Video:Double Loading Painting Technique

Double loading is a painting technique I use in all my art classes. It’s super easy, eliminates some common painting problems like using too much water , plus it’s truly beautiful. After many requests asking me to explain how I teach this cool technique, I have finally done it! Here is a short video (1:45 seconds) showing how the the process works…

Here are some art lessons that use the double-load technique:



Here are a few art lessons that use the double-loading technique…

Fourth Grade Royalty

Sixth Grade Rouault-Inspired Kings & Queens

Fifth Grade Stained-glass Fruitbowls

Kinder Snowy Owls

Looking for more techniques to use with tempera paint? Try Smoothing & Scratching!

3 techniques you should try with your next tempera paint project

3 techniques you should try with your next tempera paint project

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  1. [...] To see a demo of the double-loading technique, click here. [...]

  2. Victoria says:

    I love the video! Straight to the point with lovely music in the background :)

  3. Oh my goodness- that is the coolest!!! Linking to you this weekend in my “recommended reads/links.” Something so simple produces such lovely results. (And cool video, by the way!) :-)

  4. Sorry to comment again, but I just thought of a question. How do you manage the messy pallets with classes coming in and out? I assume you have to clean them after each period? Do you let students rinse and refill?

    • Spelling correction (because I am OCD that way)- palettes, not pallets.
      I swear this is my final remark on this website today.

    • Patty Palmer says:

      Re: Palettes. I generally don’t do a whole day of double-loading painting projects and at most will have one back-to-back classes that will do similar projects. So, all I do is squeeze more paint directly on top of the messy paint. Because the kids don’t swirl the paint in the palettes, only dip and scoop, the layering of paint in this manner works really well. Also, the students share palettes: 1 palette per table group of 4-6 kids.
      At the end of the day I do have lots of messy palettes!

    • michelle says:

      I use ice cream bucket lids…Gallon lids… I keep them at end of the year ice cream socials at school and church. They can have more tempera poured on top of each tiny quarter sized pile of tempera also…
      Then when dry, and the palettes are no longer needed, they flake and can be tipped into trash can before rinsing.

      These can also be used as “Yarn Barns.” Drill or trim 3-4 small holes in the top of the lids, thread yarn ball end of yarn through top of the lid, put the lids back on the buckets. Only teacher enters the “barns” to “fix” any yarn that is tangled. Also…keep one arm length hanging OUT of the top at all times…so the yarn doesn’t fall back into the bucket.

  5. Sarah says:

    Love the video!. I’m interested in the answer to Susan’s palette question! I am using cheap paper plates so clean up is quick. If I had my older kids in the afternoon, I would have them help clean…but I have 2nd, 1st and kinders at the end of the day. Paper plates seem like they might get too dry, too quickly using this method?

  6. Barb says:

    Great video. Always trying to encourage kids to be “painterly” and this is a great way of showing them how.

  7. [...] all about it from the wonderful Patty Palmer over at Deep Space Sparkle. You must check out her brief and informative video in which she demonstrates this technique. Such beautiful results from such a simple [...]

  8. Anoush Cowles says:

    I use the double dip method a lot with my students, and we use paper plates! I find that two or three classes in a row can use the same plate if I freshen it up with a new squeeze in between classes, but I really emphasize that students should just dip and paint, not mix the colors together on the plate (because then it takes away other people’s choices).

    If I’m just using a few similar colors for multiple classes (like brown, black, and white) I will sometimes wipe the globs off at the end of the day into the garbage and let the plates dry out. These I can reuse about three times before they’re dead. (This only really works with the wax coated plates, the waxless plates I don’t bother to reuse for more than one day.)

    If we’re using a bunch of colors I’ll put warm colors on half the tables, and cool colors on the other half, and have students move to whatever table they need to be at.

  9. Hi Patty,

    Thanks for the great tutorial. I got inspired and tried this technique with my summer art camp kids and they loved it!

    I posted about it on my blog

    Thanks and keep up the great work!


  10. […] me a chance to introduce tints by placing both white and blue in a paint palette and showing how to double-load brushes to achieve a soft blue or […]

  11. […] to try it? Here’s a video to watch to get a sense of what double-loading can […]

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About Patty

I teach art to 400 school children in Goleta, California. My art library contains hundreds of free art lesson ideas. My shop has art lesson plans, videos and resources to help you teach art to kids. It's a whole lot easier with Deep Space Sparkle.

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