The ‘resist’ technique with watercolours is a classic art project for young children. I remember using wax crayons when I was at school, but I think oil pastels are more effective as a water-repellent, and are also far more satisfying to draw with, producing a denser texture and richer colour than crayons.
At Art Club, we always enjoy looking to great artists for ideas, and for this project it was the Swiss painter Paul Klee (1879-1940) whose beautiful oil and watercolour painting ‘Golden Fish’ (1925) also combines oil and water-based media. We looked, in particular, at the shapes and forms of the seaweed and plants surrounding Klee’s golden fish, but I also brought along some photographs of real fish and sea creatures for the children to refer to.
They created their own fish drawings using oil pastels, and then it was time to add the ocean by loading up a large household paintbrush with blue or black watercolours and washing them left and right across the paper.
When the oil in the pastels repels (resists) the water in the paint, a fantastic watery effect is created – particularly where the children have drawn ‘invisible’ marks using white oil pastel, which are then revealed as if by magic!
Please click below to view more pictures…