Abstract Watercolor Garden

Everyone has played with watercolors at one time or another, right? What I like about this activity is it approaches watercolor art in a different way. And even better, this is a great activity for even those who say they aren’t “artists”. In fact, this is a great activity for those who are having trouble with fine motor skills because it looks cool no matter how messy it gets. Therefore they are able to create something they can be proud of and show off.

This art activity is a variation on Abstract Watercolor Flowers. It has some great examples of different ways to do this activity.

You will need paper, watercolor paints, and black ink. Watercolor paper works really well because the ink won’t bleed through to the work surface. But if you use regular printer paper, you can hang the finished project in a window and the light will shine through like a sun catcher. Also the liquid watercolors work the best, but the dried ones in the palate also work, just make sure you get it really wet.

To begin, wet the paper slightly, just enough for it to get damp. If there is too much water, the paint doesn’t spread out. Then drip or blot the watercolor paint onto the paper. You can try different ways such as flicking the paint brush as well. Here are some different examples of how it might come out:
Watercolor Multi Step 1 Watercolor Pink Step 1 Watercolor Purple Step 1
(This is watercolor paper used with dried watercolor palate)

After you let the painting dry (you can speed up the process with a hair dryer) sketch flowers, birds, butterflies, or whatever you see over the painting. For this step, black paint is suggested to be applied with a skewer. Other options include using a small paintbrush, a black ink pen, or even a black sharpie:
Watercolor Multi Step 2 Watercolor Pink Step 2 Watercolor Purple Step 2

Here are the examples with (from left to right) sharpie, pen, and black watercolor. Personally, I found the sharpie and pen to work well (I had trouble getting the brush to do what I wanted). The downside to the sharpie was if you use it a lot, the color starts to get a bit weak. As always, you can experiment with other ways of doing this activity.

Abstract Watercolor Garden Notes

Age Group: Ages 4 and up

Materials needed: Paper (watercolor paper works best), Watercolors (liquid works best), large paint brushes, black ink (marker, pen, or paint will do)

Goals:
To allow participants a creative outlet
To encourage fine motor development

Therapeutic value of activity:
Creativity
Self-expression

Comments or questions? Don’t hesitate to reply!

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