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7 Watercolor Techniques for Kids

by Jean Van't Hul
March 12, 2023
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These watercolor techniques for kids are exciting and interesting alternatives to basic watercolor painting. You’ll want to try all seven!

Updated April 2023

We love experimenting with different watercolor techniques, adding new twists to our favorite tools and techniques as well as trying out new ideas.

Our experiments include dropping and spreading the watercolors, adding rubbing alcohol and salt, using the watercolors with water and without, and painting on the light table.

But first, check out our notes about art materials we like to use for these watercolor techniques.

watercolor techniques pin
Photo by Rachel Withers

Our Favorite Watercolor Art Materials

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1. Watercolors

Liquid watercolor paints are one of our all-time favorite art materials and we use them most often when doing watercolor art projects.

You can also use a watercolor palette or watered down food coloring for watercolor painting and experimenting.

For more of our favorite paint recommendations see The Best Paints for Kids.

2. Paper

We typically use watercolor paper for these type of art activities. It really is the best for painting with watercolors because of the thickness and texture.

We’ve also used watercolors on poster board and tag board and it works okay.

If you want even more information on paper, we have a whole post on choosing paper for children’s art.

3. Tools

The tools you see in this post include droppers (inexpensive and so great for all sorts of art and science experiments), paint brushes, small paint cups in a base (not necessary, but inexpensive and helpful), art trays (great for protecting your work surface but you could also use newspaper or a waterproof tablecloth).

4. Additional Materials

Salt is likely already in your kitchen and rubbing alcohol in your bathroom cupboard but both are also readily and inexpensively available at grocery stores and drug stores.

watercolor techniques for kids
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

7 Watercolor Techniques

blow painting
Photo by Andrea Martelle

1. Blow Painting

Blow painting with straws is simple yet lots of fun for kids of all ages. Use a straw to blow liquid watercolors around on paper.

toothpick paint fireworks watercolor techniques for Kids
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

2. Make Watercolor Fireworks

Instead of using a straw to blow the paint around the paper, use a toothpick to create spikes and fireworks!

watercolor techniques for Kids on the light table
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

3. Watercolors On the Light Table

Vibrant liquid watercolors are extra beautiful with the light shining up through them! For this project, you can tape a sheet of easel paper to the top of the DIY light table rather than watercolor paper, because it will allow the light to pass through more readily.

salty watercolors
Photo by Andrea Martelle

4. Raised Salt Painting

Glue, salt and watercolors are all you need for this simple and fun art activity. We do this one again and again and it’s always a hit!

moon watercolor painting
Photo by Rachel Withers

5. Watercolor with Rubbing Alcohol Designs

This one is one of our favorites! It was mesmerizing to watch the drops of rubbing alcohol react with the watercolor paint and create circular designs.

It is also a great technique to use when painting butterflies!

Galaxies space art with watercolors and sticker resist
Photo by Andrea Martelle

6. Watercolors + Salt

We’ve been sprinkling salt on our watercolor paintings for ages and love the designs it creates as the salt absorbs the water in the paint.

watercolor resist watercolor techniques for Kids
Photo by Andrea Martelle

7. Watercolor Wax Resist

There are so many great watercolor resist techniques and we love them all. The easiest is wax resisit watercolors: simply draw on paper with crayons or oil pastels, and then paint over with watercolors and watch as the paint resists the wax!

Have you tried any of these watercolor techniques for kids yet?

More Watercolor Techniques for Kids

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7 Watercolor Techniques for Kids

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