Painting a starfish with watercolors is a fun under-the-sea ocean-themed art project for kids and adults. (First published on June 6, 2017; this post is regularly updated and republished to improve the content.)
Learn how to paint a starfish with watercolors with this easy step-by-step art project and painting idea for kids (or adults). Painting a starfish with watercolors is an under-the-sea art project that allows kids and artists of all ages to explore the beauty and wonders of the ocean. Not only does this starfish painting idea encourage artistic expression, but it also fosters a deep sense of connection with marine life and the environment.
With each brushstroke, young minds are transported to the depths of the sea, where vibrant colors and mesmerizing patterns come together to bring these fascinating ocean creatures to life on paper. Invite kids to draw a starfish to make their ocean-themed starfish art, or enjoy the stress-relieving activity of working with watercolors using one of our printable starfish art templates. You might also enjoy painting a rose with watercolors.
Starfish Art Project for Kids
This starfish painting idea is a fun ocean-themed watercolor art project for preschoolers and kids of all ages. Painting starfish art offers children many benefits beyond the ocean-themed artwork they create. Children can develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and attention to detail as they paint a starfish with watercolors. As young artists experiment with different color palettes and watercolor painting techniques to depict the starfish’s unique features, they also learn about color theory and observational skills.
Under-the-SEa Starfish Painting Idea
Start by inviting children to draw a starfish or use our printable starfish art template. We have a few printable starfish outline templates that make it easy to allow the artist to create their starfish masterpiece precisely as they wish it to look. Putting a face on it, or filling in the blank space to finish the starfish (as shown in the photographs) are two easy options.
Creating under-the-sea starfish art in this way enables children to escape into a world of imagination and creativity, fostering their emotional well-being and self-expression. It offers a safe space to freely explore their feelings and ideas, promoting self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment as they witness their artwork take shape.
Starfish watercolor paintings often turn out so beautifully that they can be hung on the wall or framed and given to family and friends as a unique handmade gift. Look at this list of 12 ocean art projects for even more under-the-sea art ideas you can try at home or in the classroom.
Starfish Art Supplies
- Choose one of the following watercolor resist mediums:
- Heavy cardstock or 140 lb watercolor paper
- Starfish outline template printable
- Choose one of the following types of watercolor paint:
Watercolor Starfish Art Step-by-Step Directions
Before starting your starfish painting, it is best to read through the directions and decide the type of resist medium you would like to use to make your starfish watercolor art project; black glue, black oil pastel, or black crayon.
1. Make black glue (optional).
- Skip this step if you want to use black pastel or black crayon instead of black glue as the resist medium for this starfish art project.
How to Make Black Glue:
- Add a squirt of black acrylic paint to a small bottle of white glue and shake well.
- Black glue will usually be greyish before it dries and does not have to look black to dry black, because white glue dries clear.
- My daughter and I have a small bottle of glue that we use to mix white glue and black acrylic paint to have a never-ending supply of black glue. We never measure the exact amount of black acrylic paint or white glue we add to the bottle when we need to re-mix it, and it always turns out fine.
- Please visit the watercolor rose we painted with black glue for more watercolor painting tips.
2. Draw a starfish or print your favorite starfish art template.
- Invite children to use a pencil to draw or sketch a starfish onto watercolor paper, or print your favorite starfish template onto heavy cardstock.
- You will notice that the starfish art templates allow the artist to decide how they would like to finish the starfish.
- You can see the starfish art my daughter and I painted in the photographs above and below. My daughter made faces on the starfishes she painted.
3. Trace the outline of the starfish with the black resist medium of choice.
- Trace the outline of the starfish with a black resist medium of choice; black glue, black oil pastel, or black crayon. (Black glue needs time to dry, while black oil pastel and black crayon can be painted right away.)
- Older children will be able to do this independently, while toddlers and preschoolers might need some help with this part of their starfish art.
4. Paint the starfish with watercolors.
- If you use black glue, please allow it to dry overnight before inviting children to use watercolors to paint their starfish.
- Painting a starfish with watercolors after a black resist medium has been applied gives watercolor art a faux stained-glass appearance.
- Please look at the list of starfish watercolor resist art tips below before you get started!
Related: The Best Fall Art Projects for Kids
Black Glue Starfish Watercolor Resist Art Project: Process and Tips
- Before painting, place newspaper or paper towels underneath the black glue starfish to help soak up any excess water.
- Print out and trace as many starfish as you’d like with black glue the night before you plan to paint. Be careful. Black glue tends to pool and spread when used in large amounts. Use it sparingly to keep nice lines.
- If your child has never worked with watercolors, I recommend preparing at least one extra starfish so you can demonstrate how to paint with watercolors first. Young children learn best by watching and imitating others.
- Watercolor painting is a perfectly imperfect art form. The key to working with watercolors is to literally go with, as opposed to against, the way they naturally flow. Use water to help them flow, mix and blend even more.
- The black glue will resist the watercolor paint but will begin to pull black into the starfish painting if it gets too wet.
- Please have a look at our black glue rose for more watercolor tips!
Outlining a starfish with black glue, crayon, or oil pastel and painting it with watercolors is a fun and easy art project for kids and adults. Try it today! For more information about watercolor painting, look at single-color, two-color, and three-color wet-on-wet watercolor painting.
More Ocean-Themed Under the Sea Black Glue Art and Craft Projects
Paint a starfish with watercolors at home or in the classroom. You may also enjoy this fantastic list of underwater ocean art projects that use black glue as the resist medium. These under-the-sea art projects and painting ideas can nurture a lifelong love for creativity and exploration, whether in a classroom setting or during leisure time at home. They also empower young minds to look beyond the surface and discover the endless wonders beneath the waves. Click on the link above to see all the beautiful ocean art watercolor projects.
More Black Glue Watercolor Resist Art Projects for Kids and Teens
If you like working with black glue, you might also enjoy the watercolor art projects below. Click on the title to see the full tutorial for each art project.
- Winter Tree Black Glue Watercolor Resist Art
- Rose Black Glue Resist Art Project
- Fall Leaves Black Glue Watercolor Resist Art Project
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