Let's Talk Watercolor! 12 Watercolor Tips and Tricks!

Watercolor is a staple in the elementary classroom and art room BUT…it can be a bit of a headache. I recently saw on an art teacher’s Facebook group a teacher sharing a brand new watercolor tray completely demolished in just one painting session (well, demolished is an exaggeration; all watercolor trays can be cured with a simple rinse at the sink). It reminded me how much I have learned from teaching art after a million years…and all that I learned about teaching watercolor paint to kids. So I put all of the tips and tricks I could think of (I’m sure I missed some!) in a video. I’ll list them below but if you wanna just watch then…here ya go!

Tip #1: Ditch those cases! 

I kick off the video sharing super cute vintage watercolor cases and then…I tell you to ditch the case. Trust me! You will save the sanity of dealing with messy watercolor cases. AND it will help the paint to dry between use. 

Tip #2: Remove black, brown and white!

THIS IS A GAME CHANGER!! Trust me on this one. You will send me letters, flowers, hugs and well wishes when you do. 

Tip #3: Customize your paint trays!

I have a rainbow tray, a warm tray and a cool tray. I want to create a flesh mixing tray too. 

Tip #4: Only buy refills!

So a big brand art supplier STOPPED making refills for their watercolor trays. I KNOW. However…my friends at Prang STILL DO! Hooray! You can check out all of my recommended watercolor supplies as well as those refills in my Amazon store

Tip #5: Use trays!

They capture the mess and make transport of supplies easy for you and your students. Need a supplier for trays? See my Amazon link…OR…check Dollar Tree’s website! I often buy those trays in bulk on their website; I never see them in their stores. 

Tip #6: Try dog dishes!

I did add a link to these in my Amazon store BUT you can find them cheaper at Dollar Tree. These I actually do see in the stores!

Tip #7: Use wake up juice!

This might be the kids’ favorite trick. They LOVE Wake Up Juice! They think it’s so funny and my older kids love to use it independently. 

Tip #8: Teach proper brush care!

Isn’t that the worst?! Seeing your precious paintbrushes ground to bits? Not to mention your paint pans demolished?! Try teaching a couple of my hacks: Ballerina Paintbrush and Pet the Kitten.

Tip #9: Cleaning the brush!

Nothing muddies up a paint set like not cleaning the paintbrush correctly. Get a sponge for this and thank me later!

Tip #10: Explain translucence!

So that kids know the difference between watercolor paint and tempera, you may want to explain the difference between translucence and opaque. 

Tip #11: No waster watercolor!

I’m getting tired of typing so check out the video on how I use every last drop of watercolor paint!

Tip #12: Let the paint dry out!

I share my simple hack for letting paint dry completely between use.

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