Watercolor Tips and Techniques

If you’ve been finding yourself stuck on the couch lately, it might be time to get creative! Arts and crafts are a fun and productive way to spend your free time, and watercolor painting is an enjoyable and easy medium to create a masterpiece. We’re here to demonstrate three unique techniques to help you WFH (watercolor from home).

 

If you don’t have watercolor paints around the house, don’t worry—you can easily create your own by combining acrylic paint with water. Just choose your favorite colors and slowly mix in the water until you get the thin, watery consistency of the examples below.

 

 

Salt and Watercolor

The creativity doesn’t have to stop at adding water. Use other household objects like salt for a grainy, textured pattern in your painting. The key to this technique is salting the paint while it’s still wet.

 

  1. Start by painting a small area to ensure it won’t dry up too quickly.
  2. Next, pour some salt on the wet portion of the paint. You can add as much or as little as you’d like!
  3. Finally, once the paint is dried, wipe off the salt to reveal your unique pattern.

 

 

Pro tip: Try out different kinds of salts (such as sea salt) to achieve different sizes, textures, and effects.

Watercolor Drip

This next effect doesn’t require any add ons—just gravity. Make sure you have a paper towel or newspaper underneath your paper for this one since it can get messy.

  1. Choose your watercolor and add a generous amount of water to your paintbrush.
  2. Mix the water and paint together on your canvas, add even more water, and tilt your paper upright to allow the paint to drip. It’s as simple as that!
  3. If the paint is not dripping enough, continue to add water to the painted section with your brush.

 

 

Wet on Wet Blending

 

One of the best things about painting with watercolors is the ability to easily blend colors and create beautiful, unexpected patterns. Combining more than one color while they’re still wet allows them to bleed into one another and create a classic watercolor look.

 

  1. Start with the base color of your choice.
  2. Slowly add other colors and let the water blend them.
  3. Continually add water to help the natural blending process.

 

The best part about this technique is its unpredictability. Just let the water guide your design and see what happens.

 

 

There are plenty of ways to get crafty and creative if you’re stuck indoors. You can even combine all three of these techniques to create a new masterpiece every day! Don’t forget that anyone in the family can be an artist—just add water.

 

 

Share This Post:

DIY Water Parks: Build a Backyard Aquatic Adventure

With Summer in full swing, it’s no surprise that the weather outside has been getting hot, hot, hot!

Instead of shelling out money, waiting in line, and dealing with the stresses of taking the family to a water park, we have another idea: bring the water park to you! By skipping the hassles of a busy water park and working together to set up these fun water games in the grass, you’ll have tons of fun as a family.

Read on for some easy and fun ways to transform your backyard into an amusement oasis for the kids —and the kids-at-heart!

Water Balloon Piñatas

Water balloons are a summer classic. Turn the hot weather staple into something new by hanging oversized water balloons from a tree branch or the monkey bars, then take turns breaking your water piñatas with a baseball bat. (Just make sure you clean up all the broken balloons once you’re done so any furry friends don’t accidentally eat them.)

For a little extra fun, award a popsicle prize that corresponds with the color of each balloon you break!

Pool Noodle Sprinklers

It’s easy to transform a pool noodle—another classic summertime staple—into a refreshing sprinkler. Just poke holes into your pool noodle, plug the opening on one side and then attach the mouth of a garden hose into the other side. When you turn on the water, you’ll have a fun H2O gadget ready for any party. Read even more detailed instructions here.

Human-Sized Bubble-Maker

via GIPHY

Blowing bubbles and a warm summer breeze go together like peanut butter and jelly. These human-sized bubbles will put wonder and awe into the eyes of your guests.

All you need is a lot of bubble solution, a plastic kiddie pool and a hula hoop. Fill up the pool with the bubble solution, then have one of your guests stand inside the hula hoop inside the pool. When they pull up on the hula hoop, the bubble will envelope the person inside. This is a great way to add some whimsy to your backyard waterpark.

Slip ‘N-’ Slide

No backyard water park would be complete without a slip ‘n-’ slide. As it turns out, DIY slip ‘n-’ slides tend to be more durable than their storebought counterparts. Gather up heavy plastic sheeting, dish soap and stakes to secure the plastic to the ground. For full instructions on how to build a heavy-duty slip ‘n-’ slide that’ll be a hit all season, head here.

We hope these ideas have sparked your imagination and added some fun to your summer. Always remember to stay hydrated when you’re outdoors—even when you’re surrounded by water!

Share This Post:

Just Add Water: Aqua’s Guide to Summer 2017

The sun is out and you’ve (hopefully) stopped sneezing from those pesky spring allergies—it must be summertime! With warm weather and longer days come plenty of opportunities for adventure and relaxation alike.

From water activities to plain-old silly fun, here’s everything we recommend for making Summer 2017 a season to remember.

Visit a Water Park

Image via Mariamichelle

Between splashing around in a wave pool or relaxing on a lazy river, there are activities for the whole family at a water park. You can even make an adventure out of it and take a road trip to some of the best water parks in America.

Or… Bring the Water Park to You

Image via Tama66

If you want to bring your fun in the sun a little closer to home, there are plenty of warm weather activities to do in your own backyard. Stay cool and have a blast by getting the kiddie pool ready, breaking out the old slip ‘n slide or indulging in our ideas for a little wacky water outdoor fun.

Watch a Summer Movie

Image via dbreen

Escape the heat in a cool, dark theater for a couple of hours or get the popcorn going and gather around on the couch for a movie. We’ve even got a list of classic H2O-related movies for the whole family to enjoy if the pool or beach is a little too far away.

Visit a Farmer’s Market

Image via Erik Scheel

Support your local farms this summer by getting out to a farmer’s market. Enjoy the fresh, delicious seasonal produce and maybe even pick up some fruit to create your favorite flavored water. If you need some help dipping your toes into upgrading your drinking water this summer, we’ve got you covered.

View Fireworks

Image via skeeze

Everyone knows to expect fireworks on the Fourth of July, but many towns host displays all summer long. Check your local event calendars for weekly or monthly fireworks, and let the spectacle continue beyond Independence Day.

Want to continue your seasonal celebration past the Fourth of July with some more unique celebrations? Here are some lesser-known holidays that are fun to observe.

National Hammock Day (July 22)

Pretend you’re on a tropical vacation by the ocean and get in on National Hammock Day! We recommend some shade and a good book for optimal relaxation.

National Watermelon Day (August 3)

Watermelon has “water” right in its name—how could it not be an Aqua-favorite fruit? On August 3, make a point to enjoy some watermelon, whether it’s sliced, diced or in your drinking water—we’ve even got a recipe right here.

National Tell a Joke Day (August 16)

Everyone enjoys a good joke—no matter how cheesy. On National Tell a Joke Day, make it your goal to give someone a serious case of the giggles. Here are a couple of our favorite jokes:

Is it dangerous to swim on a full stomach?

Yes. It’s better to swim in water.

 

What did the ocean say to the other ocean?

Nothing—it just waved.

No matter what you do to celebrate the season, it’s important to remember to stay hydrated. From splashing around at the waterpark to making refreshing beverages, water is truly the key to a fun and safe summer.

What’s your favorite way to use water to keep cool?

 

 

Share This Post:

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know the Water Cycle?

How much do you remember about the water cycle? The process is vital to life on Earth, yet we often only think of the water cycle when weather gets in the way of our plans. The water cycle also plays a major part in long-term climate change and global economics.

To test your knowledge of the process, we put a little quiz together. And if you have little ones at home, you can take this quiz with them for added fun, especially since the water cycle is typically taught in elementary school.

For the title of Aqua Expert:

1. Water covers approximately how much of the Earth’s surface?

a. The whole thing

b. One half

c. Three quarters

d. Two thirds

2. Clouds form during which step of the water cycle?

a. Melting

b. Evaporation

c. Condensation

d. Fluffing

3. Why is ocean water so salty?

a. So that boats can float

b. Salt cannot evaporate with water

c. A chef seasoned it that way

d. There are large natural salt blocks along the ocean floor

4. What is the proper name for the process of water evaporating from plants?

a. Transpiration

b. Perspiration

c. A temperate tantrum

d. Sweating greens

5. Which of the following is NOT a form of precipitation?

a. Sleet

b. Drought

c. Rain

d. Snow

Answers:

 

Image via NASA

 

1. (c) Three quarters. Water covers about 71 percent of Earth, or just under three quarters. It’s no wonder most evaporation occurs on ocean surfaces!

2. (c) Condensation. Clouds form when water vapor condenses back into a liquid. The water droplets gather in the sky until they become too heavy, then fall back to earth as precipitation.

3. (b) Salt cannot evaporate with water. Small amounts of salt are released into fresh water rivers that naturally flow out to oceans and seas. The salt is left behind when water evaporates or freezes. Therefore, the ocean is always getting saltier!

4. (a) Transpiration. Humans lose water through breathing, and so do plants. In fact, 10 percent of water in the atmosphere is believed to come from transpiration.

5. (b) Drought. Drought refers to a lack of precipitation. While drought doesn’t immediately threaten us like other natural disasters, it can be one of the most expensive weather-related events to affect an area.  

How did you do? Which questions did you find simple or surprising? Let us know!

 

Share This Post:

Top Songs to Sing in the Shower

 

On average, a person spends roughly eight minutes in the shower. Do you know what a person does during those eight minutes? They sing. Yes, we all do it, or have done it.

Do you ever feel like your voice sounds better in the shower? And then you get this overwhelming confidence that you should go on The Voice because you could potentially be the next big thing?

Yeah, us too. That’s because the shower is on our side. With its size and shape, our voices create the most perfect sound waves (or so we think).

So, tell us, what are some of your favorite songs to sing? We created a list of the top 10 songs to sing in the shower and we promise they will not disappoint. Plus, they’re all pretty short songs, so they’re perfect for timing a nice, short shower that gets you clean and conserves water. Start those vocal exercises because after reading this, you’re going to want to get singing. 

“I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”

Who: The Proclaimers 

Why we sing along: It is definitely easier to sing about walking 500 miles than actually doing the action itself. So, pretend to put on your walking shoes and get ready for a crazy adventure of belting notes ranging from E to B. 

“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”

Who: Elton John and Kiki Dee

Why we sing along: OK, singing a duet is so much fun because you get to change characters in the midst of all the excitement. One minute you’re Elton and the next you’re Kiki. What else could you want? 

“I Wanna Dance with Somebody”

Who: Whitney Houston

Why we sing along: Um, it’s Whitney Houston. There are no other reasons necessary.  

“Billie Jean"

Who: Michael Jackson

Why we sing along: Other than the fact that it’s the King of Pop, this song tells a story and it’s one that we all know well. We dare you to try and not sing or dance to this tune.  

“I Will Survive”

Who: Gloria Gaynor

Why we sing along: Bad breakup? Nothing Gloria Gaynor can’t help with. Be the survivor she sings about.  

 “Dancing Queen” 

Who: ABBA

Why we sing along: You cannot resist ABBA. We love this song because not only can you sing it, but you can also dance along because — drum roll please — you are the dancing queen, baby! 

“Don’t Stop Believin’" 

Who: Journey 

Why we sing along: Journey said it best: Don’t stop believin’ and definitely don’t stop singin’! This is the ultimate tune to play “rock star,” so don’t hold anything back. If you’re destined to win The Voice, you have to nail all of the ranges of these notes. 

“Sweet Caroline"

Who: Neil Diamond

Why we sing along: Ahhhh. “Sweet Caroline.” One of the best. We’ve all tried replacing “Caroline” with our own names. Unfortunately, it just isn’t the same. Sweet Caroline it is, and that’s all it’ll stay Thank you, Neil! 

“I Want to Know What Love is”

Who: Foreigner

Why we sing along: Do you want to know what love is? Because we sure do and this classic song is going to help us. It’s easy to let go and put your entire heart and soul into this jam…so do it. The steamy shower won’t mind. 

 “Can’t Stop the Feelin’" 

Who: Justin Timberlake  

Why we sing along: Yes, we had many of the classics above, but this song was necessary. It is all over the radio right now and it’s so catchy, you can’t help but sing along with the ever-soulful JT. Don’t even try to stop that feeling. Get in the shower and belt your heart out! 

Share This Post: