I’m a bit shocked that my five years of art-centered parenthood have been largely devoid of liquid watercolors — an art-making, creative staple. We have a bountiful and ever-growing art supply stash, and welcoming liquid watercolors into the mix was long overdue. They’re so vibrant! And washable! And easy to paint with! And versatile! I’m in the midst of lesson-planning for a preschool fine art class and knew we couldn’t get away one more day without exploring the unbounded potential of this awesome material. Even baby K has begun arranging the colorful bottles on our art table, nudging me to set her up with a painting project. So this week was filled with water-coloring, which left our playroom teeming with productions and our windows adorned from head to toe. You can’t go wrong with a liquid watercolor experiment, but over the next few days I’ll be sharing a few of our favorite activities. Let’s start with a project that explores texture: Crayon Resist Stained Glass with a Watercolor Wash. We built upon the classic wax paper + crayon + iron project in order to heighten texture and color contrast.
What You Need
- Pencil sharpener
- Wax paper
- White paper
- Liquid water color or watercolor cakes
- Paint brush
What You Do:
- Pull out your old crayons and use a pencil sharpener to make crayon shavings.
- Arrange your shavings on a piece of crinkled up wax paper.
- Flatten out wax paper and place between two sheets of white paper (the glossier the better, but we used basic computer paper).
- Iron the crayon sandwich.
- Unveil your melted crayon images — you’ll have two — one on the wax paper and one on the white paper. The white paper image is a print of the wax paper image — it’s an impression of the wax paper matrix, to use printmaking lingo.
- Crinkle up both images again (this allows for interesting textures and makes room for the water color wash).
- Cut to a desired shape, if you like.
- Wash, or paint, the images with water color (the brighter color, the more vibrant the wash will appear). The watercolor will saturate the areas of the paper that are not protected by crayon (the areas exposed through the wrinkling process), and resist the areas that are.
- Let dry and hang near light.
Gorgeous, right? Look at the color bleeding, color harmonies and textural patterns — definitely Fine Art for kids.