Wet-on-wet watercolor heart art is one of the most beautiful projects for kids and adults! The fact that it’s easy and uses simple art materials is the cherry on top.
What is wet-on-wet watercolor heart art?
The wet-on-wet technique is a popular watercolor technique that is both simple and dazzling.
It’s the process of adding a touch of watercolor paint to plain water and observing the magic right before your eyes.
It reminds me of a cross between simple watercolor painting and fireworks, and what more could you ask for?!
Related: Looking for more heart art? Check out our giant 10-foot Heart coloring banner.
Wet-on-wet watercolor heart art is easier than it looks
With the beautiful swirls of color, this might look harder than it actually is.
But trust me – it’s very easy and an excellent activity for kids.
And remember to make some yourself! Your kids will be delighted to have you join in, AND you’ll love your creations.
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- Watercolor paints – you can use pan watercolors or liquid watercolors
- Sturdy paper – I almost always use watercolor paper
- Black permanent marker
- Paintbrushes: one large and one small
- Draw a heart outline on your paper – my preschoolers usually draw their own for this step. You can freehand by drawing the heart outline with water (as shown here), or by drawing an actual outline first with a pencil.
- Use a large paintbrush to fill the heart with water and lots of it – you want the heart to shine with water, and you can’t really use too much.
- Use a small paintbrush to add color to the heart by mixing your paintbrush in watercolor and gently touching the water’s surface.
When the watercolor touches the water, it will rapidly diffuse through it in an almost firework effect. For as long as the water stays really wet, you will see these bursts happen repeatedly. Eventually, the water will begin to dry, and you won’t have bursts, but you can continue adding more color.
- Carefully transfer your heart to somewhere flat to dry, trying not to let the water move too much. Sometimes, I use a paper towel to soak up some water in the heart if there’s a puddle.
No two hearts will be the same, and that’s the very best part.
Frequently asked questions
Sometimes, I take a paper towel to soak up the excess water (which also helps with transferring the paper to another space to dry).
Watercolor paper is the best paper for this project, but if you don’t have any on hand, use whatever paper you have that is the thickest.
Watercolor paper is made for lots of water, unlike something like construction paper or copy paper. While adding lots of water to the outline, you want the water to stay wet, whiny, and visible and not soak straight into the paper.
Surface tension, which is “The property of the surface of a liquid that allows it to resist an external force, due to the cohesive nature of its molecules.” – United States Geological Survey
Related: Our printable heart coloring pages are one of our most popular coloring page sets (they’re a 10/10).
How to Use Your Finished Wet-on-Wet Watercolor Heart Art
These make beautiful standalone pieces of art.
You could invite your kids to cut out their final hearts for extra fine motor fun.
Additionally, you could turn these into beautiful handmade cards.
What else might you use them for?
Try some of our other favorite heart art projects:
- Bubble Wrap Heart Art
- Concentric Heart Art
- Scrunched Tissue Paper Hearts
- Shaving Cream Marbled Hearts