Saturday, July 21, 2012

Liquid Watercolor Activity: Rubber Cement Resist

Take a piece of watercolor paper and let the children drizzle all over it with rubber cement. (If you have never used rubber cement, be warned - absolutely do not try to clean spills up with water. Seriously, take my traumatized word for it. Just let it dry and then rub it off.) Having completed the project I'll say this. Lay the rubber cement on thick. It'll be easier to rub off. The color bleeds through the resist and the rubber cement is harder to rub off where it is thin. It is still a pretty effect, just not as dramatic and harder to work with.

Once dry, let children paint over the rubber cement with watercolors and let it dry again. Optional: Give the children rice to sprinkle onto the wet watercolors and let it dry with the rice in place for an interesting extra effect. Once dry, shake off the rice (if you did that) and show them how to remove the dry rubber cement by rubbing it off with their fingers.

You should be left with a beautiful abstract painting that demonstrates a resist technique very well.

Notes from the trenches:
  • Again, it cannot be stated too many times, do not attempt to clean up rubber cement spills, drips, or paintbrushes with water.
  • Do use watercolor paper. I forgot and used cardstock by accident. The paper didn't hold up well and we got some tears when trying to remove the rubber cement.

  • Do not offer salt as an additional technique for adding effect. The salt will stick to your rubber cement and make it much, much more difficult to remove the rubber cement from your painting.

(This activity was inspired by this post.)

Other Liquid Watercolor Activities


  1. The textures are very cool and intriguing. Amazing results.

  2. Thanks for the tip about not using salt. How long does the glue take to dry.


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