Greetings! I hope you are all finding ways to relax and make the best of your time at home. I know that is easier said than done as anxiety creeps in, so Chad, my ready and willing husband, and I filmed a simple kid-friendly tutorial that will hopefully bring some chuckles to your home. Read through to the end of this post to see our jokes and learn some fun scientific facts!
We call this activity Making Watercolor Blob Characters. Essentially, we are going to blob some water and color onto paper and then make those odd and unexpected shapes come to life! Here’s what we came up with on a fun Friday night of isolation…
Here are the materials you’ll need to join us:
Paints: Inktense Paint Pan Travel Set: You can use whatever watercolors you have at home, but this compact set of Inktense products is wonderful for artists of all ages and the colors are incredibly vibrant. Link: https://www.dickblick.com/products/derwent-inktense-paint-pan-travel-set/
Watercolor paper: Just like the paints, any watercolor paper will work for this activity, but if you’re interested in really focusing your watercolor skills in the upcoming weeks of isolation, I recommend ordering some Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolor Blocks. I always order the 7” x 10” Cold Press option for smaller paintings. For most tutorials, I will be using this size. Link: https://www.dickblick.com/products/winsor-and-newton-professional-watercolor-blocks/
Brushes: Use any brushes you like! I recommend having a few large and a few small options.
Micron pen or thin marker for drawing: We will use this to add detail to our characters.
Pencil with an eraser
And here’s the video! Remember to scroll to the bottom of this blog post to get a good laugh at our terrible jokes!
Let’s talk about jumping genes. Also known as transposons, jumping genes were discovered in the 1940s and they are mobile DNA sequences capable of moving or “jumping” along a chromosome. Depending on where they end up, they can cause genetic mutations and drive gene expression (Schwink, 2016). More recent studies are revealing that transposons may play a direct role in the evolution of our immune pathways (Broecker & Moelling, 2019). Want to learn more? Visit this link to read the full article: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2019.00051/full
Mr. Onion Head… He’s sharing an interesting quote. Did you know there’s an old wives’ tale claiming that a raw cut onion could help you ward off the bubonic plague (The National Onion Association, n.d.)? Just to be clear, this is NOT TRUE, but it does make for relevant conversation! While these roots won’t keep you from contracting a virus, they are certainly a good source of complex carbohydrates for your diet. Eat up!
This one needs no explanation. Stay healthy, people!
Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoy this activity! Please share your painting and jokes on instagram by tagging @abbynurrewatercolor ! We all need a good laugh right now and I hope this brings a little splash of color to your day!
Broecker, F. & Moelling, K. (2019). Evolution of immune systems from viruses and transposable elements. Frontiers in Microbiology, 10(51), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.00051 Retrieved from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2019.00051/full
Schwink, S. (2016, June 13). “Jumping genes”: Real-time transposon activity in living cells. Illinois IGB. Retrieved from https://www.igb.illinois.edu/article/jumping-genes-real-time-transposon-activity-living-cells
The National Onion Association. (n.d.). Onions & Flu. The Onion Authority. Retrieved from https://www.onions-usa.org/tips-myths-faqs/onions-flu/