Art Project, Preschool Art

Gravity Painting with Preschoolers

Paint the Rain

One of my favorite projects with preschool aged kids is gravity painting. There is something so rewarding about watching paint drip. The kids alway have such a great time with this one! This project is very easy to set up and can be done easily at home. Keep in mind that it has the potential to be quite messy though so if you are worried about a mess you may want to try this one outside!

gravity painting collage

You will need:

  • Small jars
  • Eye droppers or pipettes
  • Washable paints, I prefer liquid watercolors though tempera paint works well too.
  • Water to dilute paint.
  • Paper to paint on. I like to use a watercolor paper or at least a 90# paper for durability.
  • Drop cloth for floor or table if painting inside.
  • Some sort of easel or wall that you can attach your paper to.

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Set up:

  1. Prepare your space by covering the floor and or table where you will be painting.
  2. Attach your paper to an easel or wall. Be sure that it is at the correct height for your child. They should be able to comfortably reach the top of the paper.
  3. Prepare your paints by mixing with water. Paints should be thin enough to be collected in the dropper and to drip. I like a fairly watery consistency for this project. Just make sure that you have enough paint to give a rich color.
  4. Place one dropper or pipette into each color.

A note on paints: For this project select 2-4 colors of paint to work with. Be sure to keep your paint colors in the same color family in order to avoid brown drips…unless brown is what you are after! Warm colors: reds, oranges, yellows work well together as do cool colors: blues, greens, purples…

Spilled paint
Remember messes are likely!

For this project I love to tell the kids that we are going to be painting rain! So I tend to choose dark blues, purples, and turquoise colors to paint with.

Process:

Gravity painting collage1
A mom guiding her child to squeeze the dropper by gently placing her hand over his to demonstrate when to squeeze.
  1. Invite the child to paint. As I said before, I love to tell the kids that we will be painting rain. This is a fun way to relate this project to their life experience a bit.
  2. Show the child how to squeeze the dropper or pipette in the paint to collect the paint. I like to really slow this down and exaggerate my movements. Ex: Say, “Squeeze” and very slowly squeeze the dropper in an exaggerated way.
  3. Then say “Let go,” and while the dropper is in the jar completely remove you hand from the dropper, showing the child your empty hand. This is important for children who do not yet have experience with droppers. Otherwise they tend to continue squeezing as they lift the dropper and the paint comes back out before they get it to the page.
  4. Next demonstrate lifting the dropper out of the paint. Point out the paint in the dropper to the child. Finally show the child how to hold the dropper at the top of the page again. Say, “Squeeze” allow the paint to drip down the page.
  5. Hand the dropper to the child and say, “Your turn.” It may take them several tries to collect paint and get it to the paper. That is OK. Unless they are showing signs of frustration allow them to continue exploring it unassisted. If they seem frustrated, repeat the above steps or gently guide their hand as you demonstrate.

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Exploration is key here. Allowing the child to fully engage with the tools is the goal. It may take some time for them to master the tools and they might instead try to paint with or draw with the dropper. All of that is ok. They are exploring something new and relating it to their previous life experiences. Most of all have fun with this project. If the child loses interest, don’t force it. Perhaps try again later. I have noticed that some children respond better to a project the second or third time it is introduced. So don’t worry if your child is not interested, simply try again at a later time!

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This project is a great exploration for older toddlers and preschoolers, but it can also be extended for older children. I have done this project with kids up to 12 years old with great results. For older children try having the child paint a landscape or an umbrella type rain scene on their page first. Then you can have them add the rain to finish it off. Kids of all ages enjoy watching the paint drip!

gravity painting collage2

I hope you have a blast with this project! I would love to hear your experiences with it. Feel free to leave a comment.

Signiture

About Me

My inspirations

Girl Reading Paper $80
Original watercolor inspired by a vintage photo.

As an artist I am a bit all over the place! I often describe myself as having art ADD, lol. I have never been able to lock myself down to a signature style or medium. I really enjoy trying new things. There are however some recurring themes in my art.

 

Inspirations…

I am inspired by Fashion, more accurately by vintage fashion! I even majored in Fashion Design in College. I am inspired by all types of dance. I am not much of a dancer myself, though I do enjoy dancing from time to time. I simply love the combination of strength and grace in the bodies of dancers. I am also inspired by circus arts, especially vintage circus performers!  I am intrigued by subcultures and counterculture movements throughout the various decades especially flappers, burlesque culture, circus culture, and punk culture. I draw a lot of inspiration from these and I am inspired other artists who do the same. I enjoy all things feminine and delicate yet strong, especially images of strong women.

I love to explore color and texture, combining abstract flowy forms with precise and controlled forms. I love the color green! I am inspired by the crisp geometric Art Deco shapes and patterns as well as the delicate and ornate ones associated with Art Nouveau. I love fiber arts especially wool. It is just so warm and fuzzy! My current medias of choice to work in are alcohol inks, and watercolor. As I mentioned before though I really enjoy trying out new mediums and tools so I am quite often scattered in my artistic efforts. 

My time is quite limited for doing my own artwork, but I spend a considerable amount of time facilitating process art for both kids and adults. I get to do a lot of creative play and experimentation which I love to do!

Here are a few examples of my art…

Jennifer MacIsaac Art
Tango Dancers in watercolor, Altered magazine image embroidery, Portrait of Josephine Baker in alcohol inks, Art deco gal in acrylic

My top 5 favorite artists!

These artists have all been inspirational to me in my own work.

1. Erte

 

erte collage
Images Via Web Search

Erte was a Russian born, French artist most famous for his art deco fashion designs. He designed over 200 Harper’s Bazaar covers in the 1920s and 30s. I love the use of pattern and whimsy in his designs. The Art Deco period is one of my absolute favorites!

 

2. Gustav Klimt

Klimt collage
Images via Web Search

Klimt was an Austrian artist who worked  in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He is a symbolist painter and part of the Art Nouveau movement. I am particularly inspired by his “Golden Phase” I love his use of color and pattern.

 

These next three artists are currently living and working so I have not included photos of their work since I do not have permission to do so. 

Please click on the links below to see some beautiful examples of their work from their own pages!

 

3. Cynthia Markert

Cynthia Markert is a local favorite here in Knoxville TN. She paints images of strong women and sisterhood on wood panels. She has a beautiful Art Deco style. I am inspired by her use of proportion and her mixture of large flat shapes and detailed pattern. I also love her use of color.

4. Puddleton Art

I found Puddleton art otherwise known as Alice Badgley, on Etsy one day while I was browsing and I fell in love. It is my goal to own a piece of her art one day (Update, I have a beautiful little pice now)!  I am inspired by her whimsical style and her use of mixed media to create these beautiful images of 1920s fashion.

 

5. Mimi Kirchner

Mimi Kirchner is a fiber artist from Boston. She makes these amazing dolls, many of which are inspired by vintage eras. She uses bits of old fabric and buttons in her designs. I love the vintage feel and her attention to detail. My favorites are her circus looking dolls , but they are all so unique and fun!

 

I would love to hear some of your inspirations as artists. Feel free to share some of what inspires you to create or a favorite artist of yours in the comments below!

my art
Various watercolors and alcohol ink paintings from this past year.
About Me

A New Journey Begins

 

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Thanks for joining me! This space will be a creative journey celebrating art breaks. What are art breaks, you ask? Well art breaks are anytime one takes a moment in time to create something, anything. Art breaks could be a brief moment or a scheduled creative session of any duration. They could be enjoyed by anyone of any age or circumstance. One does not need to be an artist to enjoy an art break. Anyone can participate at any artistic level or ability. All you have to do is pause for however long you wish and with intention create something…anything! Sounds fun right?

I am a huge fan of art breaks. I love to create whenever I can, and I love to work with others to develop their own creative practice. Through my brick and mortar art studio, The Basement Community Art Studio  I have worked with many different types of creative individuals. I have enjoyed the creative play of infants and toddlers. I have helped to guide school aged children through creative discovery. I have watched as teens began to develop their own unique artistic style. I have witnessed families creating together. I have helped adults who did not believe that they “had a creative bone in their bodies,” to discover a way to honor their own inner artist. I have ventured out into the community to witness and take part in the larger “Maker Movement.”

In my business Creating Mindfulness, my business partner Dorothy Verbick and I lead monthly women’s circles and retreats that encourage women to embrace their creativity and channel it into a practice in mindfulness. We use art and creative breaks as a way to channel ones creative energies and enhance self expression.

Currently in my full time position as the Make Space Coordinator with the MUSE Knoxville, I am lucky enough to facilitate a beautiful Maker Space that encourages children to explore their own creativity. I am surrounded daily by creative kiddos who will grow up to be tomorrow’s innovators and creators. It is very exciting to see those young minds at work.

This little space, my tiny corner of the web, will serve as my journal, my documentation, and my observations. I will be sharing my observations as I move through my personal creative journey and as I facilitate creative sparks and Art_Breaks for others. I would love it if you would follow along. Please feel free to offer tips of feedback along the way. I absolutely love to collaborate with other creative minds. I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences!

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Playing with alcohol inks is a favorite art break of mine!

This space is for me to document my work, to reference what I have seen and done in this creative community. This space is also for you to follow along on my creative adventure. I hope that it will inspire you to take your own Art Breaks and to encourage those in your life to take their own Art Breaks too.

In this blog you will find:

  • Creative inspirations for working with children.
  • Creative inspirations for adults looking to take their own Art Breaks.
  • Resources that I have found helpful on my creative journey.
  • My own personal portfolios for my various creative adventures and Art Breaks.

Please feel free to leave a comment with any questions that you may have or share any of your own insights to your creative journey. I look forward to hearing from you!

 

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” — Picasso

 

watercolor
These girls are having fun playing with some watercolor techniques using liquid watercolors and alcohol.
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These preschoolers are experimenting with splatter-paint by painting rubber-bands and then flicking the bands to see what happens to the paint.