DIY Watercolor

Make your own watercolor paint inspired by the paintings of Millard Sheets.




Millard Sheets was a California artist best known for his watercolor landscape paintings. His paintings are currently on view at the museum as part of the Travels in Mexico exhibition and serve as inspiration for this project. See what Millard Sheets looked like.

Millard Sheets, Windswept, 1941, watercolor on Arches paper, Collection of Diane and E. Gene Crain


Make It Your Own

  • You’ll start by going for a walk around your neighborhood. (Remember to use social distancing, of course!)
  • Gather grass, leaves, and flowers to use as a base for your pigment.
  • Once you are back home, separate your materials by color and place each color, one at a time, in a pestle and mortar with a few tablespoons of water. If you don’t have a pestle and mortar you can use a bowl and spoon. You just need something to help you grind up your plant materials!
  • When you are done grinding, transfer all of the contents into jars or cups. Let it rest for at least one hour.
  • Strain the liquid through a cheese cloth or other fabric and use it as watercolor paint.
  • Be inspired by the work of Millard Sheets and create a landscape painting!


Show Us Your Work