Watercolor Texture Techniques: A Homeschool Art Lesson

Texture is the last Element of Art we are studying… Texture is the look and feel of a surface… Since we’ve mostly been painting this school year I decided we would practice watercolor texture techniques this week and next week in acrylics.

To begin with, I showed the kids the watercolor paintings below and we looked for different textures including, but not limited to fluffy clouds, wrinkly skin, wood, scratchy twigs, soft flower petals, lion mane, soft fabric, and grass.

by Chinese artist, Li Lin

by Carl Larsson, 1919

Next we moved on to the hands-on part of the lesson. The basic format was inspired by Watercolor Techniques from DeepSpaceSparkle.com and I did use some of the techniques in this lesson, but added some others related to painting texture. Step-by-step instructions for these techniques (and many more) are illustrated well at watercolorpainting.com.

We started with an 8-1/2″ x 11″ piece of white card stock (using paper specifically made for watercolor paints would have been helpful but it’s expensive. Unfortunately, I think this hindered our results.) In a landscape position, we drew 2 rows of 3 squares, leaving room at the top for the title “Texture With Watercolors”. We labeled each square: 1) Wet-on-wet, 2) Rubbing alcohol, 3) Salt, 4) Plastic wrap, 5) Oil resist, and 6) Tissue paper. (We didn’t have the best results so I’ve included a how-to link for each technique.) I said if they wanted to, they could add borders to their squares and make their title decorative. Below is one of our more exuberant examples…


1) Wet-on-Wet



2) Rubbing Alcohol


Rubbing alcohol

3) Salt



4) Plastic Wrap


Plastic wrap


Plastic wrap

5) Oil Resist


Oil resist

6) Tissue Paper

(None of us had great results with this technique so the photo below is from another website)

So that was our Watercolor Texture lesson. It took over an hour and appealed to all the age groups, even our preschooler who just needed extra help…. Next week we’ll do Texture with Acrylic-type paints…..

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  1. […] been painting I decided we would focus on creating texture with paint. Last week we practiced watercolor texture techniques and this week techniques in […]

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