Watercolor Resist Art with Writing Lesson for Students


Objective: To visually inspire writing through textured resist art mediums

Age: 5+

Time: 30-45 minutes (writing varies)

Grades: Kindergarten +



Lesson for Crayon & Glue Resist Art

  1. Choose a topic to illustrate using masking tape or liquid glue.
  2. Choose the desired size of paper. Lighter shades will allow the ‘resist’ to appear easily.

Option 1: Masking Tape

  1. Tear strips of masking tape and tape them to your paper. The areas where you put the tape will be resisted by the watercolor.
  2. Use crayons for details on your design, like the leaves on the trees in the above example. The wax from the crayon will be “resisted” by the watercolor which will be added in the next step. Press firmly if you want the paint to resist the wax. The lighter the crayon, the more the paint will be absorbed. Re-touch with crayons as needed after it dries.
  3. Use watercolor paint to brush over your picture. NOTE: The more loosely the paint, the more it will ‘bubble-up’ and resist across the wax crayons.
  4. You can also choose to remove the tape afterward you are done with the design, so the areas underneath would be white. This is a great method for abstract designs.
  5. Decide what writing will be used to enhance the visual.
  6. Attach the writing and visual to colored paper to create desired effect.

Option 2: Liquid Glue

  1. Sketch your topic in pencil, creating the contour wide enough, leaving room for glue (or fabric paint if preferred) to be squeezed along the lines. If your lines are too close, the glue will possibly run and glob together.
  2. Put aside to dry.
  3. Choose a crayon color and trace over the glued contour to enhance its relief resist. Remember to press firmly. Re-touch with crayons as needed after it dries.
  4. Use watercolor paint to brush over your picture.
  5. Decide what writing will be used to enhance the visual.
  6. Attach the writing and visual to colored paper to create the desired effect.

Fun Tip: If you use white crayons on white paper, you will not see it at first, but once the watercolor is painted over it, the area will appear white! This is great for stars, snow, tears, clouds, or doves.

crayona and glue resist


Assess the students for their use of creativity and sense of subject setting. Depending on what you are evaluating will determine the outcome of your assessment. You can assess for oral presentation skills and comprehension of their ‘topic’ of study. Perhaps you can asses for rich vocabulary or descriptive language, due to the art mediums and texture displayed. Prepare the students in advance so they know that you are looking for.

Other Ways to Use This Lesson:

Visual imagery is the springboard to generate ‘joy’ in learning and writing, develop critical thinking and help students communicate their imaginations. This lesson explores all of this. Your students can enhance their writing in the following ways:

  • Glue the visual to larger paper and list the descriptive words or phrases around it like a word frame. Depending on the age or abilities of your students, have them list nouns, plural nouns, adjectives, verbs or adverbs around the frame in marker. Have them list the words on paper and edit for spelling first or more experienced writers can type their words instead.
  • Allow the kids to write a descriptive or informational paragraph, research facts or create riddles.
  • Have the kids create 3 visuals to illustrate 3 parts to a story (beginning, middle & ending). Display the pictures on a colored background, attaching writing creatively.
  • Try textured rubbings using stencils or copper and metal shapes. Complete your rubbings and trace the relief with glue/fabric paint or glitter glue sticks. Set to dry and add crayons and watercolor paints as desired.

Topic Ideas:

Mammals, invertebrates, vertebrates, jungle, forest, woods, environment, habitats, beach, rocky shore, ocean, nature, flowers, gardens, bugs, insects, butterflies, dinosaurs, aquarium, zoo, animals, wild life, ocean life, coral reef, community, neighborhood, outer space, buildings, houses, play-scapes, fish, trees, leaves, seasons, and more. watercolor resist

For more lessons like this, visit www.visualccl.com to purchase The Art of Visual Writing and other literacy lessons/graphic organizers.

About the Author:

Kim WaltmireKim Waltmire is a state and national award-winning educator. She holds an honorary seat with the 2006 USA Today All-Star Teacher team. Kim is a graduate from CCSU with a Masters in Early Childhood Education. She published a writing & literacy book; Picturesque Writing, now self-published as The Art of Visual Writing for elementary teachers K-5. Kim also published a Read-Along Series for primary grades, coupled with spelling, grammar, science and social studies lessons for k-12 with a home-school company. Her writing and Project Based Learning strategies were recognized and published in the Creative Classroom Teacher’s magazine; May/June 1998 issue. She was recognized for her educational contributions and Project Based Learning by Oprah Winfrey, interviewed on CNN, Fox News, and honored by the CT State Governor several times. Kim has taught elementary school for 28 years and presently an Educational Literacy Consultant. Kim’s passion is teaching writing literacy for all learning styles.

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