Painting Shades of the Deep Blue Sea

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Painting Shades of the Deep Blue Sea combines the swipe painting technique and the wax resist painting technique to create a beautiful artwork of the deep blue sea. Using an ice-cube tray, your child will have fun mixing paint to make different shades of blue before diving into unveiling a surprise(s) in the artwork.

Painting is so much fun for children, but the only difficulty with such a creative process is that most parents find it challenging to facilitate an art-based experience. And when this happens, parents get frustrated with the mess that painting creates and subsequently painting rarely ever happens at home and even if it does, it lacks direction and engagement. But, here’s how both you and your child can have fun with painting and still get to create a masterful piece that sees your child learning about various sea creatures in the process.


The first step is to get your hands on a piece of drawing block and a white wax crayon or oil pastel. Use the white crayon and draw various sea creatures on the drawing block. To help you along with drawing some sea creatures, you may print out this resource and trace out the images on it.

Next, it’s time to get down to some serious painting! We’ll be using an ice-cube tray for this painting activity as the cavities in it are great for paints to go into and keeps the painting mess contained. Squeeze a same amount of white paint into 5 cavities. You will see that I left a space or two between cavities so that colours don’t get mixed up.

Here’s the fun. Have your child add a small amount of blue paint into the first cavity and mix it around. Use a cotton bud or chopstick to mix the paint around. Go on to the next cavity. This time, add a little more blue paint than you did for the first cavity. The idea here is get darker shades of blue as you fill more cavities, so that you end up with 5 different shades like what I have here. For some numeracy fun, you can have your child stick some number stickers beside each cavity with 1 being the lightest and 5 being the darkest.

Lastly, scoop the lightest shade of blue paint and plonk that on the top part of the paper. Using any old unused cards, let your child swipe the paint across the top. Proceed to the next shade of blue, plonk it right below the previous shade and swipe the paint across the paper. Repeat until you’ve painted on all five shades. Your child should see some sea creatures surprise. Have some fun guessing what sea creatures are swimming in their deep blue sea.


Activity Guide

To download printables for this activity, click here.