How to make Watercolor Art & “Ocean Meets Sky”

A Sentimental Book & Watercolor Art!

After reading The Fan Brothers’ “Ocean Meets Sky” we decided to create some Watercolor Art! We used watercolor paint to represent the ocean and cotton balls to represent the sky. Let’s get started…

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Summary of “Ocean Meets Sky”

“Ocean Meets Sky” by The Fan Brothers is a sentimental book about a young boy, who misses his grandfather on what would have been his 90th birthday. To honor him he builds a boat for the journey they had planned together. Afterwards he falls asleep.

When he wakes up he realizes he’s on that magical trip after all. The illustrations in this book are out of this world gorgeous. There are a few pages with no words that we just stared at mesmerized by their beauty. The imaginative nature of this story is fantastic, my favorite being “Library Islands” made up of stacks of books & “a hundred bookish birds”. My daughter loved the idea of an island of giant shells to climb.

A sweet tribute to a grandfather & a great read we definitely recommend. If you’re looking for more bookish play with books featuring Grandpa’s, you might wanna check out our Painting with Blocks, Easy Shirt & Tie Card, or Origami Bird Mobile posts!

How We Made Watercolor Art…

We tend to keep the activities as simple as possible around here. We’re not interested in complicated or costly. We are also all about fostering independence. For this activity we were trying out some inexpensive cheap liquid watercolor paint we purchased because the price was too good not to at least try it. Well, it was terrible, it didn’t go very far and it somehow caused the cardstock paper we use for everything to deteriorate before our eyes! But because we were making the ocean and were looking for a textured look anyway we just went with it and when our paintings dried we wiped the paper crumbs away.

watercolor art using watercolor paint and unrolled cotton balls

Don’t worry I’ll be linking to the watercolor palette we usually use down below. To make the ocean we used blue and green wavy strokes to recreate the motion of the ocean. We applied the blue and green separately, then again mixed together. We continued adding paint until we had the desired look we wanted.

When it was still wet we unrolled a few balls of cotton and firmly pressed it onto the ocean painting. This was our interpretation of “Ocean” meets “Sky”.

After allowing time for our paintings to dry we removed the cotton and admired the subtle dimension it left behind. That’s all there was to it, very simple. You can hold onto process art and use it in a future project like we did HERE.

Wait?!? Am I Supposed To Be Making One Too?

I highly recommend getting hands on and doing art projects with your child. If you’d rather not, thats okay too, but please do not correct anything they do. If you want the art to look a certain way – make your own.

close up of watercolor art using watercolor paint and unrolled cotton balls

Especially if your child is little, its okay if it doesn’t turn out the way you imagined. Maybe its what they imagined. Also, its a process. They are learning. They will learn more through trial and error than if you correct them or do it for them. All they will learn if you “help” is that they didn’t do a good enough job on their own or they can’t do it; not exactly the message you want to give your kid. Am I right?!?

Believe me, I know it can be really challenging to let them make “mistakes”. Try doing the project along side them. It will allow you to focus on your own work, give them appropriate modeling of how to use the materials, and show them that you like art too! A lot of what I talk about in “What about the Sensory Mess?” applies to Art projects as well, you might wanna check it out! I love how each art has its own identity. I would suggest Watercolor Art if you’re looking for a very simple art activity to connect with your child.

Materials We Used

  1. “Ocean Meets Sky” book (from the library or buy it here)
  2. Cardstock paper
  3. Blue & Green Watercolor paint
  4. Paintbrush
  5. Cotton balls
  6. A Tray (optional)
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How to Make Watercolor Art?

  1. Lay the white cardstock paper on the tray.
  2. Wet your watercolor paint.
  3. Place your paintbrush into the watercolor paint and begin painting on the cardstock paper.
  4. Feel free to take turn or mix the blue and green watercolor paints together to get more of an ocean feel
  5. Use wavy strokes to help it appear more like water in motion.
  6. Add several layers and stop when you get the look you desire.
  7. Unroll your cotton balls and press them firmly on top of the wet artwork.
  8. Once your painting is dry remove the cotton and you should see some added dimension where it was sitting.
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Wait, There’s More…

Sample of “Communicating & Connecting FREE Bonus Printable.

I believe you can easily strengthen communication skills and foster independence all while playing and connecting with your child. To help you do this; I’ve created a FREE printable for each activity called, “Communicating & Connecting”.

It will give you a list of suggestions I’ve found very helpful as a Mom & as a special education teacher; to help you build lifelong skills. Please don’t feel obligated to do everything on the list (but if you do, you’re a rockstar 😉 ).

As a Thank You for subscribing; this is a special FREEBIE for our Email Subscribers Only. 🙂 Click here if you’ve already subscribed. Otherwise, Sign Up below to get the password & access to our entire FREE Printables Library today! 😉

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