Jackson Polluck Splatter Paintings


This lesson is not for the faint of heart… Prepare yourself for tiny splatters of paint all over the floor and your students. I hope you have smocks… And a custodian with a good sense of humor!

I get such a kick out of their little hands all splattered with paint!


What you’ll need:

  • The book, “Action Jackson” by Jan Greenberg
  • Tempera paint
  • Brushes
  • 12×24″ Black or beige construction paper
  • A calm and easygoing demeanor

If you are still feeling up to the challenge this is one of their favorites! And is sure to be a fond childhood-art-memory. Which is really what it’s all about in my opinion!


Cover your tables with scrap paper. In the middle, place a few cups of watered down acrylic. Yes… I said acrylic. If you’re not as crazy as me than use tempera but I like the shine and authenticity of acrylic. I have done this project with squirt bottles of watered down paint at the tables too, it can add a fun element but might be more trouble than it’s worth. I also add a bit of white to each color as I feel that many Jackson Pollock paintings are pastel-y colors.


To decide on what colors to provide, I look at one of his paintings and pick out a few colors that I see. I usually go with the below Jackson Pollock as I like the brighter colors in this one!


We start class by reading on of my favorite art books, “Action Jackson” It has a fabulous story line and it helps kids visualize the scale and grandeur of Pollock’s work.


Generally I have the kids stand for this project. I find that for shorter kiddos it helps to be standing so they can reach the paint.

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Before the kids get started I demonstrate how to splatter and drizzle paint and how to keep our mess somewhat contained. You can use a number of techniques, such as tapping your brush on your finger, flicking, or really loading up your brush with paint. Again this is a messy one!


The kids LOVE the process and their paintings are worth to them, almost as much as a Jackson Pollock would be worth to us! Have fun!