Watercolor Galaxy Resist  Paintings 

Hello Parents, Caregivers and everyone else!

I’m going to share a watercolor project today . This is an any skill level, have fun and just play project.. This is more about the process and getting kids (and adults) over that fear of messing up. 

  • watercolor paper (I buy Carson’s in bulk from Blick or Amazon. Watercolor paper that comes in notebooks is okay too, but it will need to be removed first.  Any weight or press will do. )
  • watercolor paint – you can use the pan watercolor , tube watercolor or Liquid Watercolor.
    •  Liquid Watercolor is the most vibrant (which I left in the preschool classroom, so we used my tube watercolors). Tube and pan will not give you as vibrant colors but they also don’t stain as much. 
    • 3-4 colors (Used here are cerulean, phyl0 blue, magenta and purple)
      • For younger kids, 2 colors is enough. Dark blue and purple work well. 
  • tape – masking or painter
  • white crayon or pastel (not pictured) 
  • brush (big flat brushes are best .) 
  • small containers to hold washes
  • Salt (kosher or table- bigger crystals will give more exciting results)
  • Cup(s) of water 
  • (optional) star stickers. 

Prepare your paper and paint.
  • Tape your paper to the table or tablecloth 
  • Squeeze a bit of paint into each container, add a small amount  of water and mix to get a wash. (Not needed if you are using liquid watercolor) 
  • If you are using pan watercolors, add a lot of water to the colors you are using. 
  • To keep colors from muddying, each color has it’s own brush. . 


Step One

Draw on the paper with the white oil pastel or crayon. Press hard and think about your shapes. My kids did dots, spirals or star shapes since we were going with a galaxy theme. 

(If you have star stickers, apply them now) 

Step Two 

I always ask my students “What is the most important part of Watercolor?” 

The answer is “Water!”

So dip a brush in the clear water and paint your paper with just water. 

Step Three- Six 

Add color! 

Start with one wash and add splotches to your paper. Resist the urge to use brushstrokes!  Drips, splotches and blobs are how we are paining today. Cover a few areas of your paper in the first color, leaving some white space. 


 2. Add a second color. – Some bleeding between color is fine, Heck, it’s preferred. 

My daughter’s painting 

One of my boys. 

See how they are already looking different? That’s awesome! 

Now add your third (and if you want fourth) colors in the same way. Paint to the edges of the tape and don’t leave any white space. 

You can use droppers or even pour the paint on art this point. The darker the blue, the better.

For tube paint and little ones, (okay even myself sometimes) I sometimes put a tiny (half a pea) dab of paint directly on the paper and tell them to use a very wet brush  to mix it. (remember, dab, dash, splotch- no brush strokes) 


Add Salt 

-Your watercolor painting should be very wet or glistening.

-Take a pinch of salt  and sprinkle it over the painting. Add as little or as much as you want. 


-Set paintings aside to dry. 

-When dry, remove tape.  (Ah, the joy and terror of removing tape from watercolor. My advice is to go slow, and if it starts to rip, a little Elmer’s clear glue can save the day. ) 

-You can brush off the salt or leave it on. 

Here are some examples from my class. These were created with Liquid Watercolor, kosher salt and star stickers. 

Here is one we created at home with tube watercolor and table salt. 


And here is a second attempt, where a few more colors were added. You’ll notice that the table salt gives more of a texture and less of a resist. 


This is a project you can return to as often as you want. Try different colors, different types of salt and have fun!


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