Spread Creativity! Watercolor: Koi

Watercolor paintings are created by layering beautiful translucent colors. Several techniques (wet-on-wet, dry-on-wet, sponging, and wax resist) allow the artist to create different effects with watercolor paints.


With this project, artists of differing skill levels can successfully complete a watercolor painting  of Koi fish. Beginning artists can start with learning and practicing basic techniques. Artists who feel they need assistance with drawing can learn how to trace an image. More advanced artists can draw the Koi on their own then skip to applying paint.


We recommend reviewing your instruction booklet and viewing the demonstration videos before you begin painting.


Artists ages 6 to 96 love Art Jams!

Younger artists, 6 to 10 years, may need adult help.

Kits are not recommended for artists younger than 6 years of age.

Demonstration Videos

Art Jams has developed several watercolor painting videos to assist artists at different levels of development. You can view all of the videos or select any one you need.


The first video demonstrates basic painting tips and techniques that can be used in any watercolor painting.


A second video goes through the steps of tracing an image for artists who are unsure of their drawing abilities.



The third video shows the application of watercolor paint to an image of Koi fish.



All of these videos are meant to supplement directions given in the instruction booklet included in your Art Jam kit.


We recommend reviewing your instruction booklet and viewing the demonstration videos before you begin painting.

Brief History of Watercolor

Sumi or ink-wash painting originated in Eastern Asia around the year 618. This style of water-based painting usually uses black ink only and is applied to rice paper. The black ink is manipulated with water and brush, creating hundreds of variations of blacks and grays as well as a variety of textures. Sumi painting attempts to capture the essence or soul of the subject portrayed. Click the video button to view a demonstration of Sumi painting.


In the west, painters use numerous hues (colors) when painting with watercolors. Western painters apply their watercolors to a variety of papers with and without textured surfaces. Some artists will use colored papers rather than white. The surface to which paint is applied is called the support. Click this video button to view a history of watercolor in the west.


Watercolors where used during the Middle Ages for manuscript illumination and during the Renaissance for sketching. Eventually watercolor took its place alongside oil painting as a true art form. This video button links to a short history of illuminated manuscript painting of the Middle Ages. It also shows some of the materials used to create pigment (powdered color).

Koi Fish

Koi fish are ornamental varieties of domesticated common carp that are kept for decorative purposes in outdoor ponds or water gardens. Koi can live to be 40 years and older. Many fish and ponds are handed down from one generation to another.


Eastern Asia first domesticated the common carp (which is gray in color) for food purposes. These fish were raised in ponds as a source of dietary protein. Eventually the most colorful fish (color mutations) were selected and raised separately for decorative purposes. The selective breeding of the Prussian Carp eventually lead to the development of the Goldfish.


Some of the major colors found on Koi are white, black, red, yellow, blue, and cream. The possible colors are virtually limitless. If left to breed in the wild, Koi will eventually return to their natural gray color.


Click this button to view a video of swimming Koi.

Purchase Project Kit
Product Safety

All of our projects contain materials that are safe and meet the requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) 2008. Contact Us to request certificates of compliance on any of the products or materials in our project kits.

Show & Tell Us About Your Art

We would love to see your finished work of art and to hear about your Art Jam experience.


Email us an image (jpg) of your beautiful watercolor  and any comments or recommendations you may have.

Art Jams, LLC • PO Box 873 • Thibodaux, LA 70302 • 985.438.1532 • info@artjams.net