Spotted Watercolor Frogs

One of my goals with my after school watercolor class was to show them some fun techniques to create texture in their paintings. I found this project in one of the Usbourne art books, which uses lemon juice to help make some unusual spotty watercolor patterns.
1. As I have mentioned before, my class mostly consists of kinder and 1st graders, so I made what I call “partial” templates for them to trace. They looked like frog bodies with the hands and feet missing. It worked pretty well as pointy fingers and toes would have been a pain to cut out. The students placed these frogs around on their watercolor paper, added in their own hands and feet, and traced all the edges heavily with a crayon.
2. Next the frog bodies were painted in with a single watercolor. With a clean brush, and while the bodies were still damp, small amounts of lemon juice were dabbed all around. This is the fun part as you can actually watch the splotches take shape. It takes about 30 seconds for them to fully develop so a little patience is required.
3. When all the frog bodies were done, the students filled in the background. One clever boy even added his own lily pads. Love it when they add their own touch!
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