Fifth Grade Jackson Pollock

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5th grade jackson pollock IMG_1629I know the students say that I claim every project is my favorite but this one is so much fun 🙂  To see the students have so much fun with dropping paint is amazing!  Ok a few tips…do it when the weather is nice and do it outside!  Most of all have fun with the mess and make sure you have enough parent help to contain the enthusiasm.

Jackson Pollock (1912 – 1956), the pioneer of Abstract Expressionism, challenged the artistic tradition of using an easel and brush by pouring and dripping paint onto canvases. His groundbreaking works had a childlike quality which belied their stunning complexity and sophistication. Driven by inner torment which compelled him to paint, Pollock attached large canvases to the floor, densely pouring, dripping and flinging paint embedded with sand or glass onto them with intense physical movement. Influenced by Picasso, Miró, and the Surrealists, Pollock also revolutionized a style of painting in which the work has no identifiable parts or point of emphasis, and is painted with a stream-of-consciousness technique called psychic automatism.

Skills Learned:

Students will explore using a canvas on the ground and dropping paint to create their finished pieces as the artist did.

Materials Needed:

  • 18 x 24 canvas
  • tempera paint
  • cups and brushes to drip paint
  • paper towels
  • sticks, syringes and basting brushes as paint applicator


  1. Layout drop cloths on large ground surface.
  2. Have students collect sticks and other objects to use to drop paint on canvas.
  3. Pour and dip paints onto canvas in controlled manner.
  4. Let canvas dry outside then have students sign bottom right hand corner with sharpie


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