tempera and more like a type of dough, slightly sticky, with a tendency to "rebound" into previous shapes if not "stretched" enough. I heard some of the children compare it to frosting. Others noticed the flour-y fragrance.
I've always found it hard to take pictures of heavily textured work like this -- there's always some part of the painting that's out of focus, not to mention that the scraps of cardboard and mat board upon which we were working, warped and buckled as the paint cured (some of the kids used the paint-dough so liberally it's hard to think of it as "drying").
Then, as I've been trying to do with many of our indoor art projects, after having practiced on our individual pieces, we took the whole thing outdoors to have a go at it as a piece of community art.
It was fun, and the results are evoking lots of comparisons to Van Gogh, but I'm still waiting for that next donation of powdered tempera.