Splat painting is a FAVORITE activity of our Orange Easel artists (and instructors). It involves throwing paint-soaked cotton balls at a wall. When the paint balls hit the wall, there's a very satisfying (and surprisingly loud) "SPLAT" sound and the paint flies in all directions.
We do this at the beginning of all of our Studio Art Birthday parties.
We even did it once with ACRYLIC paint as a permanent installation:
Want to know how we do it? It's really an easy set-up. (Clean-up is another story)
HOW TO SPLAT PAINT
Step 1 - Cover your wall in butcher paper.
Understand, the paint will splatter outside of this paper. Paint splatters EVERYWHERE. We wash our walls every weekend; we have a glossy paint on the walls, and the paint wipes off with elbow grease and water. Cover your baseboards if they are white. Nothing worse than scrubbing baseboards. If you don't want splatters on your ceiling, cover it about five feet out from the wall.
Step 2 - Fill containers with paint.
You'll probably want to use washable paint. If you're looking to do something permanent like our speech bubble, you need to spend LOTS of time on step one. We use a washable tempera paint made by Colorations. Thin the paint slightly with water. The thinner the paint, the better the splatters. But, if you get it too thin, you'll have dripping, running paint on the wall. Think of the consistency of melted ice cream.
Step 3 - Get some cotton balls.
We use about 100-120 cotton balls for five cups (40 fluid oz) of paint. It usually takes our artists about 10 minutes to get through 100 cotton balls. We use regular size cotton balls, but the jumbo ones work too.
Step 4 - Set up a clean up station.
We think it's easier (and faster) to do clean-ups with a basin of water instead of sink. You're really just looking for "clean enough". (i.e., Clean enough to grab another cotton ball) We have a dish pan from dollar tree that we fill with a couple inches of sudsy water. Place some towels under the bucket to catch any water that gets splashed outside. Place a couple hand towels (or bath towels) nearby to dry hands. This keeps the floor safe--more on that later.
Step 5 - Go over the rules.
Our only rules are that:
You aim at the wall (we understand that sometimes we miss).
You look before you throw (no throwing paint balls at other people).
You WALK instead of run, skip, gallop, spin, sprint, etc (the floor gets slippery)
Step 6 - PAINT!
We like to turn up the music really loud for this part.
Splat Painting Video
Safety, Best practices and clean-up notes
Our floors get really slippery.
It's caused by the combination of paint splatters from the wall, paint drips from transporting the paint balls, and watery hands from artists who are too eager to dry them off thoroughly. Our instructors constantly wipe the floors with large bath towels. We're not trying to CLEAN the floors. Just dry them off!
Barefoot is best.
In our studio, we go barefoot for splat painting. Our paint is washable. But that doesn't mean that mom wants to wash your shoes.
Action shots are really fun but hard to catch. We like to take video to catch the action. Afterwards, we ALWAYS take a group photo in front of our masterpiece!
Mop the wall.
In three years of splat painting, we've cleaned a lot of walls. At the Orange Easel studio, we clean up our walls by mopping them! We have a large wet mopping pad from Norwex that we use; it reaches the high corners and the large scrubbing pad covers a large surface area on every swipe.
If you splat paint, we'd love to see that photo that you took...send it to us so we can see your masterpiece!
Orange Easel is an Art School in Liberty MO. Our blog here is written by the instructors at the school.