Looking for an art project to do while studying early American history with your kids? I’ve got a fun and easy colonial flag watercolor art project for you today.
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Despite my kids being five years apart and following two different homeschool roadmaps, they’ve both landed in colonial America at the same time. While we’ve been studying this era in American history, I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate art activities into our lessons. That’s where this watercolor colonial flag comes into the picture.
Colonial Flag Watercolor Art
Before we look at the instructions, here are the supplies you’ll need to gather for your kids:
- Watercolor paper
- Watercolor paints (standard kid-friendly paints work well on this one)
- Oil pastels
- White paint pen (optional)
- Ruler (Optional)
- Sharpie (Optional)
Step 1 – Outlining in Pencil
We started our colonial flag watercolor art project by pulling up a picture of the flag so my little one would have an example of the flag while she worked.
Once she had an example of the flag in front of her, she began lightly drawing the outline of the flag in pencil while using the side of her watercolor pad to keep the stripes straight.
We would’ve preferred a ruler for this project, but all of ours were missing in action. That never happens in your home, right? Luckily, the watercolor pad worked well enough!
Step 2 – Outlining in Oil Pastel
Her next step was to go over her pencil marks with a white oil pastel. (If you don’t have pastels on hand, you can substitute with a white crayon.) When she finished tracing her pencil lines, she went back and colored in the stars.
This step is important because the pastel creates a barrier and helps keep the watercolors where they’re supposed to be. That’s especially helpful when you’ve got young ones who go a little heavy on the paints, not that I’m speaking from experience. 😉
Step 3 – Watercolor Painting
When the pencil work and tracing was over, she was excited to get down to business and start painting. She carefully began outlining her red stripes and filling them in as she worked her way down the flag.
When she finished her stripes, she painted in the upper left corner of the flag. If I were the type to get upset about art projects gone wrong, this step might have been a problem for me. You see, my sweet girl was a bit, ahem, overzealous with the blue and made it her goal to cover the white stars. In theory the white pastels should have prevented her stars from being covered, but that’s not how it went down.
Note: it’s best to keep your coffee mug far away from the water you’re using with the paints. Otherwise you might end up with a nasty taste in your mouth. I learned this one the hard way. Sigh.
Step 4 – Touching Up
You may not need to do anything after Step 3, but my little one needed to do some touch-ups after the watercolors dried. She took this opportunity to go over her stars with a white paint pen. When the paint pen dried, she outlined her stars with a silver Sharpie for extra definition. After those dried, she was finished.
And there you have it: our easy colonial flag watercolor art project. I hope you enjoy doing this with your kiddos as you study American history!