How to do Black Paper Painting with School Paints

Black Paper Painting with School Paints:

Try painting on black paper instead of a stark white blank page.  

It adds a dramatic mood your painting even before you begin painting any colours on the page.  The black undertone seems to enhance the intensity of the colours.

See the examples below.

kiwi on black paper
Kiwi on black paper

You can do the same if you are painting on a canvas by painting the background black. These days there are plenty of brands that have a Black Gesso (primer, sealer and undercoat) available in black

Painting on Black Paper brings out the paint colours
Painting on Black Paper brings out the colours

To help use a paint that has strong bright bold and true colours like FAS Super Tempera.  It always helps to use fine art supplies right from the start.

FAS Super Tempera

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How to do School Glitter Painting – Using Messy Glitter for art in the classroom.

School Painting – Glitter Paint
Using Messy Glitter for art in the classroom.

Working with Glitter is Messy.

Glitter is Messy, it just is. Any art teacher will tell you that using glitter in the classroom for art projects is a messy nightmare.

Glitter gets everywhere! Once it is on your hands, it’s on your face, it’s in your hair, then door handles, benchtops, chairs and floors.  And don’t get me started on clothing.

Glitter just is messy to use in the classroom
Glitter just is messy to use at home and the classroom

So why do we put up with all this mess?  
It’s all about the bling, the sparkle.

Is there a way to use glitter without so much mess?
The simple answer is yes.  It has been around for a long time too.  
Glitter Paint. The glitter particles are held together within a paint and this stops the messy transfer of glitter that is normally left loose to fly around the room.  

Is Glitter applied with a Paste or Glue less messy?
You brush out your paste on the paper then sprinkle glitter onto the wet glue.  This doesn’t work either as glitter still gets everywhere because the glitter is loose and still gets airborne. 

Glitter Paints:
The issue with most glitter paints is that it just does not sparkle in the way that would excite most kids enough to use it.  

Why does most glitter paint look boring and flat?  
Paint is made to cover a surface and when you add a pigment coloured paint over glitter particles you instantly lose a lot of the real glitter sparkle.  It is like covering a pile glitter with a sheet of coloured cellophane, you instantly lose around 15% of the natural sparkle of the glitter.

A lot of the Glitter Paints are made to a budget school grade price.  This simply means less glitter in the paint.  The glitter paint ends with less sparkly-bling for your money.  To get any real sparkle you end up having to use quite number of coats of paint or paint far too thickly that takes a very long time to dry.
How to paint with FAS School Glitter Paint
How to paint with FAS School Glitter Paint

How to use Glitter Paint.
Here are a few tips to get the best out of Glitter Paint.
1. Paint Your Glitter Paint Thickly.  
To get intense concentration of glitter try painting thickly.  This may take longer to dry but once it dries the glitter is more concentrated.  Be careful not to apply too thick as this may over-wet thinner paper causing it to fall apart.  If you are concerned about this, you could try painting two coats of the glitter paint.
2. Super Bright Glittering Colours: 
To get amazing bright glittering colours.  Undercoat with a Tempera Paint and allow to dry.  Then apply your Glitter Paint over top.  This is ideal for Christmas decorations or when you need bright strong colours that really sparkle.  Try a red tempera paint with red glitter, green tempera paint with green etc.
3. Metallic Bling: 
Undercoat with a metallic paint and then apply glitter of that same metallic colour over the top.

Buying Glitter Paint:
Avoid budget glitter that has very little glitter partials in the paint.

Non-Toxic - Look for safety standards on the label.

FAS - Fine Art Supplies school Glitter Paints
FAS - Fine Art Supplies Glitter Paints

Children’s liquid Watercolour School Paint – Is it a dye or a paint?

Children’s liquid Watercolour School Paints
Is it a dye or a paint?

If you look around websites at school paints these days you see Tempera, Poster Paint, Gouache and now in the last 7 years or more there are these watercolours.

Brands like Discount School Supplies “Liquid Watercolor” and Sargent Art “Watercolor Magic” are popping up. What are they?  Are they new?

Is it a Watercolour Paint or a School Dye?
Is it a school watercolour or a Dye
A watercolour or a dye?

Sargent Art “Watercolor Magic”
Sargent Art “Watercolor Magic”

Using waterbased dye in the classroom as an educational painting experience has been around for over 40 years in a lot of countries like Australia, England, New Zealand & Singapore.  But it would seem that it is a relatively new thing in USA. This may be why it is considered it as a magic watercolour.

Is it a Paint or a Dye?

Both these brands of watercolour paints are technically dyes and not paints. Liquid Watercolor and Watercolor Magic are vegetable based dyes but they a labelled as a watercolor paints.  This because you can create watercolour effects with these painting dyes.  It is also a well known fact that dyes stain skin and little hands; so calling products in the US watercolour and not a dye is quite a clever bit of marketing.

The good news is schools looking to use either dyes or watercolours in the classroom can do all the art projects you find online for both the school painting dyes and school watercolours.  They are both the same kind of product. An educational dye.

Painting Dyes:
There are a lot of Painting Dyes around outside USA and they can do all the techniques that these magic liquid watercolours can do.  The most economical around is a powder dyes that you can make up what you need in seconds by simply adding water. A little goes a long way.
FAS Fine Art Suppleis Painting Dye
FAS Fine Art Supplies Painting Dye 

What is the difference between "Real School Watercolours and School Dyes?

In this case just the label. Byt technically a paint sits on top of a surface and a dye will soak in. But with watercolours the paint is watered down to have the look and feel of a dye by soaking into the painting surface.

Mixing Colours:
Dyes have no pigment in the formulation and technically real watercolour paint does.  Real pigmented paint is brilliant for mixing colours together but dyes tend to get dirtier the more you mix two colours together.  Dye tends to blend together rather than mix together to produce a bright new colour.  They do mix but not as well.

Staining Hands:
Dyes also tend to stain skin with a lingering colour.  Sometimes just for hours but other times it is for days.  It could be the level of concentration of the dye. But it makes no difference if you scrub with soap the stain just lingers. We found Watercolor violet purple was the worst.  It took days to go.  Kids can go home looking like a blue smurf.

Super Dye - 

New Formulation technology allows up to 

90% wash-off hands instantly with water

Dyes tend to fade very quickly over time and a quality paint that is not watered down too much can last and be non-fading.  This why we don’t dye our houses we use a pigmented paint. There other diffrences but these are 3 key ones.

Painting Dyes or school watercolour paints like those listed in this blog post have been around for over 40 years and only seem to be newer thing in some countries like USA. 

These School Watercolour Paints and the School dyes are effectively the very same thing. Just branded differently. 

Schools looking to use in the classroom either a school dye or a school watercolour paint for art projects can do all tradional school dye projects or the school watercolour paint projects you find online.  

But If you want to mix colours and traditional way without getting stained hands, then look for Tempera (temporary) Paints. Like FAS Super Tempera or try the new FAS Super Dye that allows up to 90% of the dye to wash-off hands instantly with water.

FAS Super Tempera

Dish Brush Tree Painting with Free Tree PDF Template

Dish Brush Tree Painting
Dish Brush Tree Painting

This artwork looks so complicated and detailed but it’s not. It’s so easy to create the detailed leaves with a simple plastic dish brush and to help with the tree; we have a free Tree Outline Template with our printable PDF of this lesson plan.

Use an old dish brush for painting leaves
You will Need:
To print off the Free Tree Template
Paint: Thick quality paint.  SuperTempera or Student Acrylic are both ideal for this.
Old Plastic Dish Brush
Spare sheets of paper for testing.
Shallow paint trays or old plastic container lids.
Paint brushes

Black marker for details.

Let’s Get Started:

Print off the Template of the tree trunk.

Pour a little paint on to your paint tray or plastic container lids.  You will only need a little amount.  If you are painting autumn colours use yellow, orange and deep yellow.  Otherwise use green and leaf green for the tree leaves.

Use a pressing stamping action with the brush to get the leaves effect on the branches of the tree.  Try testing on a spare sheet of paper until you are happy 
with the consistency of the paint.

When you have finished the leaves paint the trunk and showing branches with a paint brush.

Once dried you can use a black marker for highlights.   

Free PDF Template:
Can be downloaded from here. Free Template
It is on page 2.

School Lesson Painting with Dyes and a marker.

Painting with Dyes and a marker.

Other Cool School Painting Projects: 

This is quick, colourful and fun. You can paint simple pictures quickly and you end up with a very bright watercolour effect.  The black marker adds a interesting but detailed effect to the painting.

Download the printerable PDF of this lesson: >>

LEVEL: Pre-school and Primary.

You will need:
: A school water base painting dye - or a food dye
: Paper (not too thin) 
: Black Marker Pen
: Pencil
: Brushes. (Soft hair watercolour brushes are better): Apron and a cover sheet or newspapers or paper towels

Let’s get started:
First make sure you have protection on the painting surfaces.  Wear old clothing, smocks or aprons.

Start with a very simple basic outline pencil sketch.  

Make sure the outlines are dark enough for the children to paint around.
Pour the dyes into trays and paint pots.  

Start to paint in your picture using one brush per colour.  Try not to overload your brush.  The lighter you paint the better the watercolour effect and it will dry much faster.

Once dry use a black marker to outline the details. It is important not to use the market before you paint as some markers will react with the dye and spoil the picture.

: You can mix colours but things can quickly get messy with dirty colours and dirty brushes.
:Thin paper can get over wet and fall apart.

You Might also enjoy: School Paint Projects  

Free Mixing Paint colours guide with school paints

Mixing paint colours free PDF guide.

Mixing paint colours free PDF guide.

Mixing paint colours free PDF guide.

Everyone has a favourite colour.  With your imagination, and use of the basic colour theory, colour can be lots of fun.

Learning how two colours make a third new colour is one of the most exciting discoverable things about being creative with paints.

We have made is easy for you with this free colour mixing PDF guide.
It is so easy to use. Just print it add and mix the colours.


  • Print the PDF in colour.
  • Place a small amount of paint in the colour of each “+” squares and in the “=” squares place the two colours.
  • Have plenty of clean brushes ready.
  • Brush out each “+” square with a clean brush.
  • Mix the square with the two colours to show the colours the two colours together made.

This works well as a group project.  One colour guide per table. 
Use small amounts of paint per square work best.
If you laminate the sheets that can be used over and over again.

Download Here >>

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Tony Parker

Kandinsky Circles Class Art Project:

Kandinsky Circles Class Art Project:
With School paints.   - each child paints their own sqaure.

A brilliant school paint project for the whole class to do together.  

Make a huge colourful master painting that will dominate the room for the rest of the year. 

Kandinsky Circles Class Art Project with school paints
Our huge 6ft square canvas - each child painted thier own sqaure

You will need:
:Acrylic paints (if you use a canvas)
:Tempera paints (if you use newsprint or cartridge paper)
:Plenty of paint brushes
:Big ruler or measuring tape.
:Huge Canvas / roll of cartridge paper or join sheets of paper with packing tape.

Before we begin.  
There are a few ways to do this project.
: On a huge canvas (like we did - see picture above). You will need acrylics paints if you do paint on a canvas.
: Paper – you will need to create a huge square by taping paper together.  Tempera poster paints are ideal for this.

Let's get started:
1. Using a ruler and a little maths. Divide the surface into even squares enough so every child has a square each or maybe two squares each.

2 . Appoint a square to each child.

3. Using a range of bright colours. Have each child paint their square a solid bright colour. Allow to dry.

4. Once the backgrounds are dry; get the children to paint a small oval circle inside their square using a different brush for each colour paint. For best results try not to make perfect circles.

5. Continue making rings around the oval using a different colour. Keep doing this until you reach or get close to the edge of the square.  Trying not to let everyone use the same colour combinations.
Squares with Concentric Circles by Wassily Kandinsky
Squares with Concentric Circles by Wassily Kandinsky
Using bright alternating colours.

Bigger the full painting surface the better the full final impact.

Try not to make perfectly round circles in each square to keep it interesting.

Share and enjoy,
Tony Parker
FAS Paints

Pulled String Pictures with School Paints

Pulled String Pictures with School Paints

This is great fun.
Kids can make unique works of art by dipping string into paint.

Download the PDF Lesson Plan

You will need
• String
• Paint and paper• Paper plates for paint
 A covered surface

This is a very effective and easy activity. 

1. Lay out a piece of paper and fold it in half, then open it back up laying it open.

2. Arrange the string on one side of the paper.  Then immersed the string in one of the paint colours.

3. With one hand on top of the paper pressing the paper together, pull the string out with the other hand. 

4. Repeat with another colour and a clean piece of string.


: Too many colours of paint seem to look messy. Try two or three bright colours.

: Even an acrylic works well

Share and enjoy.
Tony Parker