Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Art & Science Collide: Watercolor Salt Paintings

We actually created this project months ago. The girls had a no school day back in February and I kept them busy with art projects that day. One of them was watercolor salt paintings! This is a relatively easy project to do and the girls really seemed to enjoy it! It would be a short quick-drying project to do as a birthday craft as well.

What you need:
--watercolors (I like liquid watercolors, I think they are much more vibrant)
--table salt
--watercolor paper
--blue painters tape (optional)
Start by having the kids block off a design on the watercolor paper with the blue tape.
Here are their taped off designs:
Then just fill in a section with watercolor paint. We found being liberal with the paint/liquid worked best. After doing a small section, sprinkle a little salt on the paint and move on repeating the process in the next area.

And here are the finished wet paintings with the tape still on:

My nine year old's:
 My seven year old's:
 Here is the one I made. :-)
 And here they are with the tape removed:

 And just for fun, here's a close-up:
This was a really fun project because not only is it artistic, but scientific too! I explained to them about how salt is a dessicant and sucks up the water/liquid. They thought this was such a neat thing to see! You can see the speckling happen as it dries.

Once the projects are dry, just remove the tape, brush the salt away and enjoy your beautiful artwork!


  1. I'm doing a Water Week theme this week and I thought I'd check on your blog to see if you had a fun water/art project. Right when I opened your page --Perfect!

  2. Wow, you have a lot of great projects! I like this art/science project. I posted a link to your site from my blog

  3. Is it necessary to use watercolor paper, or will white construction paper work just as well? Wanting to do this as a craft for a mommy and me class.

    1. Hi Kelly,

      I wouldn't say it's absolutely necessary to use watercolor paper. But I would maybe try construction paper or any other kind of paper first just to make sure it works the same. I just like the thickness of watercolor paper and the paint soaks into the paper, but not through the paper. We found it worked better to get the speckled look if you put a bit more paint in a spot (than you might if you were just painting a regular water color picture) and then sprinkle the salt. Again, I would just try out whatever you're thinking ahead of time to make sure you're happy with the end result. :-)