July 14, 2013

Watercolor Ice Art

Frozen Color Mixing with Watercolors

Frozen watercolor ice art - explore color theory through art and play with this simple art activity for summer

I am so excited about the beautiful watercolor ice art JZ (6) created today I am bursting to share it!  Watercolor art is a favorite in our house, because no matter what you paint it almost always turns out gorgeous.  I knew when I froze liquid watercolors yesterday that this would be a fun art project, but I had no idea it would be this phenomenal.  Ice art is one of our favorite ways to beat the heat summer brings.  We love ice paint and ice art sculptures, and now we love frozen watercolors!

Watercolor ice art - beat the heat this summer with this gorgeous art activity and science lesson rolled into one!

How to Make Watercolor Ice Art

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Color mixing with watercolor ice - art and science to help you keep cool this summer!

Directions:  The set up for our watercolor ice art couldn't be easier!  I filled an ice cube tray with liquid watercolors and left it to freeze overnight.  I did not water down the watercolors, although I'm sure you could.  I pulled the frozen watercolors out of the freezer while I set up the work area, so they could defrost a tiny bit, making it easier to remove them from the ice cube tray.

I covered our outdoor table with an old towel then set out watercolor paper.  I brought the frozen watercolors out to the table and invited JZ to join me for some ice painting.  Please note:  Watercolor paper is not necessary, but I highly recommend using thick paper to avoid tearing.

I encouraged JZ to choose two colors per sheet of watercolor paper and to pick colors that would complement one another and blend for and experiment in frozen color mixing.

Gorgeous watercolor art for kids with a simple science lesson

First he combined blue and red to make shades of purple, and next he chose yellow and blue.  For the third artwork he picked red and yellow.

Learn about color theory with frozen watercolor paint

I think the purple painting is the most breathtaking, but watching the yellow and blue colors mix was exhilarating.  The yellow instantly turned to green when it touched the paper.  There was only the smallest amount of blue mixing with it when it changed.

Frozen watercolors - combine art and science with this cool sensory activity

The more JZ rubbed the frozen watercolors on the paper, the more lovely shades appeared.

Frozen watercolor ice art for kids

One of the many wonderful things about watercolor art is that it is very forgiving.  Tank (24 months) sat at the table and grabbed the yellow ice cube and rubbed it around on JZ's art.  It only added to the creation.  (And thankfully JZ is very forgiving and understanding of his little brothers...most of the time.)

Toddler friendly watercolor ice art

My other favorite thing about watercolors is that the clean up is so simple.  Liquid watercolors wash easily with water.  The white towels I used to wipe up a few spills rinsed clean in warm water without needing any soap.  Our hands rinsed mostly clean with the first wash and then completely clean during our bedtime wash routine.

watercolor ice art for kids

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Lovely watercolor art made from frozen watercolor - combine art and science with this chilly art activity

More ways to play and create with ice:

 Bowling with ICE - a DIY bowling game for summer! 


  1. I LOVE this! I can't wait to try it!

  2. How clever! My guys would love this. Thank you for sharing it at the Kids CoOp. So thrilled to be featuring this post as part of invitations to play with water roundup. xo Pauline

  3. What a brilliant idea. And you captured it so beautifully on camera! We've enjoyed all our play with liquid watercolours and ice but I'd never thought of this combination - thank you for sharing!

  4. What a wonderful idea. My little girl would love it. I must get some watercolours.

    Thanks so much for joining in with Challenge and Discover with Science Sparks and Inspiration Laboratories.

  5. This is a fantastic idea! Shared here http://siayla.blogspot.ca/2014/02/got-winter-try-these-snow-and-ice.html

  6. These are amazing! Pinned them last year and just making a batch today.
    Wondering: could we use cardstock or do you think it would "warp" it too much? ALS, Would you be able to add salt crystals? I'm thinking of adding just a COUPLE Coarse larger ones to sit on painting while drying? Thanks for always sharing SOO much inspiration!

    1. Thank you! As long as it is a thicker cardstock it should work. :) I think salt crystals would be cool.

  7. You could also freeze the colored cubes with a craft stick or tongue depressor in them which would make it easier for the kids to hold on to, and not to get stained by food coloring.

  8. I paint with watercolors all the time. A funny thing about water though is that it avoids wax... hmmm

    I like using oil pastels/crayons (white usually) to create little 'no zones' for the water when I'm painting. Fun tip for next time! ;)

  9. This is a great idea! I'm planning a kids activity for a big family reunion and I think we're going to do this! Since it'll be on large scale, do you have a recipe for the "paint" using just food coloring? Thanks!


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