Blow painting is a fun process art activity for multiple age groups. Simply change the type of paint or pigment used for different effects and for different age groups. Read on to find out the general process plus check out my top 5 favorite projects using this technique! There are projects for preschoolers, school aged kids, and even adults…so read on.
Be sure to check out my top 5 favorite blow paint projects!
For this project you are going to need:
- Thinned paint or ink, depending on the group you are painting with. More on that later!
- A dropper or pipette
- Paper or canvas, the type used needs to work well with the choice of paint/ink you are using. Being sure to use a high quality substrate that matches the intended project will always offer the best results. For kid’s projects I like to use a 90# mixed media paper or a watercolor paper. For adults I might use the watercolor paper, canvas, or specialty paper depending on the paint medium being offered.
- A drinking straw.
- Optional: Additional items to finish out your project, i.e googly eyes, glitter, sharpies, ect.
- Prepare your paint. I love to use liquid watercolors but watered down tempera paints work well also for the first three projects. The 4th and 5th projects require their own special paints and papers/substraits.
- Drip your paint/ink onto your paper using the dropper. 90# mixed media paper or watercolor paper work best for this project. Thinner paper tends to rip too easy.
- Aim your straw at the paint drip and blow into the straw, allowing the paint to spread and splatter.
- Try turning your paper as you blow through your straw to spread the paint around more.
- Continue to drip paint and blow through the straw until you are satisfied with the result!
You can enjoy this projects as it is or extend it with one of the following project ideas to finish it out!
Check out my top 5 favorite blow paint projects below!
Project 1: Blow paint monsters
Recommended Age: Preschool – 9 years
Simply add one or more googly eyes to the paint splatter to create a blow paint monster. If the paint is really wet you can probably just add the googly eyes to the wet paint, otherwise you may need to use a dot of glue on each eye.
Project 2: Flower Gardens
Recommended Age: 6-12 years
- Direct the children to aim towards the middle of the page to drip the paint and blow the splatters out. Encourage them to make several splatters, allowing colors to mix.
- Next give them some green paint. I like to use a couple of different shades of green to create a bit of depth.
- Have them hold their paper up or prop it up on an easel. Ask them to create the stems and grass for the flowers by using the gravity painting technique. Hold the dropper at the bottom of their blown out flower and allow the green to drip down the page.
- Create a few leaves by blowing through the straw at the green stem in a few places.
- Optional: Once the paint has dried completely allow the child to add details to the flowers or accent certain shapes using ultra fine point sharpies.
Project 3: Blow paint portraits
Recommended Age: 5-12 years
- Have the child draw a bald character on a piece of paper, being sure that they leave room for the hair! I find that a bust (head and shoulders works best for this project).
- Have the child use the dropper to drip the paint on the hairline.
- Use the straw to blow the hair out and away from the face.
Project 4: High flow acrylics on Canvas
Recommended Age: Teen- Adult
For this project I like to use canvas panels as opposed to paper. Canvas panels are also cheaper and a bit sturdier than stretched canvas. They do not tend to droop the way a stretched canvas might under the weight of pooled up paint. You can use high flow acrylics or you can make your own by adding a bit of elmer’s gel glue and water to your acrylic paints. The consistency should be similar to pancake batter.
Tip: These will take a long time to dry so I have found it useful to place the canvas in a box as I work. Gift boxes work well for this. You can also use plastic bottle caps to hold the canvas panels off of the bottom of the box so that as it dries it does not stick to the box.
- Set up your work space by placing the canvas on a level flat surface. See the tip above for ideas incase you might need to move the piece prior to drying.
- You can either pour your high flow acrylics directly onto your canvas or you can add smaller amounts by using a dropper/pipette as described above in the other projects.
- Use the straw to help move the paints around you canvas by blowing into it. You can also tilt the canvas and allow gravity to move the paint.
Note: Part of the fun of this type of painting is letting go of the control. Allow yourself to enjoy watching the paint move and flow. Remember that often the paint will continue to move a bit as it dries, so it will likely continue to change form as it dries.
Project 5: Alcohol Inks
Recommended Age: Teen to Adult
For this project you are going to need a few more specialty items:
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Alcohol Inks, my favorite brand is Ranger.
- Yupo Paper
- Small plastic paint pallet
- Optional: small paint brush, old plastic gift card, alcohol wipes
- You can drip inks directly from the bottle onto your yupo paper if you wish.
- Use the straw to blow the ink around. The ink will continue to blow around until the alcohol evaporates.
- Alternately you can mix a few drops of alcohol with a few drop of the ink in your pallet and use the dropper or a small brush to add it to the yupo paper.
- Play with ways to manipulate the ink by blowing through the straw, painting into it with the paint brush and more ink or even plain alcohol, or scraping it with the plastic card.
Note: The inks can be reactivated with more alcohol and reworked.
*To clean up your alcohol ink tools use the rubbing alcohol rather than water.
I hope you enjoy these projects as much as I do! I would love to hear your experiences. Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.