Watercolour Painting Techniques

Painting with watercolours is a fun and easy way to express yourself creatively. This activity will allow you to experiment using household items to create different watercolour textures.  

This is a great warm up for the Intuitive Painting lesson, so feel free to try out that activity when you’re finished! Watch the video or read below for a step-by-step guide on watercolour techniques. 

Step One: Gather Materials 

You’ll need to gather the following materials before you start creating your watercolour painting. 

  • A piece of paper (watercolour paper or regular paper) 
  • Masking tape 
  • Sharpie for labelling 
  • Watercolour paints 
  • Paintbrushes 
  • Gauze 
  • Container of water 
  • Container of salt 
  • Container of saltwater (½ cup water, 1 tsp salt) 
  • Container of water and bleach mixture (½ cup water, ¼ tsp bleach) 
  • Rubbing alcohol 
  • Rice 
  • Cling wrap 

Step Two: Prepare Workstation

Use masking tape to divide your piece of paper into eight rectangular sections. 

Before putting each piece of tape on the paper, you may want to stick it to your clothes so that it gathers a little lint. This will ensure that the tape isn’t too sticky and it will be easy to remove at the end of your project without ripping the paper. 

Tape the edges of your paper down to the surface you’ll be working on. 

Step Three: Water 

Wet a paintbrush and paint one section of the paper with water. If you’re using regular paper, be sure not to use too much water so that the paper doesn’t warp. 

Choose a colour of paint and try painting over the water. Experiment with smooth brush strokes, short dabs, and using different colours to see how the paint moves. 

As you complete each section, use your sharpie to write the materials you used on the masking tape. (ie water, salt, saltwater) 

Step Four: Salt  

Wet your paintbrush and paint another section of the paper with water. Choose some colours and fill the section with paint.  

Take a few pinches of salt and sprinkle it over the paint. Notice how the salt changes the texture of the colours. 

Step Five: Saltwater 

Dip a different paintbrush in the saltwater mixture and paint the third section of your paper with saltwater.  

Choose some colours and paint some dots over the saltwater, noticing how the saltwater changes the texture of the colours. 

Step Six: Bleach Mixture 

Dip a fresh paintbrush in the water and bleach mixture and paint the fourth section of your paper with it. Make sure you’re next to an open window for this step as there may be some fumes from the bleach. 

Paint some dots over the water and bleach mixture, noticing how the colours move and what texture is created. 

Step Seven: Gauze 

Dip your paintbrush into the regular water and paint the fifth section of your paper with it. Choose some colours and paint over the water. 

Place a piece of gauze on top of the paint. Wet your brush and add a little water on top of the gauze to stick it to the page. 

Step Eight: Rubbing Alcohol 

Dip your paintbrush into the regular water and paint the sixth section of your paper with it. Choose some colours and paint over the water. 

Take a capful of rubbing alcohol and use either a dropper or an older paintbrush to add drops of the alcohol to the paint. Experiment adding drops from different distances and notice how It changes the texture of the paint. 

Step Nine: Rice 

Dip your paintbrush into the regular water and paint the seventh section of your paper with it. Choose some colours and paint over the water.  

Drop some granules of rice over the paint and notice the texture it creates. 

Step Ten: Cling Wrap 

Dip your paintbrush into the regular water and paint the final section of your paper with it. Choose some colours and paint over the water. Place a small piece of cling wrap over the paint and press it down. 

Once your piece of paper is dry, remove the cling wrap, the rice, the gauze, and the masking tape. 

Your watercolour painting experiment is now complete. Don’t forget to take a picture and share it on social media with #DAREtogether and tag DAREarts so we can see what you’ve created! 

Looking for more creative activities? Visit our Learn From Home Centre

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