Create a Wax-Resist Nightscape!

What You Need:

  • White, medium weight paper
  • Crayons in assorted colors—bright or fluorescent colors work best
  • Newspaper
  • Black or dark blue watercolor
  • Large brush

What You Do:

  1. Let your child know that he will be creating a nightscape. You can show your child examples of famous nightscapes such as Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night or Starry Night Over the Rhone. Talk with your child about how van Gogh uses dots for stars and swirling movements for light.
  2. With the crayons, encourage your child to draw his favorite landscape. Go outside and have him draw a picture of the outdoors, or just let him make one up. Make sure he presses down hard and uses plenty of bright colors as he draws.
  3. Lay the newspaper down over your painting area.
  4. Brush black or blue poster paint or water color over the entire paper.
  5. When the painting dries, your child will have an instant nightscape! The wax crayon resists the paint, allowing his wonderful crayon drawing to shine through while simply changing the time of day in the scene.

As an extension, discuss with your child why his entire painting did not turn black when painted. Because wax is waterproof, it does not absorb water or paint the way paper does, so when crayons are used to draw, the drawing shows through because the wax protects the paper from the paint.

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