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Brighten Up with Liquid Watercolors

You might be thinking that between acrylics, tempera, tempera cakes, and watercolor cakes that you don’t need one more paint product crowding your cupboards. Well, think again! We recently talked about tube watercolors for your art room.

Although there are some similarities, if you haven’t used liquid watercolors, they are worth a try for these reasons.

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You Can Control Paint Usage

Since liquid watercolors come in large bottles, you can put out as little or as much as you’d like. You can also determine intensity of color. Make it part of the lesson by setting out undiluted color and have students mix in water and and test the results on scrap paper until the find what they need. As you can tell, my need for control is great and liquid watercolors really make me happy in that way.

The Colors are Mad Vivid

When students complained that regular watercolors lack the saturation they are looking for (my words, of course, not theirs), I didn’t have a lot to offer them in the way of solutions. I wanted them to keep their brushes wet and hated when they ground holes in the pans. So, colors remained muted and pastel. Not the case with liquid watercolors. If a lesson requires in-your-face color, they can do it and make those more subtle shades.

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They Store Up Just as Easily As Cakes

I leave my liquid watercolor pans out on the counter to dry up overnight, then store them in the cupboard. Students can reconstitute them like regular watercolors the next time they are needed. Although the bottles seem small for the price, they last forever and create little waste.

What are your experiences with liquid watercolors? 

Any tips or tricks to share?

Sarah Dougherty


My name is Sarah Dougherty, and I teach elementary art in a large urban district in central Iowa. I love working with our diverse population of K-5 students to bring art to their homes, communities, and everyday lives.