Windy day winter sky art is an easy STEAM experiment and art project for kids that makes learning about watercolor resist mediums and techniques fun.
Creating windy day winter sky art is an easy STEAM experiment and art project that can help children and adults learn about watercolor resist techniques. Working with glue, crayons, pastels, and other types of watercolor resist mediums will create different effects when combined with watercolor paints.
Recently my daughter and I painted some snowy alpine tree landscape art using white glue as the resist medium. It turned out beautifully–but not exactly as we expected. When we painted over the glue with liquid watercolors, it did not resist the paint as well as we expected. Instead, it created a gorgeous textured effect.
The textured effect is lovely for some projects, but if you want the resist medium to stay white when painted over with watercolors–it’s not ideal. So, we decided to do a STEAM experiment with a few typical watercolor resist mediums to find out why. Create windy winter art with the instructions below to try this fun and educational watercolor art project for kids from toddlers and preschoolers to teens and even adults!
Related: Shadow Art Outdoor Science for Kids
Windy Day Winter Sky Art: STEAM Project for Kids
This science project for kids is simple, create windy day winter sky art as a fun and easy way to experiment with watercolors using different resist mediums. Creating windy day art in this way makes this activity an easy STEAM project for kids. Gather the watercolor art supplies you would like to use, and learn how to do this fun science experiment for kids at home or in the classroom with the step-by-step instructions below!
Art Materials for STEAM Experiement
- White glue and/or white crayons, or white oil pastel. Or, try another resist medium such as another color of crayon (or oil pastel) rubber cement, painter’s tape, glue from a glue gun, or black glue.
- Watercolor paper
- Flat wash watercolor paint brush
- Stockmar watercolors or liquid watercolor paints
- Recycled or reuseable glass baby food jars (We made our own baby food so we turned these baby food containers into our watercolor dishes. They work really well because you can put the lids on to use the paint again later. You can also use an ice cube tray or muffin tin.)
- Glass or mason jar for water
- Salt (optional)
Watercolor Resist Painting STEAM Experiement and Art Project
Choose at least 2 resist mediums to do this STEAM experiment with watercolor paints. We used white glue, white crayon, and white oil pastel. Or experiment with black glue, painter’s tape, or rubber cement.
Produce the same experiment we did in the photographs with the step-by-step instructions below–or try it another way. And, feel free to substitute any type of watercolor resist medium you would like to test.
Step 1 – Draw winter Sky wind Swirls, or Art of Choice, with Watercolor Resist Medium(s)
- Draw swirls to create windy day art on one sheet of watercolor paper or heavyweight cardstock using a watercolor resist medium.
- Or, use a resist medium to draw anything you like–test, experiment, and have fun!
- Make sure to create each drawing on a new sheet of watercolor paper or heavyweight cardstock for each watercolor resist medium that you choose.
- We used white glue, white oil pastel, and a white beeswax crayon to create the three different windy day art images shown in the photographs. If you are using glue, make sure to allow plenty of time to allow white glue to dry completely before painting over it with watercolors.
- You might also enjoy looking at the watercolor roses we painted with watercolors after using a black watercolor resist medium.
Step 2 – Set Up Winter Sky Art Painting Area
Set up an area to paint windy day winter sky art and conduct your watercolor resist science experiment:
- Either use a watercolor pallet or place Stockmar, or liquid watercolor paints, in baby food jars and dilute them with water.
- Put water in a glass for rinsing the paintbrush.
- Place a paintbrush on a dry rag, and a damp sponge nearby.
The water is for rinsing the paintbrush in between watercolor paint colors, and the rag is for wiping the brush on before dipping it into the next color after dipping it into the water.
STep 3 – Paint over Watercolor Resist Medium(s) to Test
- Before painting, ask children to come up with a hypothesis of what they will discover as a result of this fun STEAM experiment for kids.
- Invite child(ren) to paint each drawing one by one to test each watercolor resist medium at home or in the classroom.
- Paint with watercolors on top of and around each resist medium to see if there are any differences between them.
Step 3 – Sprinkle Salt Over Winter Sky Watercolor Paintings (optional)
- Sprinkle salt on each painting while still wet before it dries for another beautiful effect. (optional)
- To add a little more science into the mix, my daughter sprinkled salt on each of her watercolor paintings while they were still wet.
Winter Sky Art Experiment with Watercolor Resist: Process
Investigate and observe differences in the resist mediums as they paint and after it dries, and what happens to the paint when salt is applied. (See photos below.)
My daughter painted three similar windy day art paintings using white glue, white crayon, and white oil pastel as the resist mediums. Photographs of each of her windy day art projects follows:
Crayon Resist with Salt Winter Sky Art
Pastel Resist with Salt Winter Sky Art
Glue Resist with Salt winter Sky Art
Science Experiment with Watercolor Reist Mediums: Questions to consider
When children finish painting windy day art, ask them any of the following questions to help them learn more about the science of watercolor resistance:
- Which watercolor resist medium did you like working with best and why?
- Do you think any of them work better than others, why or why not?
- Which resist medium do you think resisted the watercolor best and why?
- Can you come up with a hypothesis of what happened and why?
- Would your choice of resist medium change based on the type of art project you are working on? Why or why not?
- Can you think of other materials that you can use as a resist medium for art projects?
STEAM Experiment Conclusions
We used white glue to make snowy alpine trees in an earlier project. Because we wanted them to stay white, but they did not. However, we learned that you have to paint around white glue (not over it) to make sure it says white–and this is not easy for young children like mine. Nor is it desirable.
Watercolor resist mediums
We discovered what would work better to produce the effect we wanted in this science experiment. Once again, we learned that white glue does not resist the liquid watercolors to leave the area white. However, we discovered that both white crayon and white oil pastel could resist the watercolors to leave the art or drawing white.
Why did the white crayon and white oil pastel resist the watercolor paint while the white glue did not?
The answer is simple science. Oil and water do not mix. When you paint over the oily wax crayon or oil pastel, the water repels the paint, and the area stays white. White glue absorbs the paint because it contains water and absorbs the color. Mystery solved!
Encourage Children To Ask and Answer Questions
My daughter wondered why the pastel and crayon did not show up like clear lines, so we talked about the texture of the watercolor paper that we used and how a smoother piece of paper would probably make a softer line.
Next, we wondered about other resist art techniques. Would the glue from a glue gun resist watercolor paint better? Why or why not? What about painter’s tape and rubber cement? Will they resist watercolor paint? Why or why not?
Salt and Watercolor Paint
What about the salt? How and why did it produce the fun spotted snowflake effect? The answer is also simple science. The salt absorbed the water and repelled the pigment. You see–science is fun!
Black Glue Watercolor Resist Art Projects
If you like working with resist mediums, you may also enjoy black glue resist art. Click on any of the projects below to learn all about it!
- Winter Tree Black Glue Watercolor Resist Art
- Rose Black Glue Resist Art Project
- Under the Sea Black Glue Watercolor Resist Art Projects
- Starfish Black Glue Resist Art Project
- Fall Leaves Black Glue Watercolor Resist Art Project
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!