We’ve been getting really into watercolor painting in our house recently. The kids love painting, and we used to use mostly tempera paints and our trusty easel. But tempera requires quite a bit of supervision, especially with Heidi, who tends to accidentally flick paint on walls and furniture! The watercolors give the girls all the fun of painting, with much less concern about permanent mess in the house!
Recently, we tried watercolor resist painting for a fun project. I got the idea from Helen over at Arty Crafty Kids. We drew some lines on the paper with black oil pastel, and let the girls fill in the spaces with watercolor. They both loved it, and the paintings they made are really beautiful! We got liquid watercolors from Text Book Centre, which come in small tubes. (Unlike the standard watercolors, which come in a palette and are a lot harder for younger kids to use.) A tiny dot of the liquid paint mixed with water goes a long way!
The concept behind this technique is that oil and water do not mix, so the waxy oil pastels create a barrier across which the watercolor paints won’t spread. The effect is almost like stained glass. You can use glue, tape, or other materials for watercolor resist as well.
Even Heidi, at age 3, can do this with minimal help. Her colors get mixed together a bit, but the results are still really lovely! Both kids were really happy to sit at the art table and do this for over an hour. I helped to draw the lines with the oil pastels, though Claire could also easily do this herself.
I love the paintings the girls made, and I especially loved how easy it was to clean up afterward. The girls were really proud of their artwork, as well. (We gave these to Jesse for his birthday!)
This is another great craft to do during school holidays, weekends, or even just a random weekday afternoon, because it’s so easy. Let me know if you give it a try! I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Enjoy!