Watercolor Resist Painting

I recently taught 600 kids this project at my daughter's school. It's very easy and most of the supplies are inexpensive. The kids really loved how the watercolor paints wouldn't mix with the oil pastels. They all turned out beautiful. This is a great project for all ages. I may have had more fun than the kids creating the samples!


Total Time: about 30 minutes


  • oil pastels or crayons
  • watercolor paints (the cheap ones are fine)
  • watercolor paper (this works best, because the paper can absorb the water. I used a 50% off coupon to purchase it at a craft store)
  • paintbrush
  • salt (optional)
  • 1 cup of water


  1. Start by drawing your picture using the oil pastels or crayons. Create an outline of your picture. The color will be filled in with the paints. It looks best to use a color different than what you will be painting it. It makes it stand out. Press firmly when making your lines so the paint can't penetrate the lines.
  2. Once the outline is done, start painting. Don't worry if the color is more saturated in areas and lighter in others. I think the effect is beautiful once it dries. If some paint goes over your outline, just dab it with a paper towel. That also creates a neat effect.
  3. An optional step is to sprinkle a little salt on the wet paint. The salt absorbs the paint and leaves a mottled appearance. It's kind of fun and the kids think it's pretty neat. Once the painting is dry, wipe off the salt.
  4. Have fun creating a bunch of watercolor resist paintings!
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