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3 of the BEST Watercolor Painting Art Activities for your Kids & Family

art activity ideas art lessons for kids free art lessons & printables Apr 22, 2022

Watercolor Painting is one of the MOST versatile & effective ways to get your kids and family painting and engaged in the art making process. Let's dive in on 3 of the BEST Watercolor Painting Art Activities to Start with your Children: Resist Painting, Salt Sea Turtles, and Outdoor Plein Air Painting. Keep reading because I have a free Watercolor painting technique template available to download in the blog post. #watercolorpainting #watercolorpaintsforbeginners


Experiment with Watercolor Resist Painting Techniques:

The first idea is to experiment with resist painting techniques. I love this because you can use wax crayons or oil pastels and then just paint right over top and those areas with wax crayon or oil pastel will resist the paint. This means you can paint over lines without them bleeding (like felt marker would) or you can draw with WHITE and paint over for some super cool ghostly lines where the paper has no paint on it.

With your kids, draw big fish using wax crayons or watercolor paints. Next, you're going to add DETAILS with lines and shapes using your wax crayons or oil pastels. Make sure you use some white as well to add in magical lines you won't see until you paint.

Finally, get painting. Add your paint color choices on top and watch that wax crayon or oil pastel resist the paint.



For the next artwork, together draw out some sea turtles on paper using your wax crayons. Next, paint them in with your favorite sea turtle colors.

BUT here is the twist for this one: while the paint is still wet, sprinkle salt onto the wet paper and let it dry with the salt on it. The salt is going to pull that paint toward it. Once dry, rub it off to reveal a beautiful texture. Try both fine and course salt for different results.



Grab some clip boards, watercolor paper or cardstock, your watercolor paints, and 1 jar of water in an old salsa or pickle jar to share and head outdoors with your art making materials (and your kids of course!). 

This time you're going to find somewhere to sit, either in your backyard or at a park or anywhere outdoors. Spend some time looking and once each of you sees something you like, get our your paints and paint it. You can choose to sketch with pencil first OR dive right into observational drawing with paint instead. Plein Air painting is the process of painting outdoors so get out there and make some art.



Wet-on-Wet Painting: Water down the paper and then paint wet paint onto wet paper. This is an important technique for developing textures exclusive to watercolor paints and for creating and developing beautiful gradients that can be used for water or your background.

Wet-on-Dry Painting: Paint wet paint onto dry paper with this technique to get some crisp lines! Just don’t let the colors touch or you will get a bleed out, although I do rather like those myself!

 Sponge: Use a sponge to apply paint or lift off paint to create texture.
 Salt: Apply salt onto wet watercolor paint and then let it dry. You’ll notice right away that the paint is drawn toward the salt and of course this creates texture as it dries. Rub the salt off when it is completely dry. Try fine and course salt, although my personal preference is course.

 Thick & Thin: Experiment with painting Thick & Thin lines

Bubble wrap, cling wrap, and foil: Dab wet watercolor paint on paper with these to create interesting texture. Works great on a wash background.

 Tissue Paper: Dab the wet watercolor painted paper with tissue paper to lift paint and create beautiful texture. The brown paper towels in schools that are stiff and scratchy work well for this as well.

Resist Painting: Use wax crayon or oil pastel and draw lines first then apply paint on top for resist effects. Use white to create lines where the paper shows through.

Rubbing Alcohol or Lemon Juice: both of these can be dripped onto the wet painted paper to create amazing textures!


FREE Printable Watercolor Painting Technique Template

Make sure you grab this free watercolor technique template here and then watch the video below to see it in action. You can even play the video with your kids if you want me to teach while you support your children or re-do the demonstration like an “I do/You do” for each technique later.





Enjoy a FREE Family Art Night!

Enjoy a full, free family art night that you can enjoy at home with all family members! As well, enjoy weekly art ideas and inspiration! Join my newsletter and make art with your family tonight! 

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