Tuesday Crafternoon: Cosmic Watercolors

crafternoon sign

Today at Crafternoon we made Cosmic Watercolors. It’s easy and really fun, and all you need are some basic household materials:

Liquid watercolor (or watered-down acrylic paints) in six or seven colors
Rubbing alcohol
Big paintbrushes
Pipettes or medicine droppers
Watercolor or paint paper
Little cups
Metallic paint
Q-tips

Completed cosmic watercolors

Completed cosmic watercolors

First, put three colors of liquid watercolor into separate cups. We used blue, blue-green and purple. These will be your background colors. In additional separate cups, mix a few tablespoons of rubbing alcohol with a squirt or two of paint to tint it. We found that some of the paint colors acted sort of weird in the alcohol (the pink ended up with a brownish layer on top) but it didn’t cause any problems. We made pink, yellow, orange and green alcohol.

liquid watercolor background colors

Liquid watercolor background colors

tinted rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol tinted with liquid watercolor

Brush-paint your paper with the watercolor or watery acrylic. Cover the whole paper or close to it, and get it nice and wet. We used half-sheets of Strathmore paint-pad paper, because it’s nice and sturdy but less expensive then watercolor paper.

cover your whole paper with paint

Cover your whole paper with paint. Get it nice and painty!

Once your paper is colored with watercolor, load up your pipettes or medicine droppers with colored alcohol and drip-drop it all over your paper. The alcohol reacts with the water on the paper, pushing it around and creating “cosmic” effects. The wetter your paper, the more the paint will move around. A lot of the kids who did this activity went really wild with the rubbing alcohol. After they finished dripping it, we used paper towels to soak up the excess and reveal their cosmic creations. They were beautiful.

Drip your tinted rubbing alcohol over your paper using a pipette.

Drip your tinted rubbing alcohol over your paper using a pipette.

A drippy specimen

An especially drippy specimen

Blot up the excess paint and rubbing alcohol with a paper towel.

Blot up the excess paint and rubbing alcohol with a paper towel to reveal your cosmic watercolor creation!

After we mopped up the excess paint, the children added “stars” to their paintings by dipping Q-tips in silver paint and stamping them on their artwork.

Completed cosmic watercolors

Completed cosmic watercolors

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2 responses to “Tuesday Crafternoon: Cosmic Watercolors

  1. This looks awesome! Can’t wait to try it with my Kindergarteners.

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