Art Projects

Watercolor Resist Painting

finished brea reese watercolor resist panels

A watercolor resist panel is a canvas that has an image or design masked on it. When you paint with a liquid paint or ink like watercolor, the pigment can't penetrate the masked part of the canvas. This causes the masked image to be white with the colors all around it.

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We used Brea Reese panels available at Target. However, you can also make your own. I've linked to a tutorial on how to make your own watercolor resist at the end of the post along with a link to some ideas on Pinterest.


We used Brea Reese Watercolor Resist Panels, however I could not find them on Amazon. They can be found here from Target. Everything else you need can be found on Amazon.

Step 1: Find Your Watercolor Resist Panels

The water color resist panels that we chose were the single canvas, but she also has watercolor resist pads with 20-30 pages of a multitude of designs. We got ours at Target. I haven’t seen them yet on Amazon, but there are many online stores that sell them. My daughter chose the butterfly and my son chose the feathers.

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Step 2: Choose the colors

I had the kids chose three colors in a color progression. We mixed up the colors on the palette making sure that we had enough paint to finish the painting.

Step 3: Paint a gradient from light to dark

If you are trying to get an ombre effect, I would use a large wide brush. Start with the lightest color to the darkest color. You might want to mark equal spacing for younger kids to aide them in keeping the spacing of the three colors equal.

If you are trying to get an ombre effect, I would use a large wide brush

Start with the lightest color and go to the darkest color

Step 4: Let it dry

When you are done, you get an ombre effect with the image remaining the white color of the canvas, hence resisting the water color! My daughter had to go over hers with another wash after it dried because her colors were too light at first, so be sure you have enough pigment to water when you mix your colors on your palette.

Please leave your comments below about your experiences with Brea Reese Watercolor Resist Panels. We would love to see all your beautiful creations, so be sure and share with us.

As I mentioned before, here is a great tutorial at Instructables Craft to make your own watercolor resist panels: Watercolor Resist Cards

If you love painting like we do, check out our Color Pour project!

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