Drip painting is an easy and fun action art activity for kids. Explore gravity in art with drip painting that results in unique artworks every time.
Drip painting is an art technique that was popularized by Jackson Pollock (you can see footage of him drip painting in this SF MOMA video).
And we’ve done a little bit of dripping when splatter painting, but! I’ve been wanting to try a more deliberate drip painting activity with my kids ever since Jamie Hand wrote a guest post for The Artful Parent on gravity painting.
I finally set it up and we did it as a family and also in the Toddler Art Class.
Drip painting is super easy and a great way to learn about viscosity and gravity while making some interesting artworks.
Plus it’s a lot more controlled (read: less messy) than splatter painting and results in a completely different experience and effect.
I recommend giving this a try!
I’ll share the how to (plus how to make the cardboard easel) and then share some ideas for adding on to your drip paintings.
Drip Painting at a Cardboard Easel
- 3 pieces of cardboard to make a quick DIY cardboard easel*
- Tempera paint
- Spoon or brush
*You can do this at a regular easel or simply prop a piece of cardboard up against a wall outside or something inside. I made simple cardboard easels by taping three pieces of cardboard (saved from paper pads) together into a triangle.
Step 1. Set up
Tape paper to one or both sides of your new double-sided tabletop easel.
If you’re doing this activity inside, I highly recommend placing the cardboard easel over a tray or mat to catch the extra paint that drips down.
Choose your paint colors and put them into paint cups or dishes along with a spoon or brush. If your paint is thick, you may want to water it down a bit so it drips and runs better.
Step 2. Drip paint
Drip paint from your spoon or brush onto the paper.
I encouraged the kids to drip their paint along the top of their paper/easel so that they could watch the paint drip down the angled paper.
Dripping paint is fun!
They can experiment with small drips, big drips, and different color combinations. It’s interesting to watch the colors drip into each other and mix.
You can also experiment with the viscosity, or flow, of different kinds of paint.
Step 3. Let dry
Let your new paint drip paintings dry, then admire and display!
You can also use them as the base layer of a multi-media artwork or cut them up and use them for collages.
More Drip Painting Art Ideas
- Gravity painting with tissue paper collage (such as these flowers and insects)
- This video by art teacher, Patty Palmer, shows a fun way to make drip painted jellyfish
- If you want to try pouring paint from a cup onto a vertical easel, check out this post on Childhood 101.
How about you? Have you tried drip painting art with your kids yet?
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