Easy Art Projects for Kids: Clay Resist

by on March 10, 2014

We’re back with the second installment of easy art projects for kids! This week’s theme is resist art and since it’s clay month on Babble Dabble Do I decided to combine these two themes and make Clay Resist Art! It’s a nice combination of sensory play and art all in one simple project.

easy art projects clay resistWhat is Resist Art? Resist techniques use layers of different materials, the first of which “resists” subsequent layers to create collage and texture. The classic resist art project for kids uses crayons and watercolor. For more ideas on just what resist art can include, check out the ideas from my fellow Easy Art for Kids series bloggers at the end of this post!

This post contains affiliate links to products I love and recommend to my readers, plus it keeps this little blog o’mine afloat! Thank you!

Easy Art Projects for Kids: Clay Resist

easy art projects clay resistMaterials 


  • Step One Pour out your paint into containers and place clay in center of a table.
  • Step Two Take small mounds of clay and begin pressing them onto the watercolor paper. They can be formed into shapes and pressed down or smooshed and spread around the paper.

easy art projects clay resist

  • Step Three Once the first layer of clay is down, add a layer of paint by rolling over the entire paper and clay.
  • Step Four Add another layer of clay on top of the paint. For the best results add clay onto the painted paper rather than on top of the painted clay. The clay will eventually be flaked off, so for multicolor works you want to make sure you are covering the painted paper.

easy art projects clay resist

  • Step Five Paint the clay and paper a second time with the next color
  • Step Six Repeat the clay and paint process a third time if desired.

easy art projects clay resisteasy art projects clay resist

  • Step Seven Let dry for several hours or overnight.
  • Step Eight Once the clay is dry, it should easily flake off the paper. Very thin layers can be gently scraped off with a butter knife.

Here is the version we did using gray air dry clay:

easy art projects clay resisteasy art projects


  • Depending on the clay we used and the amount of water in the rollers we got different results with our clay resist paintings. The more watery the rollers and paint, the more the paper absorbed the color even underneath the clay. This made for some nice looking faded effects. The versions we did with thick paint and dry rollers had a much more resistive effect.

easy art projects clay resist

  • Use inexpensive clay! The clay will be removed and tossed afterwards so I suggest using inexpensive air-dry clay like this one from Crayola or this type, available online and at most fine art stiores for CHEAP!
  • Use recycled food trays for paint containers. I save plastic containers and meat trays for projects just like this.
  • Buy your rollers at the hardware store! I love using rollers for kid’s art because they lay down paint quickly and thickly and keep short attention spans in check.

easy art projects clay resist

Looks Like

Anselm Kiefer. Anselm Kiefer is a German artist known for his textural paintings. He often incorporates different materials into his paintings such as glass, plants, and clay. While we removed the clay from our project, the idea of incorporating three dimensional materials into a painting reminded me of Kiefer’s techniques. His work is quite solemn and laden with controversial themes and not always suitable for young children. Still his inclusion of collaged materials is fascinating, here is a link to a few paintings you can share with kids: Anslem Kiefer at the Gagosian Gallery.

Conclusion & More Projects!

I really loved clay resist because it was appealing as a sensory activity as well as an easy art project. My kids enjoyed smooshing the clay into the paper and then applying paint in layers. And removing the clay to find the picture underneath is a bonus part of the fun! Even my baby was intrigued…here he is sneaking in on the action.

easy art projects clay resist

Ready for more resist techniques? Check out these other easy art projects for kids by my fellow art series bloggers!

Tape Resist Art on Foil by Learn Play Imagine
Wax Paper Resist  by Housing A Forest
Splatter Paint and Tape Resist  By Buggy & Buddy
Watercolor Resist Easter Egg Garland by Fun At Home with Kids
Resist Art Project: Andy Warhol by Art History Mom
Fabric Resist Art Pillows by Meri Cherry Blog
Watercolor Resist Envelopes by Willowday
Cracked Wax Resist Art by Blog Me Mom
Resist Art Stepping Stones by Twodaloo

easy art projects clay resist And if you are not already following the Rockin’ Art For Kids Pinterest Board you should be!

RAM logo

Don’t miss out on more easy art projects for kids here on Babble Dabble Do! Your child’s inner Anselm Kiefer thanks you! Subscribe below or like us on FB


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

meri cherry March 10, 2014 at 9:09 am

So cool Ana!! I was so curious how you were going to do this. I just love it. Looks like a great tactile experience my kids would love. Awesome!
meri cherry recently posted…Fabric Resist Art PillowsMy Profile


Ana Dziengel March 25, 2014 at 6:23 am

It was a lot of fun Meri!


Allison March 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm

These are so gorgeous! I love all the layers. What a great idea!
Allison recently posted…Tape Resist Art on FoilMy Profile


Ana Dziengel March 25, 2014 at 6:27 am

Thanks Allison, I’m a huge fan of layered art :)


Melissa @The Chocolate Muffin Tree March 11, 2014 at 8:07 am

This looks fabulous too. Your blog is one of my faves. So artsy and fun and so creative!
Melissa @The Chocolate Muffin Tree recently posted…How to Make an Abstract Kandinsky PaintingMy Profile


Ana Dziengel March 25, 2014 at 6:28 am

Aw Melissa, you are super sweet! You know I love the Chocolate Muffin Tree! You are very inspiring!!!


gina March 11, 2014 at 9:50 am

Ana, this so fascinating! I can really imagine kids having so much fun with it! What a creative and original idea!
gina recently posted…Watercolor Resist EnvelopesMy Profile


Ana Dziengel March 25, 2014 at 6:29 am

Glad you liked it Gina! I had fun with it too, shhh don’t tell anyone ;)


Stephanie March 12, 2014 at 3:45 pm

This is so AWESOME! Great job Ana! My kiddos would be all over this!
Stephanie recently posted…Resist Art Stepping StonesMy Profile


Jeanine March 14, 2014 at 9:12 pm

AMAZING! & now on tomorrows roster :) No ones feeling well & i find a good sensory art experience for all of us together, really comforts the soul. Plus, its an easy set up cuz we have all necessities! Thanks again for soo much inspiration.
Jeanine recently posted…Made By JoelMy Profile


Ana Dziengel March 25, 2014 at 6:35 am

You are welcome Mama! Post a pic of some of your childrens’ finished pieces on our FB page!


Cassi April 24, 2014 at 9:59 pm

Wow, I love the beautiful results and it’s such a unique idea! I’ll be sharing this on The Crafty Crow soon :)
Cassi recently posted…12 Crafts & Activities To Celebrate Earth Day!My Profile


Ana Dziengel April 26, 2014 at 6:03 am

So happy you liked it Cassi! I love being a part of the Crafty Crow! Thank you so much!!!!


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: