Turtle with Wax Resist

Wax Resist

Wax resist works because oil and water don’t mix; the oil in the wax repels water. For this project, your child will use crayons (the wax) and watercolors to create a sea turtle painting.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Crayons (any color)
  • Watercolors
  • Paint brushes
  • Watercolor paper
  • Cup of water
  • Paper towel
  • Pencil  and eraser
  • Scratch paper, such as copy paper
  • Masking tape and cardboard (at least as large as your watercolor paper) – optional

To begin, have your child come up with a turtle design. She might make the turtle realistic-looking or more whimsical. She can design the turtle in pencil on the copy paper.

Next, have her draw the turtle in crayon on the watercolor paper. She can use any color; they will all show up well. For a realistic sea turtle, she could use green, yellow, or brown. My students have enjoyed making whimsical turtles, however, adding a variety of patterns and colors to the shells.

Now, with a white crayon, add small circles or dots around the turtle for bubbles. Older children might choose to draw more in white. White is a fun color to use with a watercolor/wax resist painting; you can’t see the crayon on the white paper, but when you add the paint, the image “magically” appears. However, it is more difficult to draw with white on white paper since students can’t really see what they’re drawing.

Once the turtle is finished, it’s time to add the ocean background. Before your child starts painting, you can affix the watercolor paper to a piece of cardboard. Do this by taping all four sides to the cardboard with masking tape. Depending on how much water your child adds to the paint, the paper may buckle; taping it to the cardboard will allow it to dry flat.

Next, add some water to the paint to make it flow easily. Have your child choose ocean colors – blues and greens – and paint the whole paper. The paint won’t cover anything drawn in crayon!

Photo by chooyutshing



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