Watercolor Jelly Fish Art Video

Here is another art video made during my last class with my fourth-grade students. This is a super fast and fun lesson that involved drippy watercolors. Mistakes are encouraged and enthusiasm expected.

All You’ll Need Is:
– Watercolor paper
– Liquid watercolors or food coloring
– Chalk pastels

Paint puddles of jellyfish.

Tap so the paint streaks downward.

Add the tentacles.

Split and splat to create bubbles!

Then, outline the jellyfish with color pastel as desired.

View the result of the Fourth Grade Jellyfish below…

Click the image below to receive our free PDF lesson guide!

What do you think?

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  • Christie

    So here I am, almost Spring, pouring rain, leaking windows and I clicked onto your Jelly Fish video. Simple directions, restful music, great lesson (I just have to buy a couple more colors of liquid watercolor for the kiddos), enthusiastic artists — your video TOTALLY changed my mood — THANKS, again!!

  • Kathy

    What an expressive video once again! Loved the music as well as the chance to see the painting in action.

  • Robin

    Hi Patty, I loved your video.
    Are you using a flip camera to film your kids? How wonderful to see them working and the music is so fun, especially the bubbles in the beginning.
    I noticed you are using plastic handled brushes. I made the mistake of buying wood handled paint brushes and they are peeling so badly there are flakes of blue everywhere. I wish now I would have paid a little more and bought plastic handled ones. I use clear plastic tumbler cups for water cups (grocery store) because they are squatty and wider at the top and don’t seem to tip over as easily. I just reuse them. Do you use margarine tubs or tupperware bowls for your water cups and also do you have students share the water cups or one per person?
    Thanks again for everything you post, it is all so helpful.

    • Patty

      I use a regular cameron (Sony Cybershot) that has a movie option. Just discovered the movie button actually! As for the water, I set out 2 tubs per table (4-6 kids share). There is really no need for every kid to have their own supplies. Sharing is easy. I use any container that has a big, flat bottom for water. Bowls tend to flip. Thanks for your comments!

    • Anoush

      Robin, I use recycled large yogurt containers (32 oz size) for water cups that are donated, and then I only fill them halfway–they’re the perfect size, and extremely sturdy, and free!

      I also make 4 kids share their water, but I let them change it when they need to (I just have a “half full of cold water” rule).

      • Robin

        Thanks Anoush, your and Patty’s suggestion of sharing water tubs sounds much simpler than filling 35 cups and refilling between classes. One of my biggest time sponges!
        I found some low tubs at the Dollar store and am going to experiment next painting class.
        Your rainy landscape picture sound wonderful, is there a way to see an example? What did you mean by two brushes? So did you paint the clouds and then tip the paper like Patty did and the paint dripped from the clouds like rain?

        • Anoush

          I’m having camera/computer issues right now so I don’t have photos, but I had them hold and dip two fat camelhair brushes in the water at one time to increase the amount of watery paint that was loaded onto the paper for the clouds (since I used cake tempera, not liquid watercolors, we needed to get more water in the mix!). I had them dab clouds, then make little “fingers” or “teeth” at the bottom to give each drip somewhere to start. Then they tipped and tapped just as in Patty’s video, only instead of jellyfish they made rainclouds! I also did the rainy day painting today with some other second graders, and we only had 35 min. so we did sketchy marker landscapes and painted clouds over them (instead of pastels). I hope that helps!

  • Anoush

    I am so glad you shared this! It’s been rainy here all week, and the kids have been going stir crazy from inside recess (among other things). I did the jellyfish with my third graders (they LOVED it!) in one 35 min. class period (sans chalk), with my kinders as a reward in about 20 minutes (sans chalk or splatter), and I used the concept to do a rainy day landscape with my second graders in one 55 min. class period.

    For the rainy day landscape, we used chalk pastels to lightly draw a landscape on grey paper and rubbed it in to create a soft misty effect. Then rainclouds pouring rain all across the top! It was quite successful, and very appropriate! (I used cake tempera with lots of water in it for all of these, as I don’t have liquid watercolors at the moment. I let my second graders use two brushes at once to compensate…)

  • meg

    AWESOME!!!! i loved the video!

  • Julie Leatherwood

    I love the watercolor jellyfish!

    I have not seen the video yet as our school system blocks Youtube. I found a great jellyfish video on teacher tube and posted the link in the above website space.

    Would you be able to post your jellyfish video on teacher tube also?

    • Patty

      TeacherTube sounds great. I need to get on it!

      • Patty

        Just tried to download my videos on teacherTube but no luck. Wouldn’t accept my format. I don’t know if it’s worth trying to figure out.

  • Danielle Campbell

    I have just completed this activity with my Year 5 students. It was fantastic for getting them to ‘loosen up’ and to just have fun…
    thankyou 🙂

  • candice

    I absolutely love this jellyfish water color tutorial! These are beautiful!


  • Cindy Friday

    Quickie Question: Do the kids add the chalk pastels while the paint is still wet? I guess I need to try it on watercolor paper to see what happens. Beautiful results!

    • Patty Palmer

      Dry watercolor is best, but it tends to dry fast on watercolor paper.

  • Cathy

    I used this in a Kids Club with kids who have disabilities, they LOVED it! Thanks so much I really love your ideas I can always find some inspiration I need on your site. Appreciate you!

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