Try This Easy Watercolor Resist

Oil and water don’t mix, right? That is the premise of doing a resist painting using watercolor and oil pastels. When you draw with an oily substance and paint over it, the liquid will resist the oil and soak into the paper around it. The results are beautiful and children of all ages love it.

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Oil pastels have been one of my favorite drawing tools to use and to teach young children with. When they see how the paint can go right on top of their drawings and just paint around it they are always amazed. If you show them how you can use a white pastel they will think it is magic! Crayons are another waxy tool that works as well but the oil pastels glide on smooth and the colors are much more vibrant. This simple watercolor resist technique is one of my go to activities that is always a hit and so simple to do.

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We started out doing a drawing or design of their choice using these oil pastels.

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When they were done with their drawing, they began adding the paint on top and around their designs. We love using liquid watercolors because they produce bright colors and the results are beautiful. They can be a little pricey but I found mine discounted at a craft store. Any type of watercolor works, however. If you are using a traditional tray with watercolor cakes, just make sure the child has a wet brush and swirls it around several times to get enough color.

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These little condiment cups are great for dispensing paint into and preventing waste. When we are done using them we just pop the lids back on and use it another time. These cups were great when I was teaching too and they are useful for tempera paint and for storing other small materials.

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See how the paint beads on top of the pastels and fills in the spaces between?

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This was Willa’s. I think her favorite part was using the oil pastels!

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This one was Lila’s. She sat there for a long time making this and she put a lot of thought into her design and color choices. I love that this is something easy the girls can do without my assistance. When I set the materials out I know I can walk away and let them get creative independently.