Sometimes the best creativity happens when you least expect it.
This absorption painting activity happened by accident, when we’d finished another activity and had some liquid watercolors left over.
I went to get some more paper to use up the last of the paint, but when I came back my boys had grabbed the paper serviettes (napkins) we’d been using to mop up spills and were painting on those, mesmerised by the way they sucked up the colours.
What began as a quick ‘left overs’ activity, turned into a beautiful process art activity that is super easy to do.
This absorption painting technique is a lot like dropper painting, but more controlled and less messy. It combines the idea of Pointillism, where small dots of colour are combined to make a bigger image, with the science of absorption.
To have a go at some absorption painting you’ll need:
- Paper serviettes (napkins), coffee filters, or other absorbent paper.
- Cotton buds (q-tips)
- Liquid watercolours or food/edicol dyes mixed with water.
- A smock or apron.
- Something to cover your work surface.
A little bit of paint goes a long way in this activity, so you only need small amounts. But have some extra cotton buds on hand
We used liquid watercolours and kept our paper serviettes folded, but you could also experiment with other watery paints and different types of paper to see what will and won’t absorb.
The process for absorption painting is simple.
Dip a cotton bud into a colour and then press it onto the serviette. Watch the paint being drawn into the paper as the dot of colour is absorbed and expands.
If you put two dots of colours close to each other they will expand and merge as they are absorbed, combining to make a new color.
Fill your paper with random dots of colours or try make patterns and pictures.
You will need to find a big space to dry these works of art.
Lay them flat till they are almost dry and then you can unfold them…
Have a go at some absorption painting!