MYSTERY PAINTING – Shape, Colour, Texture

Students use watercolour paint plus plastic wrap and salt to create a colourful textured painting. Once the painting is dry they examine it to find hidden objects that they outline and enhance with black fine line marker.

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MYSTERY PAINTING – Shape, Colour, Texture


  • Crayola Watercolour Paints
  • Crayola Paint Brushes
  • Crayola Marker & Watercolour Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12")
  • Crayola Fine Line Markers - black
  • Table Salt
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Masking Tape
  • Plastic Placemats - 1 per student
  • Water Containers - 1 per student
  • Paper Towels


Step 1
  1. Tape a single piece of watercolour paper onto a plastic placemat or piece of stiff cardboard.
  2. When the tape is removed it will leave a white border around the paintings.
  3. Be sure to use one long strip of tape for each side unless you want a broken border.
  4. Moisten the watercolour paints by dropping a brush load of water on each colour.
Step 2
  1. Fill the paper with different colours of paint.
  2. Let the colours bleed together.
  3. Tap a paint filled brush over the paper to splatter some drops.
  4. Sprinkle some salt on the wet paper.
Step 3
  1. Place plastic wrap on top of the wet paint.
  2. Scrunch it up and press it into the paint.
  3. Set the painting aside to dry.
Step 4
  1. View your painting from all directions.
  2. Look for objects in the shapes and patterns of the paint.
  3. Outline your discoveries in pencil.
  4. Outline your drawings in black fine line marker.
Step 5
  1. Paint a small amount of water into the marker lines.
  2. Gently pull the ink away to make a shadow on your shape.
  3. Put dark shadows beside light areas to make the objects stand out.
Step 6
  1. View your work with fresh eyes.
    - What do you like best about the painting? Why?
    - What story does your painting tell?
    - How did you decide what each shape was?
    - What would you do differently next time?
Illustrated Crayon Character