Looking for an art project to do while studying space with your kids? I’ve got a fun and easy solar system art project for you today.
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My kids and I have spent the last couple of months studying the space science unit from The Good and the Beautiful. While we’ve been studying this science unit, I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate art activities into our lessons. That’s where this watercolor solar system art comes into the picture.
Watercolor Resist Solar System Art
Before we look at the instructions, here are the supplies you’ll need to gather:
- Watercolor paper or mixed media paper
- Watercolor paints (standard kid-friendly paints work well on this one)
- Oil pastels
- Olive Oil (optional)
Step 1 – Sketch the Solar System
Start by choosing an illustration of the solar system to use for inspiration. We opened up our old copy of Usborne’s First Guide to the Universe, but there are plenty of great options for this. Borrow some favorite books on space from your local library or use whatever you have on hand!
Once you have an illustration to use as an example, have your kiddo lightly draw the outline of the solar system in pencil.
Step 2 – Color with Oil Pastels
The next step is to go over all pencil marks with oil pastels and completely color in the planets and the sun. (If you don’t have pastels on hand, you can substitute with crayons.)
It’s important to color in as carefully and completely as possible. The oil pastels create a barrier and help keep the watercolors from running into the planets or sun. 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. 😉
If desired, you can also add a row of tiny pastel marks with a yellow or gold pastel to create the asteroid belt. To add stars, make these marks randomly all over the page.
Step 3 – Watercolor Painting
When the pastel work is complete, it’s time to start painting. Have your kiddo carefully begin painting space using black, blue, or purple watercolors. He can also mix the colors or alternate them while working his way across the paper.
Next, take a break and allow the watercolors to dry. Drying time will vary, but this shouldn’t take more than a half hour or so.
Step 4 – Blend Pastels
This last step is optional, but it finishes our solar system art quite nicely.
After the watercolor dries, blend the pastel planets and sun using a small amount of olive oil and an old paintbrush.
If you don’t have olive oil on hand, you can use baby oil for this step. Also, it’s important to set the paintbrush aside after blending and cleaning; from here out it can only be used for blending with oil.
Once it dries, you’re finished and ready to enjoy.
That’s all there is to it: pencil it out, color planets, sun, and stars with oil pastels and finish it out with watercolors.
I hope this watercolor solar system makes a nice addition to your time studying Earth and space in your homeschool!