Wet-on-Wet Watercolor Painting

  • Young Adult
  • Grades 1-3

Learn how to blend watercolors to paint a beautiful sunset.


  • 25 Pack Assorted Paint Brushes
  • Watercolor Paint Palette
  • White Card Stock or Watercolor Paper
  • Black Construction Paper
  • Bowl of Water
  • Wax Paper
  • Glue Stick
  • Scissors


Step 1. Gather your supplies.

How to watercolor

watercolor technique

Step 2.

Place your white card stock on a piece of wax paper. The wax paper allows you to use wet materials and it won’t stick to your finished project. Start by wetting the top part of your paper using a large brush and water.

watercolor lesson for kids

Step 3.

To make the sunset, start by adding blue paint across the top of the paper, where it is already wet.  The paint will start to spread on the paper.

wet on wet watercolor

Step 4.

The next color in the sunset will be purple. Add the purple to the paper under the blue. Since the paper is wet the purple paint will spread out and mix with some of the blue. As you are creating this project, if the paper starts to get dry, add more water before adding the paint for the blended affect.

Kids art lesson how to watercolor

Step 5.

Next, add red paint. Tip: move your brush in long even strokes. You can overlap some of the purple for a blended look.

how to watercolor

Step 6.

Add a little more water to your paper, under the red. Add orange paint. The orange color is closest to the sun, so you can paint a larger area of orange.

watercolor sunset project for kids

Step 7.

Paint the remainder of the paper with a light yellow and blend some with the orange. Add more yellow paint to make a bright sun at the bottom, as shown.

Kids craft sunset art

Step 8.

When the sun is setting behind mountains, the mountains appear very dark against the sky. Create these dark mountains by cutting a long curvy section from the bottom of your black construction paper, as shown.


Step 9.

Glue the mountains to the bottom of your sunset to complete your painting. You have now learned the wet on wet technique using watercolor paints.

Further Discussion:

Warm colors, are colors that are seen in a fire, such as yellow, orange and red. This includes the warm yellow sun. Cool colors are colors that are seen in the ocean, such as blue, green and sometimes purples. These colors are often seen in a sunset, with the warmer colors surrounding the sun and the coolest colors up in the night sky. After creating this craft, have a discussion on warm and cool colors. Walk around your home or classroom and point to objects. Ask “Is this a cool color or a warm color?”