To begin I disassembled the boards from the easel which were warping and replaced them with Plexiglas. When drilling into Plexiglas I discovered you need to place something underneath like a wood block, so that it doesn't crack. Lesson learned the hard way.
Transparent side (more on that later):
I then covered one side of the Plexiglas with contact paper to create a translucent effect and left the other transparent.
I placed Dura-Lar over the translucent side. I set out the paints the children mixed.The light source comes from an uncovered lamp under the easel.
The effect was lovely.
The painting quickly became a hands on experience with the children using their hands as pallets to mix paints:
Later I learned that paint wont stick to Dura-Lar which ultimately is fine with me as we are process, not product oriented and the children can see the effect of the light on their paintings.
But I'm not one to give up, so I had a thought to add a layer of spray adhesive (which I applied outside due to aerosol restrictions) to see if perhaps it would provide the necessary 'bite' for the paint.
It seemed to help, though it will still flake off if you crinkle the paper. For this reason I hung their art in the 'science' window where it would be protected, and they can still see light filter through.
We're also experimenting with adding a little glue to the paint to see if it will adhere better as well. I'll let you know when today's work dries if it was succesful or not.