Sunday, April 3, 2011

Wax Resist Paintings - Ocean Theme

To say my kids love to paint is an understatement. I think they’d paint all day, every day. So I knew this project would be a big hit with them. It can go along with an Ocean theme, but isn’t limited to that. I just like to use themes because they are really fun to plan.

Wax Resist Paintings

You’ll need:
Crayons (this is a great use of old ones since you need to color firmly)
White Paper (something sturdy is best, so construction paper or card stock)
Blue watercolor paint (I used blue food coloring in water)
Paint brushes (bigger sponge brushes would have been better)
Something to entertain the baby (okay that’s just me ;) )

First, you color an ocean scene. You can use this time to talk about the fish in the ocean, coral reefs, and more. My daughter also drew a submarine, so the picture isn’t limited to fish. Sunken ships, scuba divers, and even Mermaids would be a fun addition. Make sure to color really firmly on the paper. The more wax from the crayons on the paper, the better the picture will pop after painting. 

Then, you cover the entire painting with a coat of blue watercolor. The crayon will resist the paint, so even though your ocean is completely blue, your picture will show through. If there are places that are not fully colored, the paint will seep into them. 

I like this type of painting because it is less messy than most- or so I thought. I would really try to use watercolors if you have them, because at the very end of painting my son bumped his container over and made a mess. Thankfully it came right out, but I had a moment of panic. 

I remembered that we had an Ocean scenes puzzle book so while I cleaned up the mess, the kids put together the different puzzles in the book. 

Even in classrooms I like to use small groups and this project would be perfect for one. If the teacher was using an Ocean theme, it would be easy to set up different stations to visit (like the puzzles) and be able to monitor the class rather than have a large group of students painting at once. This also allows each child to work at their own pace, so that those who are finished quickly are not bored and those who want to take their time are not rushed. 


  1. Love this idea! I plan to adapt it this week. Thanks for always having such great teachable moments.

  2. What a fun idea! I can't wait to try it. I was trying to think of a good earth picture for earth day and I think this technique will be perfect!

  3. I love this! We are so going to have to do this either today or tomorrow! Thanks for the idea!!! And I think we'll go with the ocean theme too, the kids love ocean stuff like dolphins, and penguins, etc... oh and they will probably draw in sponge bob too! lol


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