Every once in a while we do an art activity at toddler play group that silences all the adults and has us all kind of dumbfounded by it’s beauty. This Jackson Pollock art mural for kids was one of those activities. With every addition of color we just all stared in awe of the gorgeous effortless beauty these little ones created. It was truly magical. If you have some little ones (or big ones) who might like to try an incredible art experience, here’s the how to.
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I was introduced to this incredible, absorbent surface via my friend Joleen at The Inspired Child and it is amazing!!! I have to add it to my favorite must have art supply list. It’s that good. One side is plastic, making it super durable, and the other is this amazing absorbent clothe like surface that sucks up paint and doesn’t tear. It’s awesome and cheap! You can cut it any size you want, too.
Rollers or brayers
All of the above is optional for this project with the exception of the 2 Layer Drop Cloth. I’m not suggesting you buy all of these supplies to do a project like this. I’ve been collecting art supplies for a long time. Use what you have. Of all the supplies above, I’d say the squeeze bottles are the best investment. We use them for paint, glue, watercolors, water, etc. Great supply to have around the house.
I started by filling a big bucket with spray bottles and ketchup bottles filled with liquid watercolor and water, nancy bottles filled with tempera and water, and bio colors and water. Adding water will help your paints last longer. If you are new to bio colors, they are heavier than tempera paint and sort of stain whatever surface you’re working on leaving an amazing print.
Then I spread the entire 2 Layer Drop Cloth absorbent side up, on the ground in our backyard. This project can get messy so you may want to save it for a sunny day outside. Please keep in mind that we did this on a large scale. You can easily cut up much smaller rectangles of the drop clothe and put them in a bucket like you see here, and do this on a much smaller scale. It will still come out awesome and be super fun.
Within minutes the kids began to gather around the bucket. I didn’t have to explain a thing. They got right to work squeezing the paint over the drop clothe just like Jackson Pollack. These young artists are all toddler age. If you are working with kids older than three I would take the time to talk about Jackson Pollack and show examples of his work. Here is a fun Jackson Pollack book to read as well.
Let the kids squeeze and spray and walk all over that art mural as they please. For these toddlers, the concentration was palpable. Once supplies started to dwindle I brought out my favorite mala squeeze paints from ikea. This gave me a chance to do a little refill of all the squeeze bottles. The kids were engrossed in squeezing those mala bottles. They are the perfect size for little hands. You’ll be surprised how long the paint lasts too. I’m not suggesting you’ll have any left most likely, but you’ll have some really happy kids and an amazing art mural inspired by Jackson Pollock. Look at these kids go.
This step came straight from one of the toddlers at play group. She walked straight over to my supply area of huge brushes (I got these brushes at Trash for Teaching, my favorite place) and started using them on the art mural. All the parents had a good laugh at her resourcefulness. It reminded me to bring out our rollers and brayers too, which the kids loved to move back and forth over the mural.
These kids had such a blast we worked on this Jackson Pollock art mural for two weeks. We probably could go on and on with it but it looks so beautiful right now I am saving it to hang in my new art studio.
Of course, once it was all dry a few days later, we had to hang it and do a photo shoot. That’s pretty much a Cherry household standard. Make a mural, do a photo shoot.
This Jackson Pollock Art Mural was a super fun art project for kids. I love Jackson Pollock’s free form style and it works so well for young children. Next I want to trace my girls in different positions on the drop cloth in thick black marker and then have them paint it so you can just see the sillohuetes and all the amazing paint. Won’t that be cool? My list of art for kids keeps growing and growing. There is never enough time.
Remember, this art mural doesn’t have to be gigantic like this one. The drop cloth can be cut up and they are so big they will last a long time. I highly highly recommend it. Here are all the other art supplies I recommend as well. This is my go to list from years of experimenting with art for kids.