Creativity, Process Art

Experimenting with DIY Watercolours

Every few months I have a major clean out and reorganisation of our art and craft supplies. When sifting through everything there’s some things that are recycled, some are binned and others are re purposed. Part of this process includes giving some tired,= and worn out textas a second chance at life. We did this by removing the ink fibres from inside the texta tube and placing them in water. After a few days we tested the ink but it was still quite watery. In the end we actually forgot about them for a few weeks so a great deal of water evaporated (another learning moment!) but thankfully it was this forgetfulness that led to some vibrant DIY watercolours!

With our new DIY watercolours ready to go I provided the kids with some paper (watercolour paper would be best but any paper that can absorb a small amount of water will do!), droppers and straws. From there it was simply a case of experimenting and exploring what the paint could do and my favourite past time – getting messy!

Through this process the kids had opportunities to experiment by mixing colours to create new ones, as well as analyse the movement of paint when moved about by hand or with straws and predict what would happen when oil was added on top of the paint.

The final products were really quite beautiful and turned better than we expected. The splatters and drops of watery colours mixed in with blobs of oil created some muddled rainbows on a now translucent paper, which when held up to the light provided lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ from the kids.

Watercolour Paintings

What you will need:

  • Homemade or purchased watercolours
  • Watercolour paper or a thick paper that can hold a small amount of water
  • Droppers
  • Straws
  • Oil
  • Tray for watercolours


Begin by adding blobs of watercolours to your paper with the droppers. Using straws or by tipping the paper from side to side to move the water around. Alternatively drop a mixture of watercolours to create beautiful rainbows before adding drops of oil with a dropper.

The fun thing about this activity is the learning outcomes and final products will differ every time. It’s all about experimenting! What the children go on to do with their paper is another exciting adventure and one we’ll explore and share soon.

How would you use this paper to continue the artistic process?

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