Watercolor Fish

These are your basic crayon resist fish, but with a new twist.… stu­dents painted the fish sep­a­rately from the back­ground, then we glued them on top after every­thing was dry. The result is a back­ground that looks con­tin­u­ous. Try sprin­kling some salt on your back­ground before it dries for an inter­est­ing, “watery” effect! I like to put up lots of visual ref­er­ences for stu­dents to look at for inspi­ra­tion.… cal­en­dar pages work well for this. (Ask par­ents to donate their old cal­en­dars at the end of the year!)

1. First, paint your back­ground on a piece of 9x12 heavy weight con­struc­tion paper or water­color paper. Use col­ors that you might see in the ocean.… blues, greens, turquoise, pur­ple, etc. Use lots of water and pig­ment, so your col­ors are bright!
2. Quickly, before your paint has a chance to dry (while it still has a “sheen” to it), sprin­kle some salt on your paint­ing (we used rock salt this time and it seemed to work even bet­ter than nor­mal salt). Set your paint­ing aside to dry overnight.
3. Now,
use a pen­cil to draw a large fish in the cen­ter of another piece of the same size paper . Don’t worry about draw­ing a fish that looks exactly like one of the exam­ples, but just com­bine dif­fer­ent bod­ies, fins, tails, etc. to make your draw­ing “fish-ish”. Add some fun pat­terns and details.
Then, trace over your pen­cil lines with a black crayon, press­ing hard.
5. Finally, use water­col­ors to paint your fish. Make it bright and col­or­ful!
6. Let both paint­ings dry overnight. Then, the next day you can brush the salt off of your back­ground paint­ing. (For the salt to take full effect,
it really is impor­tant to let your paint­ing dry overnight, so be patient!)
7. Cut out your fish (or have an adult help you) and glue it onto the back­ground. (“Yes! Paste” is the very best thing to use for this project, as it will dry flat and per­ma­nent and won’t peel up or pop off like glue sticks will!)

These delight­ful paint­ings were done by my some of my first graders, for our Kid­sKreations fundraiser project. This is a great project for re-printing onto prod­ucts because of the high suc­cess rate (every­one was happy with their paint­ing), the bright col­ors and the charm­ing, child-like designs. I can’t wait to see how adorable they look printed on cut­ting boards, note cards, cof­fee mugs, and more!!

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One Response to Watercolor Fish

  1. the momma November 5, 2009 at 9:59 am #

    thought you might like to see what we did. http://pursuingjoy.blogspot.com/2009/11/under-sea.html


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