Masking and resist painting

You will need:

  • watercolour or water based poster paints
  • watercolour masking fluid or white wax crayon
  • variety of brushes (nothing fancy we used decorating brushes and an old toothbrush!)
  • thick watercolour paper
  • pot for water
  • newspaper
  • kitchen towel for mopping up spills



  1. Using our SDH Nature book as inspiration look for some interesting colours and shaped flowers.
  2. Set out your paints, water, brushes and paper on some old newspaper, take a look at the instructions for your masking fluid.
  3. Using an old brush paint the masking fluid onto the paper in the shapes of the flowers.
  4. Wait until your masking fluid is dry (don’t rush in whilst it is still wet as this will spoil the effect) use this time to get your brushes ready.
  5. Paint over your paper in large patches of wet paint in different colours of greens, yellows, ochres – enjoy not being too detailed! Add a few stalks when the paint starts to dry.
  6. Wait again until your paint is completely dry (don’t rush this bit either) When ready rub your finger over the masking fluid and it will start to peel off in a rubber blob.
  7. When all the masking is removed add a few more details like the flower centres and a couple more stalks for a 3D effect. Maybe add a few drips of colour, don’t be too neat.



Other ideas and tips

  • Rinse your brush, with water, quickly after using the masking fluid otherwise it becomes a solid lump.
  • If you don’t have masking fluid or want to do this activity with young children use a wax crayon.
  • Use a much larger brush than you think need, we used an old decorating brush, this will stop you trying to add too much detail.
  • Keep the paint wet and you will create some interesting blends of colours and textures.


Download instructions

Download masking and resist painting activity sheet (pdf)