Art Projects for Sunday Church School: Using Watercolor Paints

This series of blogs about including art in the Sunday Church School will offer a variety of art techniques and ideas. Each week will focus on one medium, offering a tutorial for one project (which can be used at multiple age levels), as well as several other suggested ways to incorporate the medium in other projects. The purpose of the series is to offer Sunday Church School teachers ideas which they can keep in mind for future reference as they plan to use art in their classroom. Each technique can be applied to a variety of lessons, whether Bible stories, Church history, lessons on the Faith, etc. For the purpose of keeping it simple, the cross will be used in each illustration throughout the series.

Watercolor paints are easy for children of all ages to use. They are also inexpensive, but produce beautiful results. There are many ways in which watercolor paints can be used in the Sunday Church School classroom. Here is one of them: Create a watercolor resist with contact paper shapes and stickers.

First, cover your workspace and gather the items you will need for the resist.


Create the resist. Place stickers and/or shapes cut from contact paper onto watercolor paper, creating the desired covering. Remind the young artists that whatever they cover on the paper before they paint will resist the paint and leave a white image when it is removed.


Paint the watercolor paper completely. Be sure to paint right up to the edge/cover the resist shapes with watercolor paints. (You may want to have tissues or paper towels available in the event that color begins to pool where an artist doesn’t want it. The pool of color can be gently dabbed away.)


Allow the paint to dry.


Carefully remove the resist shapes to reveal the white paper beneath them.


Your project is finished!


The following inspired this project:

contact paper resist:

stickers (or tape) resist:


Age-related notes:

Younger children will want to use ready-made stickers or cut very simple shapes from the contact paper for their resist. Teachers of younger children can tape the children’s watercolor paper to the table cover, so that the piece does not move around as the children paint on it.

Older children can spend more time cutting more intricate resist items from the contact paper, to stick on the watercolor paper before painting. Perhaps they will want to use sticker letters to include a word or message. They may also want to use different treatments for the wet paint, such as dabbing it with a scrunched up paper towel or plastic wrap; or sprinkling it with salt or oil to add another effect to the color.


Following are a myriad of other ideas of ways to use watercolor paints in the Sunday Church School classroom.


Apply white glue in the desired shape, and, while it is still wet, cover the glue with salt. Drop watercolors (or slightly-watered-out food coloring) onto the wet, salty shapes, allowing the color to soak into the salt and mix where the colors meet. This is not a long-lasting project (because the salt dries and can easily peel off), but it is fun and pretty! or


Create a watercolor resist “stained glass” picture. Draw on a piece of watercolor paper with crayons. Paint over the drawing with watercolors. When it’s dry, “paint” the back with olive oil. When that dries, tape the “stained glass” picture to a window!

Here is another crayon-resist watercolor project: Create watercolor resist blocks by drawing on warmed wooden blocks with crayon, then painting over the image with watercolor.


Create your own watercolors as suggested here: This could easily be tied in with a lesson on the Creation!


Paint large swatches of color on paper. Sprinkle the wet paint with salt. Allow it to dry. Brush the salt off (with a paper towel or your fingers). Cut an image (snowflakes are used in this example) from a different piece of solid-colored paper to glue on top of the salted paint background.


Drop vegetable oil on freshly painted watercolor images for an interesting effect.


Use watercolors to paint doilies as suggested here: or to paint coffee filters as suggested here: or here:
Once dry, the doilies and the coffee filters can then be used to create something (a garland, a flower, or a snowflake, for example).


Find 32 fun ways to use watercolor paints with children at

1 thought on “Art Projects for Sunday Church School: Using Watercolor Paints

  1. Pingback: Lenten Sundays Series: The Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross | Orthodox Christian Sunday Church School Teachers

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