Friday, April 15, 2011

Pollock-Inspired Drip Painting

The children have been engaged in the creation of a group art project inspired by Jackson Pollock.  To introduce this artist, I showed the children some photographs of Pollock's work.  We talked about how he chose to use unique methods of painting which included splattering and dripping the paint through various techniques.  We also learned how Pollock moved with his whole body while creating his works. 

Next, I invited the children to take part in a painting activity where we would also experiment with paints by allowing it to drip from spoons.  I showed the large canvas and artist-quality paints. This was met with oohs and aahs as these were the "real" materials of artists.   I explained that this process would take several days and the first day would only be for painting the background of the canvas.  Then, each morning for the duration of the week, we would set up different colors of paint for the children to drip onto the canvas.

It turned out to be spectacular piece of artwork.  The children were most inspired by the fact that they all worked together in its creation.  I was thankful for the feeling of togetherness it brought to the classroom.

Here is the process in pictures:


Introduction of paints and canvas. 

The children worked in pairs to complete the painting of the background.  First, we covered one of our large tables with newsprint and laid the canvas flat.  The children stood at the table and painted away!

Background complete.


Two colors of paint (yellow and purple):  I mixed the paint with a bit of liquid laundry starch to make it more "drippy."  The children all had a chance to explore with each color.  I chose to have the kids do this part individually so that they had more freedom of movement during the painting process. 

Three more colors:  blue, green, and white.
We added lavender and pink.

The addition of red and light blue. 
The children took a great interest in the project and the fact that it was a collaborative effort makes it most meaningful.  During the upcoming Spring Break, I will coat the painting with a layer (or two) of Mod Podge and place it in a wooden frame - most likely black, but we will have to see.  In the meantime, several classroom parents have expressed an interest in an auction, which I think is great idea.  I can hardly wait to pop this in a frame and will post again to share the finished product...


  1. So beautiful! I saw the kids working on it on Friday and wondered... It will make a wonderful addition to the classroom!

  2. The vibrant colors are so cheerful - I'm very glad everyone is excited about it...

  3. Very nice! Great idea! Thanks for sharing! After the gray canvas was dry, could you do the entire painting in one day...........or would the colors blend together by accident?

  4. Thanks for your kind comment. I'm sure it could work just fine in one day...