Splat Painting

One student used a giant Sharpie and a still-giant-but-slightly-less-giant Sharpie to draw the outline on this big piece of butcher paper. An artistic, abstract, scribble.

[ID: Rainbow-colored watercolors in a row of squirt bottles across a table. /ID]

Same student plus more students helped me make watercolors in a project I’ve talked about before here: we used pliers to break open washable markers that had dried out, harvested their ink pads, cut them up into smaller pieces, stuck them into squirt bottles, and filled the rest with water. The longer they sat, the more vibrant and concentrated the watercolors became.

Then we used the watercolors, squirted them from the squirt-top bottles onto cotton balls, and threw the cotton balls at the big piece of paper, leaving colorful splats everywhere. Sometimes we called our shots—“I’m going to get this one to land in that loop!” “I want mine to overlap the blue spot!”

[ID: A large painting on the ground covered in cotton balls that are soaked with watercolors. They are bleeding their color out onto the painting. /ID]

After the paint had dried, we added highlights of glitter glue, squeezing from tiny tubes with our fingertips.

It hangs up in my therapy gym. It’s one of my favorite pieces of art I’ve ever seen, or had a hand in making.

[Image descriptions: A large piece of white butcher paper with a painting on it, hanging up on the wall. The painting is about 4 feet long by 3 feet high, with an abstract swirly scribble in bold black, splats of every color of the rainbow all over it. The end result is beautifully abstract but balanced and pleasing to the eye. End description.]