Watercolor Resist Silhouettes

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Posted on Feb 13 2014 - 1:00am by Ashley
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Watercolor Resist Silhouettes - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Back in 6th grade we made silhouettes with dark colored construction paper; not extremely pretty, but kind of interesting to make. I wanted to make some silhouettes of my kids too, but I wanted something I would want to keep! So I came up with these watercolor resist silhouettes!

The hardest part of these is really getting your kids to sit still enough to let you dew around their shadow! The way we set it up: I taped a piece of contact paper to the wall that was the same size as my canvas, and then I taped a flashlight to a chair across the room. I had the child sit in the chair while I drew the shadow (my model here is not too thrilled with the picture taking).

Watercolor Resist Silhouettes - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Watercolor Resist Silhouettes - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Next cut out your silhouette. Then you can remove the paper backing and stick it on your canvas. We used 11×14 flat canvases because they were easier for kids to paint on.

Once the contact paper is adhered you can turn your kids loose with water colors. I chose to use real water colors (although not the expensive ones) to get the nice color blending. Cover the entire canvas with paint and allow to dry over night.

Watercolor Resist Silhouettes - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Watercolor Resist Silhouettes - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Watercolor Resist Silhouettes - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Then peel off the contact paper.  You may notice a little leakage of paint around the edges, especially if your little ones were a bit over zealous with the water part of watercolor. (Eli’s was to worst as he was quite fond of adding water to his paint!)

Watercolor Resist Silhouettes - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

I cleaned it up a bit by painting over it with white acrylic paint. Then, I ended up covering the entire silhouette so it would look cohesive. And then the OCD part of me even painted Bria’s silhouette to match the others despite how clean she kept it. Allow to dry again. And here is the result!

Watercolor Resist Silhouettes - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Now you have lovely art work that includes your children’s silhouettes! I wish my kids would have used more bright colors, but I totally plan to do this again as they get older to see the changes!


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  • cookiecrumblesdiana

    Oh I love this! It's definitely going on my list of projects

    • They were a lot of fun, and I love them, because they are my kids of course! I hope you enjoy yours too!

  • I've always wanted to do silhouettes! This is a neat twist on the classic idea!

    • They are always fun to look at once they are finished. I hope you get a chance to make some!

  • Danya Banya

    I love that you used their real silhouette! These are fab. Pinning. xx

    • Wouldn't be worth doing otherwise (at least to me)! Got to love their little faces!

  • Great project! How do you hang flat canvas? We did a project on flat canvas and I'm not sure what I should do to put a hang on the back! Thanks!

    • You can frame it, and I suppose you could probably staple a ribbon to the back to hang from, but I haven't tried that method. Ours are still on our piano. 🙂

  • This is such a neat project! Thanks for linking up to our party last week. I am featuring these silhouettes at our All Things Thursday Blog Hop tonight and pinning them to our All Things Thursday group features board. Come by and grab a button! Have a great week.

  • CraftyMomsShare

    Oh, what a neat idea!! I love it! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

  • Ann

    My friend has done this with the black paper – it looks great.
    What I like about this project is that it includes the children and their different art style and/or approach to art.
    I am totally planning on doing this with mine soon.
    Thanks for the post. Blessings

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  • I love how you used colors around your silhouette to jazz it up instead of the black! This turned out super cute =)

  • Elizabeth Juarez

    Can this be done on some sort of paper?