Try this heart art project for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or any time of year!
This post shares two watercolor techniques children of all ages (toddlers and preschoolers to grade school students and teens) and adults can use to create watercolor surprise heart art. First, create surprise heart art for kids with any of our printable heart templates, or draw your own heart. Next, invite children to paint with watercolors and watch their faces light up when they see the art–or written message–that magically appears on the paper as they paint.
The heart watercolor painting ideas below have an element of surprise, but the surprise is different depending on the heart art project you choose. The first heart art painting idea uses crayon wax or pastel to create surprise watercolor art. In comparison, the other watercolor heart painting technique suggested in this painting tutorial uses the primary colors–red, yellow, and blue–and the wet-on-wet watercolor painting method to surprise the artist. Scroll down to learn all the fun DIY details!
Related: Watercolor Surprise Easter Egg Art
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Watercolor Surprise Heart Art Supplies
Children from toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners to teens and adults can use the art supplies listed below to create heart art for both watercolor painting techniques described in this post–the watercolor resist method and the wet-on-wet watercolor painting method.
Note: You will only need to use a resist medium (crayon or pastel) if you choose that watercolor painting method to make surprise art.
- Stockmar watercolors, liquid watercolors, watercolor tubes, or watercolor pallet
- Heavy cardstock or watercolor paper
- Crayons or oil pastels (Choose one or the other if using the resist medium method)
- Heart Art Printable Templates
- Scissors (optional)
- Construction paper (optional)
Related: Thumbprint Heart Magnet Craft
How to Make a Surprise Heart Art Painting with a Watercolor Resist Medium
Painting heart art with watercolor a resist medium is a fun and easy watercolor heart painting idea for kids. The basic idea is simple:
- First, draw a heart onto watercolor paper or cardstock, OR print any of our printable heart templates onto cardstock, OR print out the template and trace it onto watercolor paper.
- Next, use white oil pastels or crayons to create some heart art designs in the heart for your children to find when they paint with watercolors.
- Last, invite children to paint the heart shape with watercolors to see the surprise heart art magically appear!
For even more heart watercolor painting resist surprise fun, invite your kids to draw designs for each other to make double surprise Heart Art. Surprise siblings, friends, classmates, and even mom, dad, or grandma with hidden heart art that they can paint with watercolors!
Give surprise heart art with a portable watercolor pallet to a loved one for a unique Valentine’s Day gift, or a fun way to say I LOVE YOU any time of year! Scroll down to see the entire watercolor painting tutorial for both of these fun heart art projects for kids.
Related: Winter Tree Watercolor Resist Art
Watercolor Resist Suprise Heart Art Step-by-Step Directions
- Invite children to draw a heart onto watercolor paper or print any of these heart templates onto heavy cardstock.
- Cut the heart template out to trace onto watercolor paper OR draw and paint directly onto the cardstock.
- Use crayons or oil pastels to draw designs in the heart. All colors work, but only white will create hidden surprise heart art.
- Paint hearts with watercolor paint to reveal the hidden surprise designs!
- Allow heart art to dry overnight.
- Cut heart art out and glue onto construction paper or colored cardstock. (optional)
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Surprise Watercolor Resist Heart Art Step by Step Video Tutorial
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Heart-Shaped Watercolor Resist Art Tips
When children use watercolors to paint an area colored with white crayons or oil pastel, they are surprised to see the drawings appear, even when they know the art is there. It’s magic–Invite the kids to experiment and have fun!
We like to use white oil pastels best because we appreciate how they work as a watercolor resist medium. Create an experiment with watercolor resist mediums to learn which resist medium you like best.
Working with colored crayons and pastels creates colorful designs that the child will see before painting with watercolors. Drawing with white makes the art, words, or designs hard to see before the child paints.
Pop over to have a look at Easter Egg Surprise Art if you would like to see how colored crayons and pastels look after they have been painted over with watercolors.
Ask children to choose two to three watercolors to paint heart art if you would like to encourage color-mixing and experimenting. You are welcome to use more colors if desired.
Offer only the primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) if you want color-mixing to be a part of your watercolor surprise heart art lesson. Learn more about working with watercolor paints in wet-on-wet watercolor painting.
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How to Make a Watercolor Surprise Heart Art with the Wet-on-Wet Watercolor Technique
The surprise is revealed when the child discovers the magical third color. Painting with watercolors in this way allows children to experience color mixing so they can learn firsthand that blue and yellow make green, or red and yellow make orange or red and blue make purple.
Related: Rose Watercolor Art
Primary Color-Mixing Heart Painting Idea
You could also call this heart watercolor painting idea primary color mixing heart art, but I think “surprise” is more fun for the little ones.
Besides, who would want to spoil the surprise by telling children they will be doing color mixing?!
Shhh–it’ll be our little secret. 😉
Just look at how beautifully the primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) blended below to create the secondary colors (orange, green, and purple) in the heart art watercolor painting below.
My daughter has been working on wet-on-wet watercolor paintings using all three primary colors for a few years, so she has already been surprised by the secret of the secondary colors appearing.
To make her heart art project more of a surprise, I decided to use a chunk of white pastel to draw hearts on the inside of the heart-shaped template. She loved it!
Related: Easy Rainbow Art Projects Kids LOVE!
Surprise Wet-on-wet Watercolor Heart Painting Step-by-Step Directions
- Invite the kids to draw a heart or print any of our printable heart templates onto heavy cardstock.
- Cut the heart template out to trace onto watercolor paper, OR, draw and paint directly onto the cardstock.
- Hop on over to learn more about wet-on-wet watercolor painting if you would like to try creating surprise heart art using this technique. The article explains soaking the paper first. Another option is to use a spray bottle filled with water to get the paper wet and then wait a few minutes to paint.
NOTE: The clipart heart template ink can run a tiny bit when you spray it, but it is possible to cut the heart out when it’s dry for a cleaner look like the hearts pictured throughout this article. Another option is to cut the heart out before spraying it with water.
Related: Best Winter Art Ideas for Kids
Surprise Heart Art Painting Idea for Kids (and Adults Too!)
Try either of these fun ways to create watercolor surprise heart art for Valentine’s day or any time of year. Don’t forget to hop over to look at this raised salt painting heart art! There is a video of the process that is mesmerizing to watch.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!