Shamrock Watercolor Resist Painting

Shamrock Watercolor Resist Painting

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t a holiday I usually do artwork for, but I thought I would give it a try this year!

I searched on the internet for ideas to get started, but nothing really “tripped my trigger”.

I’ve had watercolor resist on my mind lately so I thought I would do something with oil pastel to resist the watercolor paint.

I drew my self a three leaf shamrock clover using simple heart shapes, cut it out and used it to trace onto an 11″ x 14″ watercolor paper – 140 lb.  I’d show a pic of them traced, but I traced so lightly that it doesn’t show up in the picture.

I started doing line designs in blue onto all of the background of the shamrocks.  I used 5 different blues from my set of 36 Pentel Oil Pastels.


I chose really simple designs – oil pastels are hard to do small intricate designs with.  I made sure to put the oil pastel on pretty thick – putting them on too thin, risks the chance of the paint taking over the oil pastel design – covering them a little.

Next, I used a little green on my shamrocks – I decided not to do any line designs, so that I would have the contrast of the busy background to the simple shamrocks.

I used my Koi watercolors to add blue to the background.  I used Prussian Blue.


After the blue dries, add green to the shamrocks.  I used a mixture of Viridian Hue and Yellow Green.


The oil of the oil pastels repelled the water, leaving the watercolor paint to only stick to the empty paper, so all my designs were intact.  I really like how the blue watercolor paint toned down my blue designs – they took on a whole new look when the paint was added.

This could easily be adapted for the classroom, if you made templates of the clovers for the students to trace – I could easily see 1st grade or higher doing this project.  Or definitely just make one for yourself, I found it very relaxing and rewarding to make this lovely painting, I think I may even frame it!