The first time I discovered this technique by accident, I was absolutely and completely mesmerized. Clear glue and watercolor art is GORGEOUS.
I discovered clear glue and watercolor art by accident
We were in the middle of a study on famous artists and were beginning to create a Monet-inspired water lily pond.
The kids painted swirled watercolors in blues, purples, indigos, and greens together. Each piece looked like a whimsical, magical pond, and then I had an idea.
“What if we added some glue on top for texture?” I wondered to myself. I went inside, grabbed several bottles of clear glue, and gave them to the kids. “Here, try these!” I suggested, having no clue that the texture would be the least exciting thing to happen when they mixed!
Related: Artists of all ages love our GIANT 10-foot coloring banners! With 20+ themes, they’re endless fun.
We will forever love clear glue and watercolor art
We made hearts for Valentine’s Day here, but the best thing about this technique is it is evergreen and can be used for any holiday or occasion.
Also, this won’t work with regular white school glue (trust us, we’ve tried a dozen times). The good news is clear glue isn’t more expensive than white glue, AND if you have any left over, it works just as well as white glue.
Looking for more exciting art projects for kids? Take a peek at these:
- DIY Suncatchers With Clear Glue – Having Fun at Home
- Glue Paint – PBS Kids
- Glue Art on Canvas with Watercolors – The Artful Parent
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- Clear glue
- Watercolors (liquid watercolors or pan watercolors)
- Thick paper
- Paint cups in a base (optional)
- Paint base layer – Invite your child to paint a layer of color on their paper using any colors you want. You want the colors to be very wet and saturated for the best effect. For this reason, I prefer using liquid watercolors because it takes minimal effort to have a very wet canvas.
- Add clear glue directly onto the wet paint – Add the glue in any design that you want. From swirls to scribbles to lines and words, have fun “drawing” with the glue. Kids are amazed to see the watercolors instantly change color from the glue, turning nearly white.
And the best part? Even when your paper dries, the lines made with the glue don’t go away. What it looks like wet is exactly what it looks like dry! 🎉
Do you do the background first in watercolor?
Yes! The glue will not react to watercolors if the glue is dry.
However, it’s always worth experimenting with adding glue to your paper first, letting it dry completely, and then painting it over with watercolors. While the bleaching effect won’t happen, it’s still an easy and fun way to add texture to your artwork.
How long do these take to dry?
I would plan on letting your paper dry overnight before touching and using it.
If you want to make your paper into a shape (such as a heart), you could cut out the paper before beginning to avoid wasting materials on the parts of the paper that will get cut off.
We’ve bought ours from Amazon, but it’s also been at Target every time I have looked for it! It’s not usually hard to find (yay!).
YES! I think liquid watercolors are easier for little artists (because you want your paper to be really wet), but both work perfectly.
Any age that won’t eat the materials and that can use the tools to create. We love doing this type of activity with our preschoolers age 2.5-6 years.
Clear glue and watercolor art will be on repeat from now on
Seriously, once you try it, it won’t be the last time!
If cutting your paper into shapes, what might you make? A shamrock? Pumpkin? Unicorn? Dinosaur? Whatever you make, it will be one incredible piece of art.