Crayon Resist Watercolors -12/22/19

Today’s Awesome Project of the Day is shown in two different ways for two different age groups. The top composition is done by a 6th grader and the composition below was done by a kindergartner. Either one can be done in different levels of complexity by any age though. Both of them use the idea of crayon resist with watercolor painted over the crayon which shows through the paint due to the wax in the crayon.


  • White Drawing paper, thicker paper is better to avoid tearing when wet
  • White crayons
  • Watercolor Paints – prang or crayola work best
  • For the Forest Composition
    • Oil Pastels
  • For the Christmas Tree Composition
    • Green Tempera Paint
    • Glitter and Glue
    • Rhinestones
    • Pencil
    • Black Sharpie

Step 1 – Drawing

Start this drawing by using the white crayon to draw. It’s going to be a little difficult to see but if you tilt your head a bit you can catch a glimpse of where you have drawn in the right light.

For the Christmas Tree – All you do for this one is draw a hill for the ground line, or it can be straight if you prefer 🙂 with the white crayon. Next use the pencil to draw the outline shape of the tree and the trunk. Little ones can do the triangle easily, while older kids and adults can work on making the tree more detailed or realistic. Next draw the snowflakes in the background of the sky. Be sure not to draw over top of the tree and trunk because the crayon will show through.

For the Landscape Forest Drawing – On this composition you need to only use the white crayon for drawing the background. If you use pencil first you wont get the same effect as the pencil will show up. Start by drawing the horizon line all the way across the paper for the ground. It should vary a little bit in straightness as the ground tends to have small ups and downs. The student in my example did a snow covered ground, so they filled in the ground with lines to represent small little mounds of snow. The next step is to draw bare trees ( basically trunks with limbs… no leaves (it’s winter 🙂 ) with the white crayon in the background. A good rule to remember when doing this is that objects that are closer to the foreground are bigger then those in the background. So vary the size to make you composition more realistic.

Step 2 – Painting

Now you get to paint with the watercolors 🙂 For the Christmas tree I had the kids use darker purple to make it look more like an abstract night time sky. For the forest we used a really light gray water color paint the ground to make it look like snow that was slightly dirty on the forest floor. I had some kids that used a really pale sparkly blue. Whichever color you like works, just be sure its light. For the sky of the forest we used a few cool colors ( blue and purple mostly, a couple of kids added pink, which worked as well.

Step 3 – Finishing the items in the foreground

For the Christmas Tree – Now use the green tempera paint to fill in the Christmas tree and brown to paint the trunk. (my examples are not painted because the kids felt strongly that the trunks would be covered in snow….and who am I to argue 🙂 ) Let the tempera paint dry.

For the Forest Landscape – Use the oil pastels to draw in pine trees. Some students chose to use realistic colors and some went for abstract blue, purple, and pink trees. Either way it works. Start by using a darker color to draw the trunk and then layer lines for the pine needles in a different color over top. Keep layering until the tree looks full. Oil pastels, unlike crayons are made with oil in them so if you want to use your finger to blend the colors of the pine needles together, you can. Just be sure to blend in the same direction as the drawing strokes for the best results. Vary the sizes and placement again to make the forest look more realistic. That’s all you do to finish off this one!

Step 4 –

To Finish off the Christmas Tree outline your tree and ground line with sharpie and just add glitter as garland and rhinestones ( or whatever items you have laying around…buttons, sequins, etc..) as ornaments to add dimension and texture to your composition. You can also use the oil pastels to draw these elements as they draw really nicely over paint. Either way finishing decorating this tree and your composition is done!