Snowflake Crayon Resist

This fun lesson was inspired by a project I saw on Art Projects for Kids“Watercolor Resist Snowflakes”. I changed it up just a little for my Kindergarten classes and they had a blast doing this!

First we talked a bit about snowflakes and then I showed them some amazing photographs of real snowflakes (taken with a special microscope) in The Little Book of Snowflakes by Kenneth Liebrecht.

Next, we learned how to draw a snowflake using diagonal and horizontal lines:

1. Draw a tall, skinny “X”.
2. Draw a
horizontal line through the middle of it.
3. “Decorate” each of the six branches in the same way, using short lines and small circles or dots.

Then we used white oil pastels and watercolor to create our snow paintings:

1. Write the word “SNOW” across the middle of your 12×18 white construction paper using white oil pastel. Make your letters big and go over them several times to make them nice and thick.
2. Now draw as many snowflakes as you can all over your paper. Fill every empty space with different snowflake designs.
3. Use a Sharpie to write your name near the bottom.
4. Finally, paint over your entire paper with a colorful watercolor wash. Use lots of water so your paint will be transparent. Every time you pick up more paint, dip your brush in the water first. Experiment with mixing lots of different colors!

Tip: When Kindergarten students want to pick up more paint on their brush, they will often forget to add water and instead grind their brush into the paint, producing what we like to call a “bad hair day” (see below). I find myself reminding them over and over that if they have to press hard with their brush to get more paint, that means they need to add more water!! This can be hard on your paint sets (and brushes!), but kinders learn by doing and eventually proper brush techniques will sink in! Don’t let this stop you from giving your students lots of opportunities to work with this versatile medium. With practice, most of them will have the hang of it by first grade.
Avoid a “bad hair day” by reminding your students to use plenty of water when they paint with watercolors! One last tip…. Save your good brushes for other projects and use your cheap ones (the red-handled ones that come in the paint sets) for this project. The oil pastel gets into the hairs and you might need to use soap to wash it out.

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7 Responses to Snowflake Crayon Resist

  1. pink and green mama January 28, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    So cute!! An Adorable Lesson as always!! : )

  2. Alicia January 19, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    i love this! i found it on pinterest and we're totally doing this today :)

  3. Cheryl December 15, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    Hi Cheryl. Question… would it work to use white crayon instead of oil pastel? Im room mom this friday for my sons 1st grade class. I was also considering (because we will be short on craft time/tools) doing dyed bubbles over their words and flakes. …or maybe spray bottles with watered down paint. (???) What do u think??? :)

    • Cheryl Trowbridge December 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

      Yes – those all sound like good ideas!! White crayons will work fine as long as they press hard. You could use liquid watercolor in spray bottles – works great and it’s inexpensive. How do you make dyed bubbles??

      • cheryl December 19, 2012 at 9:42 am #

        You just add food coloring to the bubbles! (fun, right?) …Although, I’m worried about the mess/stain potential in his classroom.

        I only have 20 minutes, at the end of the day to do a craft (and nothing like planning at the last minute, as usual–lol!). I’m worried about the paint/drying time/clean up…

        Cheryl, do you have any suggestions for me??? Would be SO appreciative. Being as I have my own art studio/boutique line, the other room moms can’t wait to see what I bring to the table. So funny–I’m so clueless when it comes to a kids project. :))) …still trying to find something fun, fast and back-pack ready at finish. (gulp)

  4. Cheryl Trowbridge December 19, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Hi Cheryl,
    If you’re looking for “something fun, fast and back-pack ready at finish”, I would recommend my “Candy Cane-O-Grams” project (…. I usually do it with 2nd grade, but 1st grade could do it with a little help at the rolling stage. You can cut the paper to a square and skip the ruler – I’ve found that works better. The kids LOVE this project – it’s always a hit! Good luck and let me know how it goes!!
    Cheryl Trowbridge recently posted..Monochromatic Snow Scene with MarkersMy Profile

    • cheryl December 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

      It’s funny–I saw that post right after I wrote you and totally agree! I think it’s perfect for the season of giving. Sure to spread love and cheer. You rock! thanks so much for being so kind to correspond with me. :)
      cheryl recently posted..Designer Q&A with Sherri BlumMy Profile