If, Richard Patterson, 1999, oil paint

Drip Drop Paint

If, Richard Patterson, 1999, oil paint


Richard Patterson, England


Oil paint

Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan, fractional and promised gift to the Denver Art Museum, 2001.808

Children discover what happens when paint drips over a 3-D form. Pouring one color at a time, children see the effect of layering colors.

Designate a space that would allow students to explore with paints… this might get messy, use smocks! Model this as a small group before placing in a self-guided area.

  • Invite students to choose a figurine (ex: recycled items).
  • Have the young artists place figurines in a tray.
  • Provide students with small cups of paint (thick tempura paint will adhere to the form best).
  • Encourage students to pour the paint over the figurines one color at a time
  • Ask questions to guide their exploration and to encourage creative thought and vocabulary.

Guiding questions

  • What shapes do the paints make?
  • What happens when the colors overlap?
  • Where do you see colors swirling?
  • How can you tell which color was poured first? Last?
  • How is your art the same as/different than the art of another student?

TIP: Use small paper cups for this exploration. Young artists will enjoy dripping the paint and using these small cups will keep it manageable for you!

Pour a small amount of paint into cups before children begin the exploration.
Have the young artists place plastic figurines, recycled objects, etc in a tray.
Young artists will pour the paint one color at a time over the forms. Use the guiding questions to help them explore.
Encourage the young artists to think about their finished work with guiding questions.
paint cups
plastic figurines
pouring paint
Finished work

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