I love abstract painting for kids.  No pressure to make a piece of art look “real” or like a neighbor’s artwork.  Creating a piece of art that doesn’t have to look like anything in particular is a joy at any age!

What is abstract art….

If you want to get technical about it an abstract painting references something from reality.  An abstract painting might be unrecognizable in subject to the viewer but the artist was inspired by something in real life.   

What is non objective art….

The terms non objective and abstract are sometimes used interchangeably.  Although the end results may be similar the thought behind the artwork is different.  Non objective artworks are not inspired by and do not reference reality.  As the viewer it may be impossible to tell which type of artwork without having access to an artist’s statement.

Discussing abstract and non objective art with kids….

Even if you work with very young children it is good practice to start using correct terminology.  Little kids are smart and have great intuition when it comes to artwork. 

Children’s books are a great way to access lots of examples of artwork and provide a little background information to help the discussion along.  Check out this book about the abstract art of Kandisnky, or this one about artist Jackson Pollock.

Ask them what they see.  You won’t be disappointed in the conversation that ensues, I promise.

 

This simple but striking process is the perfect low mess introduction to abstract painting for kids. All you need are plastic bags and washable markers!

Supplies to paint without paint….

This quick little process art results in some vibrant art that could be either abstract or nonobjective, depending on the intention of your young artist.  Supplies are simple and the process is short so be prepared to do this activity multiple times in one sitting.  It’s that fun.

It looks like a painting but the magic ingredient here isn’t paint- it’s washable markers!  I used my precious set of Tombow watercolor markers because i just love using them.  But if you’re working with young kids or looking to be more economical Crayola markers  will work just fine!

You’ll also need plastic Ziplock bags, whatever size you’d like your painting to be, white paper, and a soft paint brush.

This simple but striking process is the perfect low mess introduction to abstract painting for kids. All you need are plastic bags and washable markers!

Let’s make an abstract painting….

Open a ziploc bag at the seams and tear it all the way open.  Cut the bottom so two equal pieces are left.

Scribble on a piece of plastic bag with washable markers.  Paint a piece of white with plain water.  While the paper is still wet turn the colored ziploc bag over onto the paper so the marker side is down. A damp paper will keep the colors more “in place” while adding more water will let them move and blend a little more.  

It’s like magic…

Watch the color blossom and move.  Encourage kids to use their hands to gently manipulate the color, move it, and blend it.  If the abstract painting is very wet it may be helpful to leave the plastic on it until it begins to dry.

If it’s on the drier side feel free to take the plastic off immediately and use it again!  

What do with your kid’s abstract painting….

These abstract paintings are so pretty just as they are.  But they would also be beautiful used as part of another artwork.  Imagine using them as part of a paper weaving, a paper collage, or any number of ways.  Make them, use them up, and enjoy them!

This simple but striking process is the perfect low mess introduction to abstract painting for kids. All you need are plastic bags and washable markers!

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