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Poured Paint Art

Poured Paint Art Activity

See more activities in: Middle School, Painting & Drawing

Helen Frankenthaler was an artist who poured paint directly onto un-primed canvas to create unique and colorful large-scale paintings. Your child can experiment with pouring paint, just like Frankenthaler, which encourages her design abilities and creativity!

What You Need:

  • Paper and pencil
  • Plastic garbage bag
  • White paper
  • Tempera paint
  • Measuring spoons
  • Small containers
  • Paintbrushes

What You Do:

  1. Take a look at examples of Helen Frankenthaler’s artwork online or at your local library. Frankenthaler is considered an abstract expressionist artist, and used a soak-stain style of painting.
  2. Offer your child a sheet of paper and pencil to take notes on Frankenthaler and her unique style. She can also make a couple of thumbnail sketches of her paintings to use as inspiration later.
  3. Invite your child to prepare the workspace by covering it with a plastic bag. Have your child select three colors of tempera paint to work with for her poured paint painting. She can put 1 tablespoon of each paint and water in each container.
  4. Now your child can take a sheet of white paper and hold it under running water, evenly coating the paper, and then shake off the excess. Tell her to press the paper flat on the workspace so her paint will pour without any lumps or bumps getting in its way.
  5. Before pouring the paint, encourage your child to think about her poured paint design. She can even take another look at her sketches of Frankenthaler’s paintings for inspiration.
  6. Invite her to begin pouring and dripping her paint from the small containers watching as the colors blend and soak together. She can continue pouring until her paper is covered.
  7. Once the painting is dry, she can proudly display her finished poured-paint painting in a special spot!

Did you know: Helen Frankenthaler’s paintings are very large – sometimes 7 by 10 feet in scale. Frankenthaler is still alive and painting today. Along with being considered an abstract expressionist, Frankenthaler’s style of painting is also called Color Field, were artists create large areas of color within their paintings.

Sarah Lipoff has a K-12 Art Education degree and enjoys working with kids of all ages.

Updated on Mar 2, 2012
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