How to make a wax-resist painting

Materials Needed:

(Ideal) Wax Resist Sticks
(Realistic) Crayons
(Ideal) Watercolors
(Realistic) Old markers

Step 1:

Bring out your old markers, preferably in the primary colors: red, yellow, and blue.

Step 2:

Use plyers to open the bottom each marker and retrieve the color tube. Soak the tube in water. You can also put the markers in tip first to soak. We used three markers for each color.

Step 3:

Mix your primaries to get new colors.
Red + Yellow = Orange
Blue + Yellow = Green
Blue + Red = Purple

Step 4:

Use a black crayon to create the outline for your drawing. The wax in the crayon will ‘resist’ the watercolors when they are applied.

Step 5:

Use a white crayon for highlights. Although you can’t see it very well on the paper, these marks will show up once the color is applied.

Step 6:

Add your watercolor paint to the drawing. You can let it dry on its own or blot it with paper towels to speed up the process.


You can store leftover watercolors in a sealed container.

Fun Fact:

This week’s Cinco de Mayo-inspired Maker Moment draws from Florero by Alfredo Zalce. Alfredo Zalce grew up during the Mexican Revolution which strongly influenced his progressive views. Best known as a muralist and printmaker, Zalce used art to criticize social and political oppression while fighting for radical change. In Florero, the sun dominates most of the composition as it shines down on the foliage below. Zalce’s use of bright colors and dynamic lines brings to mind seasons of change, particularly the energetic regrowth of the spring. Find more information on Florero in the Gilcrease Online Collection.