Easy Watercolor Resist Art

Easy Watercolor Resist Art
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Painting with watercolors is a secret passion of mine that I unfortunately don’t practice too often anymore. If you’ve never painted with watercolors before, let me tell you, it’s easier than you might think! Making your own watercolor art for your walls is not only inexpensive, but can be a fun and memorable project that you and your kids can do together. I’m excited to show you how to create Watercolor Resist Art. This is a quick and easy project that doesn’t require any fancy tools or skills!
Easy Watercolor Resist Art
My daughter loves to paint and draw (just like her mama!) and she wanted to put some new art in her room. I thought this would be a quick project we could do together.

How to Make Watercolor Resist Art

Items you will need:
Heavy weight watercolor paper (I used a 90 lb. weight paper)
large soft paintbrush
cups of water
rubber cement


Choose what ever stencil you like and place the stencil over your watercolor paper.  Brush a thick coating of rubber cement over the stencil (and watch how memories of your early school years flood your mind!). If you’ve ever smelled rubber cement, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. 

rubber cement over stencil

Remove the stencil and you will see the rubber cement impression. Allow it to try completely (about 5 minutes).

rubber cement stencil

Choose the colors you want to paint with. I chose a few different shades of blues, greens, and yellows. Make sure to moisten each of your colors before starting to paint. You do this by dipping your brush in water and swirling and working the paint in it’s pot. If you have artist grade watercolors in a tube then prepare your watercolors in a recessed pallet.
TIP: Have plenty of fresh water for rinsing between colors. I actually like to have several cups of water to rinse my brush off. I used a cup for blues, one for the yellows, and one for the greens. It saves time and keeps your colors clean and vivid.
Working quickly, start to apply your paint in random areas, blending gently with the brush. The paint will resist the areas that have the rubber cement. Some droplets will remain on the rubber cement and that is just fine.

painting with watercolor

Once you are happy with how your colors look, allow it to dry completely, and I mean completely.  We set ours in the sun to dry. It took just a few minutes. Now comes the fun part! With clean fingers, gently rub off the rubber cement, revealing the white paper underneath. Warning: if you do not use a heavy weight watercolor paper then this will not work. You will end up ripping the paper as shown in the picture below. 
too thin of paper
This picture below shows how it should rub off if you use a thick watercolor paper.

removing rubber cement

My daughter chose a frog and butterfly stencil to make two more pieces of art. Didn’t she do a great job? I found some inexpensive dollar store frames and placed the watercolors in them.
Watercolor Collage
The colors go great in her turquoise and lime room.
easy watercolor art
In under an hour we had 3 beautiful and original pieces of watercolor resist artwork!
Here are some other pieces we’ve done in her room you might like.
DIY Pottery Barn Teen Lantern Fixture
 DIY Style Tile Board
In less than one hour we were finished painting with watercolors and were hanging the art on her wall! Don’t be fearful of painting, go pick up a brush and make some memories with your kiddos today!
Check out the Décor Crafts tab up top for more easy ideas!

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is a fantastic tutorial! Can’t wait to try it out.


  2. Very nice!! They are very beautiful.
    Been quite sometime since i have tried a resist. Even longer since I have played with rubber cement 🙂
    Now I want to play…
    Cheers, Gee

  3. I love this idea 🙂 thanks for sharing. I really like the space too! Your daughter is talented just like her mom.

  4. wonderful project–thank you for sharing!

  5. Thanks for sharing that great project, Kim! This technique could be adapted in so many ways. I also went over to see the paper lantern column that you made…genius and VEERY cute.

  6. Those look great Kim!! What a pretty room!

  7. Great idea!!…Thanks for sharing the directions…Love your blog by the way!!!

  8. This is one of my favorite posts! And I only knew you had a son! And…I didn’t know you had a blogging sister, until yesterday! ;o) It has been an enlightening week!

  9. Great idea and inexpensive which I like! I could something like this in our playroom if I ever get to that room 🙂

  10. Anonymous says:

    What a wonderful project. Yours turned out so pretty! Thank you for sharing!!!!!! Jackie S

  11. Love these! Does the rubber cement just rub off the stencils as well, or should you try to remove it while wet?
    Thanks for the great idea!

    • Thank you! Just wait for it to dry, it will rub right off any stencil. The butterfly was a cardboard stencil and it rubbed off just fine. The other two stencils were vinyl.

  12. Love your watercolor resist art pieces. I may have to try these with the grandkids and use them as gift for teachers etc.

  13. Beautiful thanks for sharing!

  14. They are beautiful Kim…and so much more because you made them together! I love water color and charcoal…anything that has softness and blending. I’ve never seen the rubber cement technique – so really glad I popped in tonight :~)

  15. You are a genius. I just tried doing something similar for a quick art project with my son, but we used white crayon and doodled before painting. It was hit or miss, especially when my son did not press the crayon hard enough. I can’t wait to try it with the rubber cement and stencils!

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  2. […] first learned about using rubber cement as a resist from Sand & Sisal. She did this fantastic stenciled water color project with her kids. I loved everything about it, but for a Mother’s Day gift, I wanted to make […]

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