Spray Paint Outdoors with Liquid Color!

These "Color Spray Murals" are being painted by 3 year olds at Pressman Academy in Los Angeles, where I asked children to join me on the playground in groups of two for a special art project.

The results were exciting and the children were immediately engaged. I hadn't tried Color Spray with children this young before, so I made sure to pre-pour liquid watercolor into large trigger spray bottles that were easy to pull and release. As a result, all of the children were able to manipulate the spray bottles using one or both hands. They seemed truly delighted with the challenge and jumped for joy when they saw the colorful results. I took plant cuttings from my garden to school that day to use as stencils. Each child got to select one plant cutting to use as their own stencil, then I showed them how to spray liquid watercolor over their plant cutting, then move the plant aside to see the pattern that it created underneath.

We used a 4 x 10 plastic backed paper called Liquid Watercolor Material that is much nicer to use for this application than white butcher paper (although butcher paper will do in a pinch). As children completed their color spray process, I offered them each a choice of silver or gold liquid watercolor to drizzle on top of their painted area. As new children came to the playground to take their turn, I guided them to create their painting on clear, white areas of the paper and little by little the mural began to fill with color. This project is popular with older children as well, and can be found as a Smart Art Lesson plan, which you can download here. For more colorful ideas using liquid watercolor, check out Smart Art and Smart Art 2.