Watercolor Resist

Watercolor Resist

Creating a watercolor resist image is a great way to experiment with art making and create your own inspiration. This technique is also called wax resist because you need wax - like a crayon or oil pastel - to create the design that will resist the watercolor paint.

Keep your mind open to the finished art piece. Since this might be a new technique to you, it’s important to give yourself the time and space to play and allow for the unexpected.

The process is simple, you will be drawing with the crayon and then painting over it with the watercolors. You can plan the drawing as much or as little as you like. Or, you can try using the crayon to create a textured “rubbing” before painting over it.

Lets start with the supplies:

  • You will need a set of watercolor paints and paintbrush
  • Watercolor paper
  • Water to clean your brush between paint colors
  • Crayons or oil pastels
  • Paper towel for clean up


  • Prepare your surface for painting and make sure you have towel or paper towel to clean up any water drips and spills
  • Get your watercolor paints wet so they are ready when you need them
  • Draw on your watercolor paper with the crayon or oil pastel
  • Paint directly over your drawing with the watercolors. Watch how the paper will absorb the color except where there is a crayon line
  • If you would like to try a textured rubbing, take your watercolor paper and place it on top of a textured surface. This could be a natural element like tree bark or a manufactured surface like the plastic netting used for packaging fruit. 
  • Hold your paper on top of the textured surface with one hand, and with the other hand rub the surface of the paper with the long side of the crayon to transfer the texture onto the paper. 
  • Then, paint with watercolor directly over the crayon texture.
  • Try with different textured surfaces and different color crayons to see what you can create!
  • Have fun!

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