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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Water Coloring a Picture of Mary and Baby Jesus ~ Practice with Watercolors

This is an art project meant to help kids ages 8 and older learn a simple way of using water colors. Of course, the abilities of the individual are to always be taken into account, as with any and all art projects. 
Practice creates better abilities.

The object of this project is to practice staying in the lines when using a brush, learning not to press on the brush when using water colors, learning how to use watercolors, learning that more water makes the paint lighter and less water makes the colors darker and having fun!

***Remember practice will only make you better!
So try it a as many times as you like....

You need:
Set of watercolors
Thin/small brush
Mixing tray
Cup half-full of water
Gray scale picture printed on watercolor paper or stock paper

Print this gray scale picture of Mary and Baby Jesus onto watercolor paper or stock/heavy paper:
Click here for a printable page.

Now, you are going to use water colors to color the image.
First, make a pool of water in the watercolor "dot" you wish to use. Dab or poke the watercolor "dot" with the bristle end of your brush so the water mixes with the surface of the hard paint, This should create a thin colored liquid. Make sure the water colors have enough water in them so that the liquid on your brush is thin. Delicately and gently add the colors in the area you want to paint and spread it around in that area staying within the lines. Do not push or scrub hard with your brush.
Then, do the same with the other colors and picture areas. Be sure to rinse out your brush each time you switch colors.
If needed to mix colors, put a drop of two different colors onto a plate/tray and mix them together to create a new color, then add it to the picture.
You may need lots of napkins to dab-up the extra watercolors you may drip on your picture.
If you see paint running into the wrong area, use a napkin to dry it off. If you see that it ran but it is already dry, use a wet brush (only water on it) to whip it away.
Don't worry about filling in all the black areas, you can just leave them black.

The colors I used:
Mary's dress - blue
Straw - yellow
Mary's Hair - a mix of brown and yellow
Skin -  light brown (Brown with lots of water)
Donkey - brown
Jesus Blanket - cream or off-while

This is only one technique for using water colors, their are other ways.
Experiment, and see what works best for you.

These painted pictures would be great for kids to give out at Christmas; make them into cards.
Rmember, practice, practice, practice, and HAVE FUN!!!

God Bless, and may your gurdian angel help guide you.


  1. This is so beautiful; thank you for sharing it! I just pinned it on my Pinterest board and will use it this fall in catechism class.


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