Sunday, April 18, 2010

Underwater Marker Paintings

I like the visual of making marker paintings under water but the project was really about marker paintings of underwater scenes!  I read about "marker painting" as a way to sort of recycle dried out markers.  All you need to do is dip the marker tips in water cups and start spreading the pigment on the paper.  I had the students start by making a pencil drawing and tracing over their lines with sharpie- any permanent marker will work.

Along with dipping the markers in water cups, I also gave the students paint brushes.  The paint brushes can be used to spread out the "paint" created from the markers.  If the markers are not dried out, a brush and water can be used even more easily to spread the marker pigment.  I don't know if students everywhere are this excited about ocean projects, or if my students are extra excited since Kansas is pretty far from the nearest ocean, but this project was a big hit!

I raided the library for books about fish and other ocean animals so the students could use the images for reference.  One of the students told me that dolphins are a type of whale and I didn't believe him until I looked it up!  I couldn't believe that after all the books I read when I was little and random trivia I know, I had never heard that before!  I required the students to have at least one animal and something in the foreground- either sand, rocks, seaweed, reef, etc.  Some students also included treasure chests, sunken ships, and scuba divers.
I was surprised at my 3rd grade student's Beatles reference and he was equally surprised that I got it!


  1. The kids really love the idea of brushing over the markers. I have a fun elephant project that is a similar idea at
    Thanks for sharing and please check out my site...hope you join the followers!

  2. The elephant artwork was really cool!