An entirely different way to paint: watercolor monotype

In this video, art teacher Nikki, an instructor at the Pratt Fine Arts Center, a community arts center in Seattle that works with Amazon, will show you how to make a watercolor monotype. What's that, you say? A watercolor monotype is a way of printing a picture on paper. Instead of painting directly on the paper, you're going to paint on something totally different: a piece of plastic. Then you'll transfer the picture you made on plastic to a damp sheet of paper.

What's cool about this technique is that if you make a mistake or decide you want to change your picture, you can do that on the plastic. You can also make lots of cool textures and effects using different things from around your home, like sponges or an old toothbrush. Nikki takes you through the process step-by-step.

If you're feeling like a watercolor monotype pro after a few tries, Nikki also shows you how to make an even more complicated picture by sketching first on paper and then placing your plastic over the top of the sketch before transferring it to the soaked paper. Have fun!

What you’ll need:

● Plastic sheet (Graphix, plexiglass, get creative!)
● Paper (4 smooth sheets, at least 160gsm; must be able to withstand soaking in water)
● Waxed paper or tracing paper
● Glass jar (barren, wooden spoon, or metal spoon will work, too)
● Tape (masking, blue, or artist tape all work)
● Ziplock bag or tray
● Jar of water
● Rags, paper towels for blotting/wiping
● Watercolors (tube recommended—no gouache!)
● A variety of materials to add, wipe, dab, and subtract paint with:

  • Paintbrushes
  • Makeup sponges
  • Dish sponges (cut smaller)
  • Q-tips
  • Rags
  • Paper towels
  • Chopsticks
  • Clay shapers
  • Sandpaper
  • Toothbrush

● For cleanup: soap and water or baby wipes

Virtual Kids Week activities are intended for children with involvement from a parent or guardian.