Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Painting on Wet Paper

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I was recently inspired to pick up a copy of the book Science Arts: Discovering Science Through Art Experiences (Bright Ideas for Learning) by MaryAnn Kohl at the library. It was a well-used copy and it's no wonder. The book is full of fun, interesting and creative activities designed to combine science concepts with art. There are projects for all ages of kids. In fact, I don't think you could be too old to have fun with this book. 

The project we decided to tackle first was painting on wet paper, which was designed to demonstrate the concept of diffusion. I waited until AJ was napping before starting the project. On hindsight, even at 2, she could have had fun with this project.

The first step was wetting your paper. I had watercolor paper on hand, so that's what we used. The book suggested construction paper, but almost any paper would work as long as it wasn't too thin (you don't want it to disintegrate when wet). 
We then placed the paper on a tray and got to work. You'll want your paper on something that will not soak up the water (cookie sheet, tray, etc.). Lizzie picked out a couple of colors of tempura paint and I thinned them out quite a bit with water. I wanted it to be thin enough that she could easily drip it onto her paper. 

She dripped and smeared the paint while we talked a bit about diffusion. I loved having the example of the spreading drops of paint. It was quite fascinating to see the paint spread out so quickly. Lizzie had a lot of fun exploring her wet paper.

In the end, we had a really cool piece of art. We've also got several more projects marked in the book to try. Do the ideas of baked drawings, invisible designs, floating sculptures and shake pictures tempt you to pick up a copy of Science Arts? I hope so!

Linking up to It's Playtime, The Play Academy, The Sunday Showcase, Monday Madness and Fun Sparks  


  1. I need to do this. I love painting on wet paper. You never know where the color will go!

  2. this looks fun! I have never done it. Thanks for the inspiration - I will be trying this!

  3. great post! I know my kids would love doing this activity- we'll have to give it a shot soon.
    Robyn from

  4. That is so pretty and effective - looks like a sunset!

  5. What a great effect. This would also make a lovely background for some drawings later on.

  6. I've got to pick up that book at the library, can't wait to see what else you try. This painting turned out so beautiful. Thanks for sharing on Monday Madness!

  7. what a beautiful result, we might try this and turn them into cards and paper for christmas. Thanks for the inspiration

  8. I used to love doing this when I taught art! I just pinned it on Pinterest! Thank you for sharing this with us on The Sunday Showcase

  9. This looks like great fun for my two year old, I love the exploration of it.


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