52 chapter 3
The children can create drip art by using several
squirt bottles filled with various colors of paint.
They hold the bottles at the top of a piece of card-
board or poster board. They squeeze the bottles to
let the colors drip down the cardboard, one color
over another. They do not touch the paint. The out-
come is long drips of layered colors that puddle at
the bottom. Adults look at the finished product and
think, “Wow! That’s really cool!” But the excitement
for children lies in the process of squeezing the
paint and watching it ooze and pool.
You can do this activity using an easel or a large
cardboard box placed on the floor or using tented
cardboard on a table. Cover the floor or table with
newspaper to catch the inevitable drips. Enjoy
watching the process, hearing the giggles, and ad-
miring the beautiful, colorful layered artwork!
Many people think two- and three-year-olds
cannot paint still lifes. I have done it with older
children, and one year I decided to try it with
younger children. I gathered the plastic fruit
from the dramatic play area (so children would
know it was not being offered to eat) and placed
the fruit on the art table. I invited the children
to paint a picture of the fruit. Several chil-
dren came over to paint right away. One child
painted each fruit one by one. After she painted
the fruits individually, she looked once more at
the plate of fruit. She then painted a picture of
the plate with all the fruit on it. I was fascinated
by this process of observation and synthesis.
A dish full of plastic fruits
Drip art, standing
The finished products
An amazing two-year-old artist paints a still life.