Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"Salt Watercolor" Paintings

I have been having the kids try out as many different painting techniques as I can find. This was another fun one that is more about the process than the final results. (Like the corn syrup paintings, these paintings don't have much staying power so you can't really save them, but they are simple and neat to make.) The only problem I found is that my kids were perhaps a bit too young to understand how to paint with watercolors and not end up dissolving the salt in the process. I would suggest that this would work better for elementary age kids and up. Here is where I found the idea for this painting project.

{It's really fun to watch the watercolors quickly spread over the raised texture.}
  • boxboard (or paper)
  • white glue
  • salt
  • watercolor paints
  • paintbrush
  • tray for doing project on (optional)
{Logan, age 2, is obviously a bit young for this.}
  1. Before starting, I suggest doing this on a tray. We used baking sheets. Place your boxboard (or paper) onto the tray.
  2. Have your child draw a design using white glue.
  3. Help your child pour a generous amount of salt to cover all of the glue. (I found it was most effective if the glue ended up looking at least twice as thick as before adding salt.) Note: This is where the tray comes in handy. Just brush aside the excess salt and save for the next project. You won't end up with a mess all over you table.
  4. Dip the paintbrush into the watercolors and then gently touch it to the salt/glue mixture. Do not press down or use brushstrokes because the salt will dissolve and make a mess.
  5. Allow the paintings to dry so you can compare how they look wet versus dry. You probably won't be able to save them, however. We found that they got pretty flaky once dry.

{Mia's Painting ~ Still Wet}
{Dry Painting by Mia, Age 5}  

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