Unveiling the Magic of Watercolor Resist with Salt: A Creative Lesson for Elementary Students


Art education is a powerful medium through which elementary students can explore their creativity and develop new techniques. Watercolor resist with salt is a captivating art lesson that introduces students to the enchanting world of resist painting while igniting their artistic curiosity. In this blog post, we'll delve into the magic of watercolor resist with salt and learn how to incorporate this engaging lesson into your elementary classroom.

The Artistic Wonder of Watercolor Resist

Before we jump into the lesson plan, it's essential to introduce the concept of watercolor resist to your young artists. Watercolor resist is a technique that involves creating barriers to prevent watercolor paint from adhering to certain areas of the paper. This allows for stunning contrasts and unique textures in your artwork. In this lesson, we'll use salt as our resist material, and your students will be amazed at the mesmerizing results.

Materials Needed

To successfully conduct a watercolor resist with salt lesson, you'll need the following materials:

  1. Watercolor paper or heavy art paper for each student.
  2. Watercolor paint sets with a variety of colors.
  3. Watercolor brushes in different sizes.
  4. A container of fine table salt (avoid using iodized salt).
  5. Plastic cups or bowls for water.
  6. Visual aids, such as images of watercolor resist artwork for inspiration.
  7. Art aprons or old shirts to protect students' clothing.

Lesson Plan

Now, let's break down the lesson into a few simple steps:

Step 1: Introduction to Watercolor Resist (15 minutes)

Start by introducing the concept of watercolor resist to your students. Show them images of watercolor resist artwork to provide inspiration. Explain how the technique works by creating barriers to the watercolor paint, making certain areas of the paper resistant to color.

Step 2: Basic Watercolor Techniques (15 minutes)

Before students dive into their own creations, give them a brief introduction to basic watercolor techniques. Explain the importance of wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry techniques, as well as the use of different brushstrokes to create texture and depth in their artwork.

Step 3: Watercolor Resist with Salt (45 minutes)

Now, it's time for your students to create their own watercolor resist masterpiece. Provide each student with watercolor paper, brushes, watercolor paint, and a small container of salt. Instruct them to choose a subject or design for their artwork and begin painting using watercolors. Here's where the magic happens: while the paint is still wet, encourage your students to sprinkle salt onto their artwork. As the salt absorbs the water, it creates unique patterns and textures on the paper. The results are sure to mesmerize your students.

Step 4: Sharing and Reflection (15 minutes)

Once the artworks are complete, have a sharing session where students can discuss their creations. Ask them to describe the effects the salt had on their paintings and the emotions or stories they were trying to convey through their artwork. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to reflect on their artistic choices and appreciate the creativity of their peers.


Watercolor resist with salt is a remarkable lesson that allows elementary students to explore and experiment with the dynamic world of watercolors. By guiding your students through this artistic journey, you're not only fostering creativity but also encouraging them to embrace the element of surprise and spontaneity in art. As an elementary school teacher, you have the power to inspire a love for art and provide your students with the tools to create their own captivating masterpieces. So, set up your art space, hand out the watercolor materials, and watch as your students embark on an artistic adventure, one brushstroke at a time. Happy painting!