Creating Beauty: Wet-on-wet Painting

“A hunger for beauty is at its heart a hunger for God.” Michael Card

Once upon a time, in a beautiful garden, lived a flower fairy. One morning she woke up ready to play. She climbed out of her rose petal bed, and washed her feet in the dew that had collected in the leaves.
paint 2

Then she dried them on the clean dry ground under the leaves.

paint 8

She thought, “I wonder who wants to play with me today” She asked a bumble bee to play, but he was busy making honey. She asked an ant to play, but he was collecting food for his family. She asked a cricket to play, but he was busy making music. Then she looked up and saw the bright yellow sun smiling down on her.” I’d love to play with you,” said Mr. Sun, who had overheard her conversation with the bee, the ant, and the cricket.

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So the little fairy danced in the suns rays. They twirled and hopped and ran and walked together. Her new friend, Mr. Sun, made her feel warm and cheerful. Everywhere they went together others could see the joy of the dance between the two friends – the flower fairy and Mr. Sun.

Wet-on-wet Painting Tips

Tip 1: Splurge some. Skimp some.

Worth the splurge:

  • Stockmar Paint

Stockmar Watercolor Paint: Carmine Red, Lemon Yellow, Ultramarine Blue – 20 ml – Bella Luna Toys (only place I could find that sold the three primary colors as a set – that’s all you need for quite a while) $23.85

Primary Paint

  • Paintbrush

Waldorf Watercolor Paint Brush – Flat bristles, wooden handle 1 inch wide ( Buy 2 – one for you and one for your child)

$16.50 from Bella Luna Toys

Paint Brush

  • Watercolor Paper

9″ x 12″ Strathmore 400-Series Watercolor Paper Pad

6.50 Hobby Lobby (with 40% online coupon)

Cutting and rounding the corners psychologically makes the experience softer and more relaxing


Baby food glass paint jars – $.50/jar

Paint board – I used a marble cutting board I already have

Tinfoil Turkey pan – to wet the paper

Dollar Store washcloths – to get bubbles out of paper & to wipe the paintbrush between colors

Tip 2; Make other’s stories your own

My story was a combination of Sarah Baldwin’s (of Bella Luna Toys) Tippy Brush and a story about the sun dancing with a child – which I can’t remember where it came from.

Wet-on-wet paint tutorial

Tip 3: Do it yourself.

Paint, and she will paint, too. Don’t lecture. Rose watched me dip the paper. She dipped hers. She watched as I used the washcloth to remove the air bubbles. She did the same. I told the story as I dipped my brush in the water, dried it on the washcloth, dipped it in paint and began painting. She did exactly what I did. I never once had to instruct her to wet and clean her brush between rounds of paint – she did because I did. It’s that easy. Besides, why would I want to be doing dishes when I could be watching beautiful color swirl around my paper like and ice skater?

Tip 4: Talk about the quality of color

Yellow is bright, cheerful and warm. I incorporated those qualities into the story. Start by painting only one color.

Tip 5: Value the process, not the finished product.

Wet on wet painting is peaceful. The brush bearing color glides smoothly over the paper’s wet surface. There are no lines to color in so there is freedom of movement and expression. Let the child experience the blending of colors naturally. Rose chose to stop each color at the next color’s edge – so still doesn’t realize that yellow and blue make green, or purple is created when blue meets red. I’m allowing her to discover this in her own time frame.

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I do have to admit that she was pretty darn excited about the finished process as well.

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