I’ve been blogging on and off for a number of years. Never have I quite devoted myself to the task the way I (sort of) have this year. I follow many truly wonderful blogs and see some amazing and relevant things going on. To head in that direction, the direction of relevance and AMAZING (with sparkles!), I’m going to venture into “features”. The 2010-2011 school year marks my fourth year of teaching but boy have I come a long way.* I’ve noticed a lot of great lesson sharing out there but not nearly enough “I’ve-gotta-use-this-and-nothing-else-because-my-world-would-crumble!!” product sharing. Allow me the pleasure of attempting to fill that humongous gap.
My head is swirling with products that art teachers NEED(!) and need NOW! Most of my musings will be elementary focused because that is my element, but I have a feeling I’ll be throwing in some other goodies here and there. I’ve decided to start my adventure with something truly delightful and colorful: Richeson Large Tempera Cakes.
I’ll admit that this was my first foray into tempera cakes. I had never seen the appeal, probably because most tempera cakes are not very bright and can not withstand the torture only children aged 5-11 can inflict upon paint sets! I decided to purchase two sets of the Primary (regular, on the left) and Secondary (bright, on the right) trays. They were either purchased from the Nasco or the Sax catalogue. The color created by these tempera cakes is rich and opaque.
You activate the color the same way as watercolor. A nice, bold color is yielded without much water. My students are having a difficult time with this concept. They are used to watercolors and want to slather the cakes in H2O. While this does not interfere with the success of the product it does dilute the color considerably. This is where they learn to retrace their steps to make the color darker. I have been using them consistently recently and are proving themselves to be long-lasting. We’re all keen on materials that go the extra mile!
If you happen to be in the market for tempera cakes then these are a great choice. I quite enjoy using them and my students are having fun playing with a new media.
*My time teaching may look brief if numbers alone were used to determined competence. I must assure you I am exceedingly knowledgable having built my art room up from the remains of art-on-a-cart. In the teaching world of today my four years in a steady job looks amazing. I can’t tell you how many of my fellow artist educators bounce from school to school. I am lucky, to be sure!