Salt & Watercolour Painting

Baby Peanut is currently going through an art phase. I’m happy that this new found interest of hers happened amidst the COVID-19 quarantine, because painting is a great activity when you’re stuck indoors!

The artist in me is super excited to develop Peanut’s artistic side. Naturally, I’m always looking for new ways to support her exploration of colours and develop her technique…It’s never too early to start! 😉 Painting with a toddler is also a great way to teach colour vocabulary and develop fine motor skills. Not to mention, I get precious art to display at the end!

Watercolour is a favourite at our house. It’s a great medium for toddlers since I find it much easier to clean up compared to regular paint.

A few days ago, I decided to show her the salt technique and it was a big hit! Peanut had so much fun with this activity and the effects are quite magnificent.

Materials:

  • Watercolour paint
  • Brushes
  • Paper
  • Salt
  • Washi tape/painters tape (optional)

It’s best to use watercolour paper or card stock paper; regular paper would rip too easily when wet. If you want a white border around the final painting, tape down the paper edges like I did below.

Then, using a clean brush, wet the entire paper with clean water before painting. This will help create a greater effect from adding the salt later on.

When painting, it’s best to limit to two or three colours at a time so the mixed colours won’t come out looking muddy at the end.

Now the fun part! While the paint is still wet, sprinkle salt all over the painting. Tip: This can get messy very quickly. If you’re trying this with a young artist like mine, only give them a little bit of salt at a time, because trust me, they will use ALL the salt available.

Waiting for the painting to dry is not something that toddlers are good at. But this is a crucial step of the process. To stop Peanut from pushing the salt around, I had to distract her with her favourite way to paint, aka being messy!

Finally, when the painting is dry, carefully rub off the salt into a sink and voilà! You have some art pieces worth hanging.

The salt crystals soaked up the surrounding watercolour paint, creating cool visual interest

Since Mother’s Day is coming up, I added to Peanut’s paintings and turned them into homemade presents — perfect for grandmas!

Would you give this a try? How do you keep the little ones entertained while social-distancing? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading et à la prochaine!

xo

Mary

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