Sam Gilliam (American, born 1933), Element, 2008, acrylic on birch. Gift of Sam Gilliam, 2018.(2018.8)

Create interesting effects when using water was your primary medium!

This artist Sam Gilliam is well known for his colorful artworks. The artwork here, Element, is made by pouring different colors of thinned down paint together and letting them mix together.

Paint pouring is a very popular kind of art. Many people find it relaxing to do these kinds of paintings. Paint pouring can be messy, but a less messy option of flow painting is wet on wet watercolor.

Supplies Needed:

  • Water (clean water or water to wash brushes)
  • Watercolor paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Thick paper (cardstock or watercolor paper)

Steps to Paint:

  1. Using a clean paintbrush, drip clean water on to the paper to create a design. Tip: focus on adding a little water at a time.
  2. Using another paintbrush, dip in water and then in the watercolor paint of your choice.
  3. Gently tap colored paintbrush on to the sections of water on your paper.
  4. Watch the paint spread out and mix with the water.
  5. Repeat to create a colorful, abstract design!

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