Reflective Drawings with Watercolor Markers

March 30, 2020

Watercolors are one of our favorite media at TinkerSpace. It is accessible to all from early preschoolers on but can be used with sophistication to create satisfying works of art by older children and adults. Sometimes, as in this project, we don’t even need to pull out the watercolors … Crayola Markers work even better.

Regular printer paper is best for this project! Simply fold your paper in half. Draw a picture on one half. Make sure the bottom of your picture is at the folded edge. Unfold, dampen the paper, and refold to transfer. Once the picture dries, I like to go back over the original drawing to add some crisp detail back in.

Your picture can take up the entire half sheet or you can leave white space. Some ideas of what to draw include cityscapes,  bridges, a line of trees, fireworks, and sunsets. Experiment with letting your colors spread on both halves of the paper as well as limiting your water spray to just the uncolored half of the paper. What differences do you notice when you anchor your drawing to the folded edge versus letting it float in the middle of the folded half of the paper? What do you like better?

To start: Fold your paper in half (either direction is fine) and draw a picture.

Once you’ve drawn your scene on half of your white copy paper, it’s time to transfer the reflected image. This video shows the process on the rainbow drawing above.


  1. Unfold your drawing.
  2. Refold it, reversing the crease.
  3. Spray the entire paper (or just the white section of the paper).
  4. Fold the drawing onto the blank section of the paper.
  5. Unfold immediately or wait until it dries to unfold.
  6. Add details back in.

I never have enough patience to wait until the paper dries to unfold it. It doesn’t seem to matter, but maybe it would … as I said, I’ve never done it. I always want the instant gratification of seeing the color transfer. Plus, it would take longer to dry if you left it folded. Once I’ve unfolded it, I move it to a dry section of the table (or kitchen counter). I usually move it a couple of times (again, lack of patience).

I think it would be fun to make this as part of a shoebox diorama. The reflection can be a lake and you could make little 3D models of boats to sail upon it.

Please show us what you make? We miss you all terribly with TinkerSpace being closed. We really want to share in your creativity.

Follow Us On Social Media

Leave a Comment

Looking for Something Else?