Lemon Juice Paintings

art studio for kids njThese multi-step paintings create a dreamy effect by using lemon juice to dilute and bleach the watercolor paints. Our mini-camp students had a great time making these during our summer session. Click here to download a lesson plan of Lemon Juice Paintings

Age Group: 3-6 years


  • To learn about painting with watercolors
  • To follow directions
  • To learn about the bleaching effects of lemon juice
  • Developing fine motor skills with the use of eye droppers


  • Water color paper – we used 6”x9”
  • Liquid watercolor – at least one set per 2 kids
  • Paint Brushes – one per every color pot of paint
  • Lemon juice – we like “Italia Garden” brandchildrens art studio north new jersey
  • Eyedroppers
  • Small cups for lemon juice, like condiment serving size

Teacher Prep

  • Put names on backs of watercolor paper. We find it is always easier to do ahead of time when we are doing anything that could drip or get smudged if we try to write the names on afterward.
  • Put one paint brush in each color of the watercolor sets. We do this so the students do not use a brush for more than one color and accidentally mix them in the pots. If they do mix colors, however, that’s okay too if it happens. It’s a balancing act of teaching the idea of not mixing brushes, yet also giving the children the freedom to explore.nj fine art class for kids
  • Put small amount of lemon juice into cups.


    1. Explain to the students that they will be creating a watercolor painting, and then creating a special effect by dropping a small amount of lemon juice onto them. The lemon juice will slightly dilute the paint as well as slightly bleach (“remove color”) from the watercolor paints.
    2. Hand out the watercolor paper with the kids’ names on the back.art class parties and camps morris county new jersey
    3. Distribute the watercolor paint sets. Putting one per every two children promotes sharing.
    4. Instruct the children to paint, covering their entire piece of watercolor paper.best kids art class north jersey
    5. Once they have finished painting, demonstrate how they will use the eyedroppers to put small drops of lemon juice on their paintings. Too much will mean they won’t be able to see its effects.childrens art class party and camp east hanover nj
    6. Distribute the lemon juice and eyedroppers, and have the children drip the lemon juice on their paintings.  Keep an eye on them so they do not add too much.art class for toddler elementary tweens teens new jersey lemon juice painting the messy artist
    7. These projects tend to be quite wet and take overnight to dry.art studio for kids new jersey




Author: hellokidsart

The Messy Artist is a special place to create art. We offer year-round art classes for children 18 months through adulthood. In addition to art classes from September through June, we offer summer art camp and Drop-In and Play art activities for kids between our regular sessions. Our bright, colorful studio is also the perfect place for a kid’s birthday party! The Messy Artist children’s art center was created and designed by Owner/Director Donna Bernstein, a professional educator and artist. The curriculum is inspired and guided by Donna’s teaching experience and research in child development, as well as her passion for art. At The Messy Artist, art lessons for kids entertain and enrich their brains, bodies, and hearts.

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