This Taj Mahal art project is a great way to introduce children to ink transfer using bleeding tissue paper. This technique is not only fun, but the result is a stunning color combination as the inks blend together. Students as young as preschool age can make stunning recreations with just a little assistance. Best of all, you can pair this art project with a unit study on India and add a little cultural studies to you homeschool classroom.
Taj Mahal Art Project Materials:
- Bleeding Tissue Paper
- Taj Mahal Template
- Watercolor Paper
- Water Color Pencil or Sharpie
- White Oil Pastel
- (Optional) Circle Punch for cutting tissue paper.
India Art Projects for Kids:
Print up the Taj Mahal Template and cut it out. It doesn’t have to be perfectly cut, just enough to get the general shape of the Taj Mahal. You’ll also want to cut out your bleeding tissue paper. I used my Circle Punch to quickly punch out the different colors of bleeding tissue paper. And yes, in case you are wondering, Bleeding Tissue Paper is different than normal tissue paper that you would wrap a gift with. So be sure to pick up the right kind of paper for this project or the results will be disappointing.
Place the template so that it is lined up with the bottom of your watercolor paper and trace it lightly with a pencil. For younger students, you might already have this part of the project done in advance, that way you are not spending the majority of your time helping them cut or trace.
Using a white oil pastel, draw lines and shapes inside the shape of the Taj Mahal. This is another aspect that doesn’t have to be perfect. We are simply laying down a layer of oil that will resist the ink so the paper won’t soak it up. You’ll want it to be streaky, with defined lines and shapes because any missed spots will add a little character to your project.
Dip you paintbrush into a bit of water and begin to fill in your paper with the tissue paper circles. A little water will allow them to stick to the paper. You want to use your warm colors, and arrange them around the background of your picture. Try not to put any warm colors on the Taj Mahal.
Overlap the circles so that the colors will bleed and blend together. You will want a lot of color in your background, so to make it vibrant add lots of layers. Don’t overdo it on the water or you will end up with a runny mess and a wrinkled paper. It only takes a little bit of water for this project to work, just enough for the tissue paper to stick to the watercolor paper.
Continue around until your background is filled with warm colors. Then, start on the Taj Mahal with your cool colors. Remember, you laid down oil pastel here earlier so this section will pick up the color in some areas and no color in others.
Once your paper is filled with color, set it asside to dry. Resist the temptation to peek at your project before it is completly dry. You want every last drop of color to soak into your picture.
Once the paper is dry, you can easily lift it up and gently brush away the tissue paper circles. You will be left with a stunning piece of artwork, but we are not finished yet!
Using a black sharpie marker, or a watercolor crayon outline the basic shape of the Taj Mahal again. You can look at your template for reference if you need help remembering where things go.
This time, add the doorwways, windows, and architectural elements to the design. This is another step where you might want to help younger children. Even outlining the main shape and allowing them to add the decorations might help your smaller students.
If you have been learning about India, or doing a unit study, this is a great time to add a paisley motif or other common Indian design to the background of your picture.
Mount your picture with black construction paper and hang up somewhere in the classroom for everyone to enjoy! This is one of those projects where each one turns out a little different so it’s fun to see each student’s interpretation. More India Art Projects for Kids