Painting a starfish is a fun ocean-themed watercolor art project for kids and adults.
Learn how to paint a starfish with watercolor paint and a resist medium with this easy step-by-step art project for kids. Painting starfish art is a fun ocean-themed art idea for kids from toddlers to teens. Invite your children to draw their own starfish or enjoy painting a starfish with the FREE printable starfish art template!
Related: Watercolor Rose Art
Starfish Art Project for Kids
Draw your own starfish to create ocean-themed starfish art or enjoy the stress-relieving activity of working with watercolors using our free starfish art printable template.
We have purposely left the starfish art template blank in the middle so the artist can decide how they would like to finish it. Making a face or completing the starfish are two easy options.
Some of these 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. To see 12 more under the sea ocean art projects, click on the link!
Starfish Art Supplies
- White glue and Black acrylic paint OR, black oil pastel or black crayon
- Heavy cardstock or 140 lb watercolor paper
- FREE starfish printable
- Stockmar, liquid, tube, or pallet watercolor paint
- Paintbrushes or water brushes
Watercolor Starfish Art Step by Step Directions
Before starting your starfish painting, it is best to read through the directions and decide on the type of resist medium you would like to use to complete this art project; black glue, black oil pastel, or black crayon.
Step 1 – Make Black Glue (optional)
How to Make Black Glue
- Add a squirt of black acrylic paint to a small bottle of white glue and shake well.
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 that we put in when we make it, and it always turns out fine because white glue dries clear. On the other hand, black glue will usually be greyish in color before it dries and does not have to look black to dry black. For more black glue tips, look at the watercolor rose art project that we made with black glue.
Step 2 – Draw or Print Starfish Art Template
Invite children to use a pencil to draw a starfish onto watercolor paper OR print out this FREE starfish printable onto heavy cardstock. The middle of the starfish art template is blank to allow the artist to decide how to finish the starfish. I decided to complete the starfish before using watercolors to paint it, while my daughter made faces on the watercolor starfish art that she painted.
Step 3 – Trace the Outline of the Starfish Art
Trace the outline of the starfish with a black resist medium of choice; black glue, black oil pastel, or black crayon. Black glue will need time to dry, while black oil pastel and black crayon can be painted over 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. Our 4-year-old daughter wanted to do hers “all by herself.” She did a great job!
Step 4 – Paint Starfish with Watercolors
If you are using black glue, make sure that it is dry (overnight is best) before inviting children to use watercolors to paint their starfish. Please have a look at the list of starfish watercolor resist art tips below before you get started!
The starfish art pictured throughout this article was made with black glue. Black glue produces a raised texture and gives watercolor art a faux stained glass appearance.
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. Show them more than you tell them; young children learn best by watching 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 painting if it gets too wet. Please have a look at our black glue rose for more tips!
Outlining a starfish with black glue 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 amazing collection of underwater ocean art projects that also use black glue as the resist medium. Click on the link above to see all of 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 may like some of the other 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