Reflection Painting Activity

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Updated on Aug 23, 2013

Your child will create their very own nighttime cityscape. Not only will stars shine in the evening sky over the skyscrapers, they will also create a waterfront reflection. Get ready to visit the big city of lights and color!

What You Need:

  • Dark Blue or Gray Construction Paper (11” x 17”)
  • Crayons or oil pastels
  • Black tempera paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Water
  • Paint tray
  • Metal spoon
  • Water

What You Do:

  1. Set the construction paper so it is vertical. Fold it in half from the top down and make a crease at the fold. Unfold it again so it is vertical.
  2. Using crayons or oil pastels, start at the creased line, working upwards. Draw tall skyscraper buildings with a variety of roofs. Think of buildings you have seen in various cities or photos of cities you haven’t visited yet. Consider domed roofs, spiky roofs and how buildings overlap. Don’t forget to add in the night sky with the moon and stars. Use pressure with your crayons or oil pastels so you create a thick layer which will be easier to transfer.
  3. Fold the paper at the crease again. Using the rounded side of the spoon, rub the top of the paper using pressure. This will transfer the crayon or oil pastel to the other side of the paper. Open the paper a few times to check and make sure the colors are transferring to the other half of the page.
  4. Unfold the paper and flatten it out.
  5. In a paint tray, combine black tempera paint with a little bit of water to make it thin. It should be similar to the consistency of ink. Brush the liquefied paint on top of the wax drawing in even strokes using a wide paintbrush. The crayon wax or oil pastel will resist the paint allowing the colors to show through, creating the illusion of a night sky reflection in water.
Ellen Dean has worked as an art educator in Thailand since 2005, working with both children and adults. She has also been a professional artist working in painting, sculpture and photography since 1996.

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