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Mixed Media Hearts

mixed media heartThis mixed media heart painting project has been very popular ever since I first put it up a few years ago. It actually uses rubber cement to lock in a paint color while the surrounding areas soak others up. I recommend it for a home project as it works best with some patient drying time in between steps. It’s a great way to show kids how amazing their art can be if they just focus on adding lots of layered color, both when coloring with crayons and then painting with watercolors.

• View and download Six Hearts Template

• Watercolor paper, 8.5″ x 11″
Rubber cement
• Watercolor paint
• Oil pastels, optional


PREP: I preprinted my hearts when doing this with kinders. Believe or not, the curve of the heart is difficult for some, and on average, they will draw hearts too small to fill in if left on their own.

1. Students are to color each heart in with crayons, pressing hard to make them brightly colored with lots of layers.

1. A background watercolor paint is chosen and covered over all the hearts. Let the paint dry.

2. Rubber cement is painted over the entire picture using large quick strokes. The goal is to just make some lines, and leave some empty spaces. Let the cement dry.

3. A contrasting watercolor paint is chosen and painted over the entire picture. The cement will keep the background color intact. Let the paint dry.

4. When dry, the rubber cement should be easily rubbed off with fingertips. On occasion, if the painting was really wet, this doesn’t happen so easily. Not a problem though as the cement did its job to alter colors and can just stay as part of the art.

4. To add definition more oil pastels may be used again on top. Tell the students that the goal is to have colorful, bold hearts that stand out from the background. When that is achieved, their art is done!

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