Latest Art Craze: Poured Painting

pourpaintMy granddaughter Lily’s new favorite activity is poured painting. She chooses a few acrylic colors, and thins them with water and a pour painting medium (a type of varnish) made for this activity. This helps the paint flow easily.

Next she pours each color onto a canvas, and tilts to canvas to let the colors flow and blend together. Even after it dries the colors appear to be flowing and splashing joy onto the canvas. This process uses gravity rather than a brush to cover the canvas.

Children can also try it with watercolors for easier cleanup. The paper needs to be wet with a paintbrush and water before starting the pouring. They will need a place to pour off the excess paint when they are happy with their painting.

Pouring paint and letting them mix allows children to engage in mixing colors and seeing how to make new colors.  Blues and purples ,create a great ocean scene while oranges, yellows, and some blue can be poured and tilted to create a sunset or a flaming bonfire. Or simply pour on contrasting colors for a swirling burst of joy. It’s fun to consider pouring the paint on different parts of the canvas. Check out poured painting on Pinterest for ideas of colors and pouring techniques.

It’s fun to teach free expression in art and rejoice over colors. A child can watch the paint explode onto the canvas and then help blend the colors. Check Lily’s video to find out how she makes her paintings.


The paint can simply be poured and then tilted to mix colors and finally let excess pour off. Of you can use a wooden skewer to swirl the paint to mix the colors. If there’s a lot of paint left on the canvas that forms a thick layer it will take longer to dry (up t o a week) and the paint may crack. You can experiment with the paint poured off and dip a canvas into it to make a dipped painting.

Some people have also used a similar technique to paint flower pots, pumpkins, and glass jars. A pizza box under the object will help contain the mess.

Images and Presentations

Images grab more attention on social media than mere words. Promote children’s communication with helping them combine images and words. Ask them to come up with titles for each poured piece of art.

Add to the art with photojournalism. Take photos of each stage of the creation. Then encourage children to organize the photos to tell the story of their project making. They can add captions to express their thoughts and feelings about the experience, colors, and final outcome.

Of take a video of children explaining the art project and how to do it. This helps them develop speaking ability and the skill to share a skill.

Have fun and let little ones enjoy experimenting!

Karen Whiting




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