The Art Of Dyeing Easter Eggs

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 24 - The Art of Dyeing Easter Eggs - Doodlewash

When thinking of our prompt of “smooth” today, I thought of eggs, which lead to memories of dyeing Easter eggs as a child. The reference photos and instructions for dyeing Easter eggs I found online were, shall we say, rather pristine. Eggs are always shown delicately placed on spoons and lowered neatly into a pool of colored dye. Though I can’t speak for others who have dyed eggs, I can certainly say this was not how it happened in my house. Instead, it was a glorious and gleeful experiment in color. A science project that yielded wildly colored eggs with happy little splotches of bright hues that extended to the paper towels and the white paper or newspaper covering the table of my little art studio. Eggs weren’t lowered with a spoon so much as plunked in by my little hand and eagerly fished out later with the little wire egg dipper that came in the kit. When I discovered using a white crayon would add patterns, since it resists the dye, I was even more enthralled. It was perfectly messy and thoroughly enjoyable!

Dyeing Easter Eggs The Proper Way

As an adult, I don’t usually dye eggs anymore, but I’m thinking about trying it again this year so figured I should brush up on my skills. The original dye kit I used as a kid is still available and now comes in a convenient kit for sharing. This means that Philippe and I wouldn’t have to fight over the coloring cups, which I think would be a good thing. The process with these kits is awesomely simple in that you just dissolve a little color tablet in a one cup container using either one tablespoon of vinegar if want super vibrant eggs, or one tablespoon of water if you want pastel colors. Once dissolved, add 1/2 cup water and you’re ready to dunk some eggs!!

Okay, my childish exuberance involved a lot of plunking eggs, but the instructions did clearly say to gently place them in the cups. The longer you let your eggs bathe in the mixture, the darker the color. And the little wire instrument that comes with it is used to remove the egg, letting the liquid drain off for a moment, before placing it aside to let it dry.

Dyeing Easter Eggs My Way

Okay, so those were the rules, but as ever, I didn’t always adhere to them. I was impatient, so I would snatch an egg out of one pool of color and dunk it into another just to see what would happen. Sometimes, this experiment came with super awesome results and other times it was more of a muddy fright. The thing was, back then, I didn’t really care. It was just so much fun! I loved seeing what would happen when I mixed colors together and even though it made a bit of a mess, it was way more enjoyable than following step by step instructions. Doing something in a systematic fashion to get a controlled result has never once appealed to me.

I think the best Easter eggs were the ones created with extreme joy and a silliness that comes from trying whatever comes to mind in the moment. Looking back, this was my first experience with painting, and I suppose water color, and it’s still rather close to the way I paint today. I’ve studied all the steps and know exactly how I’m supposed to paint with watercolor, but then I branch out and do it in the way that feels natural in the moment. I never worried about whether or not I was doing it correctly back then, so I choose not to worry about those sorts of things today. Bits of imperfection and your own personal approach are what make a piece of artwork more interesting. A lesson I now realize I learned as a child, lost in the art of dyeing Easter eggs.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Nickel Azo Yellow, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise and Cobalt Blue .  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
 #WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 24 - The Art of Dyeing Easter Eggs - Doodlewash

Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Rod Fletcher 5 years ago

    I think the jelly beans and eggs reveal your love affair with colour beautifully

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Aww thanks so much, Rod! 😃💕I do have a love affair with colour!

  2. Sharon Nolfi 5 years ago

    You’ve captured perfectly the pure joy of unrestrained egg dying! My kids acted exactly as you describe yourself as a child. My husband and I always let them go wild. Those memories are some of the sweetest they carry today. Your painted egg scene is appropriately messy and colorful.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕Yeah, I think the “go wild” way is always the most fun!

  3. Sandra Strait 5 years ago

    Every single technique ever discovered was discovered because someone tried what felt natural instead of doing what everyone else was doing. Love your painting of colored eggs, your method of coloring eggs, and your stories of coloring eggs!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕 So true… it’s all the little messes, mishaps and breaking the norm that creates some of life’s coolest things!

  4. Mary Roff 5 years ago

    Nice eggs….LOVE the splatters!!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mary!! 😃💕 hehe… this one was screaming for splatters!

  5. Lisa 5 years ago

    I loved to dye eggs too! And those that you triple dipped to make strips were my favorite. Grandma always gave me Leggs pantyhose eggs in my basket, so I had giant eggs too. And peeps! Who can forget peeps! I’m going to have to get some Easter candy by the time next week is over! Thanks Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Yay! Glad you’re an egg dyeing fan as well, Lisa! 😃💕 Yay to triple-dipping… hehe… that was always the most fun!

  6. Jui 5 years ago

    nice painting as always and very informative.

  7. Kaye Boggs 5 years ago

    It seems like yesterday that my grandson would come to my house to dye eggs. A dozen was never enough so we would do two dozen and he acted just like you, Charlie. He couldn’t wait more than a minute to pull it out by the little wire thingy to see the colored egg and then plunge it into another color to see how it would mix together. Then he would pass the egg to me to draw a face on it and clean up his mess while he watched SpongeBob on RV.. Now he’s 16, driving his own car and is probably dying eggs with his girlfriend!.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Awesome!! hehe… yep… he sounds just like me back then. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next! And loved to mix colors! Such fun memories! 😃💕

  8. Miss Gentileschi 5 years ago

    Aww – this evokes some wonderful childhood memories! Loved dyeing eggs and thought of trying it this year again, but alas, it´s already Easter soon and I haven´t got the time! Maybe a bit later on in the year then 😉

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Yay! Glad you enjoyed this one! 😃💕 Yeah… I didn’t get to do it yet either. There’s still a small window of time though so I haven’t given up hope.

  9. smzang 4 years ago

    I loved those little wax “crayons” that came in the kits.
    My two sisters and I used to make an egg for each family member
    With Their Name on It (we were sure that made them as valuable
    as a Faberge.) Then we would dip the egg half way into one color,
    let it dry, then dip the other half in another color. Our hens seemed
    to sense the need for increased production during Easter, so we
    ate egg salad sandwiches in every lunch for a week after Easter.

    Your painting and your article is like swimming in a pool of wonderful
    colors…Dyeing eggs always made me want to do that.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      We did the same thing!! So fun!! It was great have your own little egg with your name on it! So happy you enjoyed this one, Sarah! 😃💕

  10. theartunicorn 4 years ago

    I rember always dying Easter eggs and getting my fingers all colorful.

  11. […] Easter and for those of you celebrating, I hope you had a wonderful one! As a kid, I used to love dyeing Easter eggs on the days leading up to today, but each time I pointed the kits out at the store, Philippe just […]

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