Wednesday, 18 February 2015


Some of my class teachers still have a fear of getting the paints out.  Who can blame them, who wants paint all over the maths jotters and have to face the wrath of the angry cleaner who is trying to scrub the paint from the table without the use of chemicals.  But I love paint days and so do the pupils.  This series of lessons were done to revisit all the type of paint techniques that they may, or may not, have visited before.  It soon becomes much more than that.


Each school is different and I just work with what they have, but generally I try and set up at least 5 different activity areas.  Paint + either brushes of different sizes, simple printing blocks, rollers, bubble wrap (my old favourite), sponges etc. Also, the available paper, (A4 is generally big enough and should be various colours and tones.  The trick is to limit each area to one activity, eg one type of brush and two colours.  The pupils really have to work hard to exploit the possibilities of the combinations.  Make sure you limit the paint to a few colours + white to avoid the production of brown ( another lesson!)  

Be aware!  You need to be prepared for the children to produce many pieces of work!  organise the drying and make sure that every piece of paper is named.

Language can also play a part in this lesson.  The children can consider the experience as a series of "ing" words.  It's a really worthwhile exercise.

In another lesson the pupils will create a pile of circles of various sizes and arrange them, concentrically in different sizes.  We looked at the work of Hundertwasser for inspiration.

Some children added lollypop tree trunks to the finished work

Some of the classes brought in pizza boxes that we painted to arrange the circles on, this gives an extra dimension and elevates the finished piece into a "canvas".

I have also used the painted paper sheets to create African masks. 

So come on!  Get the paints out!  Its worth it.  You will produce so much more than just a mess.


  1. Great stuff! We love painting days too :)

  2. Love the Hundertwasser project on Pizza Boxes!!!! Awesome Projects! :)

  3. What a great project. I will remember it when my dear granddaughter is old enough so we can make it. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Hello, my name is Diego Torraca and I am also art educator. I live in Brazil and always accompany your blog. Congratulations for your work.
    My page on facebook is