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Abstract Painting

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Updated on Sep 24, 2012

Does your kid's eyes glaze over when you try to talk to him about history? Amp up the fun with an educational art history lesson disguised as a crazy, over-the-top painting bonanza! Thank Mr. Jackson Pollock for an afternoon of messy art and educational entertainment.

What You Need:

  • Tempera paint
  • Water
  • Disposable cups
  • Spoons
  • White bed sheet
  • Stapler
  • Sticks
  • Leaves
  • Cardboard
  • Fabric scissors

What You Do:

  1. Help your child wrap the bed sheet around a large piece of cardboard.
  2. Carefully staple the edges of the sheet to the cardboard.
  3. Have your child pour the different colors of tempera paint into disposable cups.
  4. Let her use spoons to mix each paint cup with a small amount of water. The purpose of this is to just loosen up the paint a little bit.
  5. Help your child gather up her natural "paintbrushes." Anything from old sticks to crinkly leaves will work perfectly.
  6. Talk to your child about the benefits of using sticks versus using paint brushes. Why would famous artists like Jackson Pollock choose such cheap items instead of fancy art materials? Be sure to bring up themes of individuality and an artist's quest to be unique.
  7. Have your child dip one of his sticks into the cup of paint.
  8. Let him walk around the bed sheet canvas and shake the paint stick anyway he pleases. Tell him to watch for the different splatter patterns he creates. 
  9. Have him switch paint colors of even paint sticks.
  10. Pollock used to pour paint directly onto the canvas. Let your child try this same technique -- does he like the result?
  11. Encourage your child to try out his own unique painting materials. Pollock used sticks to be different. What will your child choose to use?
  12. Let the finished product dry in the sun.
  13. Display your child's abstract masterpiece!