Use bright and bold colors to create these fun watercolor resist citrus paintings! Kids love using this resist technique that makes their design appear as they paint! And using a wet on wet watercolor technique is always a hit and super easy for kids of all ages!
There are so many fun watercolor techniques for kids to try! Take a look at my collection of watercolor painting for kids for more fun and creative ideas.
For more awesome watercolor techniques that kids will love, take a look at these 5 easy watercolor techniques for kids.
We love creating and exploring with different art supplies and techniques. If you are looking for more art projects to try, take a look at our ultimate collection of amazing art projects for kids!
Create your own watercolor resist citrus painting
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- Watercolor paint
- Watercolor paper
- White oil pastel
- Wooden board or somewhere to tape down your paper
- Painter’s tape
- Large plastic lid to use as a template, or cardboard to make your own template
- Water dish
- Paint palette
Instructions for your citrus painting
1. First, you need to get your paper ready. I trimmed our paper to 8.5 x 11 inches.
Taping your watercolor paper down makes it easier for kids for a couple of reasons. The paper doesn’t shift around as you paint, it keeps the paper from buckling while wet and dries nice and flat.
If you don’t have a wooden board to tape down to, you can try taping your paper to a desk or a piece of corrugated plastic. I got our wooden boards from the hardware store in the scrap pile for free!
2. Once your paper is taped down, you can draw in your fruit with white oil pastel. You can use a large plastic lid as a template, if you don’t have any large lids, make a template out of cardboard. This makes it so much easier for kids to draw the fruit on their own.
Trace around your plastic lid on the bottom left corner and also the right side, to make two fruit slices like in the finished picture above. Draw another line just below to indicate the peel.
Draw three triangle wedges per fruit slice. Use the finished photo above and below for reference. Because it’s white pastel on white paper it’s very hard to show in photos.
Remind kids to press fairly hard with their pastel and to make their lines thick.
3. Decide on the two types of fruit you want to paint and mix up 1-2 shades for each fruit. We choose an orange and grapefruit for one painting and a lemon and lime for the other.
Make sure to test out your colors on a scrap piece of paper first.
With a clean brush and using clean water, paint one of your fruits with water. You want the paper to be wet but not soaking, if you have too much water on your paper you can always dab it with some paper towels.
4. While your paper is still wet, paint on your fruit colors. Let the wet paper mix the colors together. Using two shades for each fruit gives the painting a bit more interest and texture.
It’s really fun for kids to watch their design appear as they paint, almost like magic! Once you are done with one fruit, you can paint the other one.
5. Let both of your fruit slices dry before painting the background.
Choose a bright color or two similar shades for the background. We used two shades of a teal-green for one and two shades of pink for the other. I love how the bright colors of the citrus fruit look next to the bright background color!
Paint the background with clean water and paint on your background colors, letting the colors mix together on the paper.
Let everything dry before taking off the tape.
These watercolor resist citrus paintings are so fun to make! It’s always so neat for kids to watch their design appear when using a resist technique.
For another watercolor and oil pastel resist idea take a look at this beautiful watercolor butterfly painting.
I love the bright bold colors of these paintings, there are so many fun color combinations that kids can explore!
More watercolor resist ideas you will love
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Pin this art project for later
- White oil pastels
- Watercolor paints
- Watercolor paper
- Painter's tape
- Paint palette
- Water dish
- Large plastic lid or cardboard template
- Wooden board or somewhere to tape your paper down
- First you want to get your paper ready, cut your paper if needed and tape it down to a wooden board. If you don't have a wooden board, try taping it to a table.
Taping it down helps it to not slide around when painting and keeps the paper from wrinkling when wet.
I cut our paper to 8.5x11 inches.
- Place a large plastic lid or cardboard template onto the bottom left side of your paper and trace around the edge with a white oil pastel to make a fruit slice.
Remind kids to press firmly and make their lines fairly thick. Draw in another line just below to make the peel edge of your citrus slice.
Add three triangle wedges to your fruit slice like in the finished picture above.
Draw in another citrus slice on the right side of your paper.
- Mix up 2 shades of watercolor paint for each citrus fruit. Check your colors first on a scrap piece of paper.
With a clean brush and clean water, paint 1 fruit slice with water.
Paint your citrus fruit with your 2 shades of the same color and watch the colors mix together and make interesting patterns!
- Do the same with the other citrus slice.
Let everything dry before moving on to the background.
- Mix 1-2 shades of a color for the background, we used a dark teal green and a lighter green. You want to choose a bright contrasting color for this part to make everything really stand out!
Paint with water first, then paint with your watercolor, letting the wet paper mix the 2 shades together.
- Let the whole painting dry before removing the tape.