Watercolour is a versatile medium that can yield a variety of results. Experiment in this activity and see what effects you can create!


You will need:

  • HB Pencil (you can use the HB in the Micador For Artists Sketching Set)
  • Eraser
  • Micador For Artists Rains Watercolour Paper (we used 1 sheet from the 230x305mm, Pad of 12)
  • Micador For Artists Brilliant Watercolour Discs, 12s
  • Paper Towel


  • So that you can see where you have added water, we recommend you use a touch of the red to tint the brush slightly.
  • Use the corner of some scrunched up paper towel to gently lift any areas that may be too wet.

Step 1: Sketch or trace

Using an image of a Sand Crab, either sketch or trace onto Rains Paper (if you trace the outline, remember to draw in the detail before you start painting).

Step 2: Start painting

Using tinted water (see TIPS above), keep your brush wet and vertical and paint into the edges of the crab shell body. Aim for a crisp hard edge for the outer body.

Step 3: Add more colour

Add some more red to the wet brush and whilst holding it vertically, dab in some darker red onto the already wet areas. Continue to pay close attention to the edges.

Step 4: Bring in purple

Now add a touch of purple to the tip of your brush and dance that into the red area, still holding the brush vertical. Let the paint settle.

Step 5: Work on the legs

Move to the outer legs of the crab (to avoid bleeding with the wet body) and flood in some turquoise blue (just a touch – it’s very potent) as you did for the shell. Leave lots of white (dry paper).

Step 6: Continue the claws

Start working on the outer legs and claws making sure to jump a segment so you don’t work wet next to wet. Once each segment either side dries you can work on the middle segment.

Step 7: Add turqouise

If the body has dried, add some of the turquoise to the shell while you continue working the blue onto the legs and claws. Avoid doing this if the segment next to it is still wet to maintain the hard shell and avoid bleeding.

Step 8: Darker tones

Once a segment is dry, add a darker tone of the same colour or some purple to the under join of each segment. Add some water and dance out the tone to avoid abrupt colour transitions.

Step 9: Stipple dark purple and blue

Once dry, stipple a dark purple and blue over the body. The top half of the shell should be darker than the bottom half and middle. Keep deepening tone on legs using blue and purple to enhance shadows.

Step 10: Add white highlights

Once dry, add some opaque white highlights. Keep brush Vertical and use the point. Have fun with this and keep adding the white until it comes together. Remember to keep the shell’s dark hard edge.
Download this info as a takeaway PDF