Color Between the Lines, Then Let It Rip

Eau Claire Regional Arts Council

Project Title: “Negative Space Sunbursts”


1. Get a few pieces of masking or painter’s tape. 

2. Block off sections of paper as desired (e.g., from a point in the center to create “rays”). 

3. Use watercolors to create exciting colorful areas between the strips of tape. 

4. When relatively dry, remove tape and voila! 

Age Level

Ages 4 and up with help from a grown-up.

Approximate Time

30 minutes or less.

Materials Needed

• Heavy white paper or cardstock (half-size) 
• Masking or painter’s tape 
• Watercolor sets 
• Crayons (optional – for wax resist) 
• Paintbrushes 
• Water cups 
• Bottle or jug for clean water 
• Tablecloth
• Paper towels

Educational Aspects

• Participants explore the ideas of negative space and implied line (in less technical terms). 

• Participants explore color mixing and color relationships – how different colors look when placed next to other colors. 

• Encourages participants to take risks with a “surprise” at the end of the project.


• Allows participants to make their own creative decisions (there are no right or wrong solutions). 

• Teaches working in a multi-step process.

• Teaches handling tools and materials appropriately.