Saturday, August 29, 2009
How to Teach A Child To Paint Continued: How to Clean a Paintbrush
Note: I give the lesson on "How to Clean a Paintbrush" after I give the one on "Parts of a Paintbrush."
The above photo is of the tray I put together for cleaning a paintbrush. The two glass containers are for the following 1.) soapy water to initially loosen paint from the brush 2.) clear water to rinse the brush. The dish with three sections is used for the following: one section holds cut pieces of paper towel, the second has small rectangles of yellow felt for drying and shaping the head of the paintbrush and the third is for thin pieces of sponge also used to dry the hairs of the brush.
The smaller, second tray to the right of the Cleaning a Paintbrush tray is a refill tray for the first tray. This second tray is only out for the photo and is not taken to the table unless the child needs to re-supply the Cleaning a Paintbrush Tray. The white, square ceramic plate is to place soiled pieces of paper towel and felt on. The child carries this tray to the garbage and empties it at the end of the work.
The Cleaning a Paintbrush tray is brought to the table by the child after they have cleaned the paint tray and all other items on the tray leaving only the brushes to be cared for. They also bring an oil cloth or a place mat to the table. They take each item from the tray and place it on the oil cloth. They then return the empty, wooden tray to the shelf so as to serve as a place holder
The child, although finished painting, does not take off their art aprons until they have finished this work. Next, they remove the brush(es) from their various paint pots or resting trays and wipe any remaining paint off with a small piece of paper towel found on the Paintbrush Cleaning Tray.
They continue by taking the partially cleaned brush and placing it on the ceramic rest, also found on the tray. The child then fills the small pitcher with water. They put a few drops of dish soap (I keep a small bottle of dish soap in the Practical Life area for floor washing.) into one of the glass containers and pour the water from the pitcher into it. A funnel is kept on the tray to assist in pouring the water into the container.
Using the partially cleaned brush, they stir the soapy water to wash away more paint. They then lift the brush from the water and carefully check the hairs for paint. If needed they return the brush to the soapy water until the hairs are clean.
Now they refill the pitcher with clean water and pour the water into the second glass container in which they place the paintbrush rinsing it clean. The child removes the wet paintbrush and rolls it across the piece of sponge on the tray so as to partially dry the brush and to do some preliminary shaping of the brush hairs.
Now they "dress" the brush by wiping it between the folded drying-cloth (small, piece of rectangular felt) also found on the tray. The child carefully shapes the hairs of the brush back to a point or a flat edge.
They return the brush to the container holding a variety of paintbrushes in the art area positioning the brush so that the hairs are pointing up. Having the brush hairs down in a jar or any other container will damage the head.
The final steps include putting the dirty drying-cloth in the laundry basket, putting the used paper towel pieces in the garbage, emptying the containers of water and drying the containers, refilling the paper towel pieces and drying-cloths on the tray if needed. The child then retrieves the larger, wooden tray from the shelf and places each of the items carefully on it. The child returns the wooden tray to the shelf. Lastly, the child removes their art apron.
I keep a laminated sheet with each step listed in the art area along with the one titled, "Parts of a Paintbrush" and another titled, "How To Clean an Art Tray."