The Beach: Watercolor Jellyfish Paintings

On the east coast, it’s almost impossible to visit a beach and *not* come across a jellyfish. Unlike what we tend to find along the shoreline, I wanted to capture the beauty of a jellyfish. I think we succeeded because this is probably my favorite painting to date. This project is an interesting one for different ages because it introduced a new medium to the kids (watercolor!) and an unexpected painting method (a straw?!). The result is a lovely masterpiece that you and your little one will be proud to display.

Watercolor Jellyfish PaintingCraft/Activity/Snack: Watercolor Jellyfish Painting
Objective: Create a jellyfish using watercolor paints and a straw
Skills Utilized: blowing, lip extension, mouth sensory awareness
Suggested Reading: The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna
Materials: watercolor paints, water, paintbrush, watercolor paper or white construction paper, and a straw

Watercolor Jellyfish Finished Painting

To start, you will need to place half circles of watered down watercolor paints onto the paper. These should be about the size of a half dollar or smaller. Older children can paint these themselves – instruct them to make a “smile” or “half moon”. The flat edge should be facing away from you and your child, with the rounded edge near the top of the paper.

Watercolor Jellyfish Step 1

Place a straw on the page and BLOW! The jellyfish shape will immediately take form.

Watercolor Jellyfish Step 2

Jasper loved this! I told him to practice blowing out a candle (one of his favorite, and most unsafe, pastimes… this kid can’t wait until his third birthday!)

Watercolor Jellyfish - Step 2 - Jasper blowing

Flip it over and -VOILA- jellyfish!

Watercolor Jellyfish Step 3

Once they dried, I used a fine tip sharpie to draw a jellyfish body around the top portion. Just look at these! Are they stunning or what?! The boys did such a great job!

Watercolor Jellyfish finished paintings

I’m seriously in awe of how neat these look. Watercolors are the perfect medium because you can let them dry and paint layers upon layers of jellyfish just like in real life.

Watercolor Jellyfish Collage

Extension activities:

  1. Visit a jellyfish exhibit at your local aquarium – we LOVE the jellyfish at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden
  2. Draw other fish, coral, and seaweed onto the painting to create a full underwater scene
  3. Watch Finding Nemo and look out for the jellyfish
  4. Discuss jellyfish and their stings

Illustrated Avatar Jess

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