Quick, easy and fun art

     Have you ever used one of those Easter egg coloring kits from the supermarket, the ones that come with a small assortment of food dyes and a clear wax crayon?  You use the crayon to make invisible patterns on a hard-boiled egg before dipping the egg into the dye.  Half the fun is watching the design form as the color saturates the egg. 

     This same principle can be used for a neat effect with watercolor paints, using paper in place of the egg and watercolors and inks instead of food dyes.  You’ll want to start with watercolor paper, but don’t hesitate to experiment with other kinds of paper. The only papers to avoid are soft, porous papers like rice paper or construction paper, because these will blot up the paint or ink too much.

     Take a large piece of white watercolor paper (10 x 14 is a good size) and use masking tape to tape the edges of the paper to a sturdy surface such as a drawing board or piece of masonite or heavy cardboard.  If you want to make greeting cards using this method, use a pencil and ruler to divide the paper off into rectangles of a size that can be glued to your greeting card blanks.

     The next step is to pencil in your design.  If you’re doing greeting cards, you could put different designs in each rectangle, such as a snow-covered tree, a family of snowmen, snowflakes, or a stained glass window design. 

     Now get out a box of crayons.  Light colored crayons such as white, yellow, pink, or orange, work best with dark watercolors or inks.  Later on you might want to try dark colored crayons with light watercolors.  If you want to do snow scenes, just use a white crayon and try dark blue and purple paints or inks.  Go over your pencil lines with crayon.  You don’t have to dig holes in the paper, but press hard enough that you put down a good amount of crayon wax on the paper.

     Using a large watercolor brush, totally saturate the paper with clear water.  Now begin applying the selected inks or watercolors.  The crayon will resist the liquid coloring just as it did on the Easter Eggs.  Blend purples and blues for a rich sky effect, or bright pinks, reds and yellows for a more festive mood.  If you’ve made a stained glass window design, you can have a blast with all kinds of color. 

     Don’t feel limited to just using a brush.  You can stipple paint or ink with a toothbrush, or try using a sponge to blot the paper in places to control values.  Use your imagination.

     When your painting or card designs are finished, let the paper dry completely.  The masking tape will hold it down and keep it from buckling.  When everything is dry, carefully peel off the masking tape.  If you’re making cards, cut out the rectangles and mount each design on a card blank (available at places like Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby or United Supply).  You can use a good quality glue stick or double-sided tape to mount the designs. 

     This is quick, easy and fun and the results are exciting and impressive no matter what skill level you’re at!




Published by on December 2011. Filed under Art-to-Art Palette Journal, HowDoit PB dept, Paint Box Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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