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Teaching students to break out of the conformity typically associated with art projects is challenging in some classrooms. Generally, students tend to believe their work must be perfect in order for it to be any good. This is not the case, however, when it comes to splatter painting, unless a perfect mess is the goal. Not only will these splatter paint projects give kids the opportunity to learn how to layer colors and manipulate painting tools, but they will also open their minds to new areas of creative expression.
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- Old sheet or painter’s drop cloth
- Heavy cardstock or pieces of cardboard
- Acrylic paint (a wide variety of colors)
- Large plastic bowls (recycled butter containers or cut off milk jugs work well)
- Paint or sponge brushes
- Paint stirrers
- Old shoes and clothing
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- Place the drop cloth or old sheet over the entire work surface. Some prefer working on the floor, but working on a large table or desk is perfectly fine.
- Spread out paints in large plastic containers, each with their own paint or sponge brush and paint stirrer.
- Place the heavy cardstock or cardboard on the work surface and begin the splattering process. If working with cardboard, you may wish to prepare it first with a coat of white acrylic paint.
- Splatter, drip, drizzle, and throw paint all over the cardstock or cardboard piece. Try different drizzling, dripping, and splattering techniques for each layer of color added to the piece.
- Allow the piece to dry on a flat, undisturbed surface for 24-hours.
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- When the paintings are dry, use a black sharpie to write and draw directly on the piece of art. These drawings and writings can be completely random, or a structured piece of work.
- Consider cutting up the pieces of art to the size of an art journal page, and adhering it directly to the pages of a crafted art book. Embellish the work further with additional paint, markers, glitter glue, and collage materials.
- Cut the art piece in half, and use it as the cover for an art journal, handmade book, or altered book project.
- Cut the piece up into the size of ATCs and use them as bases for additional pieces of artwork lesson plans.
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- Ask students to research who else has used splatter painting in their work (i.e. Jackson Pollock, etc.), and then write a report or create a project based on this research.
- Create additional art projects by cutting up these splatter paintings, and turning them into different works of art.
- Brainstorm with the class about other supplies that can be used to apply paint to the surface (i.e. spray bottles, ketchup bottles, etc.)
- Ask each student to write a journal entry, story, or whatever other piece of writing they’re inspired to create (poems, descriptions, etc.) when looking at their splatter paintings or another classmate’s piece of art.
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Displaying the Finished Art
Once these splatter paint projects have dried completely, consider matting them on pieces of construction paper and displaying them throughout the classroom. (This is, of course, if the class decides not to cut them up to use in other projects.) You could also hang the art piece to the front of each student’s desk to further add color and excitement to the classroom.