Creating a splattered paint flower garden is a fun, spontaneous activity for all ages and skill levels. No drawing is needed! Each painting turns out different depending on the color of paint you use and the amount of splatters you do.
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Sometimes when painting or drawing it’s hard to start with a blank page. I like to splatter some acrylic paint on several sheets of watercolor paper and have it on hand when I want to paint, but don’t know what I want to create. Over the years my style has evolved and changed, but my process hasn’t changed much.
Watercolor paper, watercolors and fluid acrylic paints, masking tape, ruler, paper towel, round bristle brush (I like this one from Hobby Lobby.), disposable plastic table cloth or something to protect your work area from paint splatters.
Preparing the paper
I like my watercolor paper to be larger than the finished size of painting I am doing. The painting in this example is 5″x7″ so the paper is 7″x9″. This gives a nice 1 inch border all the way around. Draw a 5″x7″ rectangle on the center of the paper. Mask the border by placing masking tape on the pencil lines of the rectangle.
I like to splatter paint on several pieces of watercolor while I have everything out. Some turn out better than others so its nice to have several to choose from. You can splatter on plain watercolor paper and add a sky later if you choose or you can do the sky before you splatter the paint like this first example.
Painting the sky and background
Wet the paper with clean water then paint the sky leaving white for clouds. Decide on a horizon line somewhere below middle of paper and paint the ground. Watercolors dry light so paint your sky and ground darker than you want. Don’t worry if its not perfect. Most of it will be covered up with splatters. Let it dry completely.
Get ready to start splattering the paint
While the watercolor background is drying get everything ready for splattering. Wear old clothes or an apron. Cover your work surface. Have plenty of paper towels ready to use.
Choose the paint colors you are going to use. Make sure you have a variety of light, dark and medium greens. You can also add some brown, a few flower colors and white. I use inexpensive fluid craft acrylics or Golden Fluid Acrylic Green Gold. Use plenty of paint.
A brush filled with lots of paint produces the long grass like splatters, with less paint you get fine speckled splatters. Acrylics in a tube are too thick don’t work for the splatters.
Practice making splatters using liquid acrylic paint on some scratch paper. Put your acrylic paints on a paper plate. Load your brush with paint and flick it across your index finger. Try holding it close to your paper and farther away to see how the splatters change. A short, simple video showing how I splatter my paint can be found here.
Cover the sky area
You may want to cover part of the sky with paper towel so it doesn’t get too many splatters on it. Tear the paper towel uneven so it has a more natural look and lay it across the sky area. Splatter until it looks like a grassy field.
When you are confident with your splatter technique and your watercolor background is dry start splattering with green acrylic paint near the bottom of your painting. Continue to add splatters of different green shades. Make sure the splatters at the bottom are darker and heavier.
After the grassy splatters are completely dry use a small brush and add dabs of flower color using your acrylic paint. Keep it random and spontaneous looking. Don’t try to paint detailed flowers, just an impression. Stop before you over do it. After the painting is totally dry you can peel the masking tape off. It is so fun to see the finished results.
The finished painting
More ideas and examples
You can also do splatters on a gesso board instead of watercolor paper. For the painting below I added flowers and sky using Golden Acrylic paint after the splatters dried. The sky was painted with a soft blue color thinned with water.
Here’s an example where I splatted acrylic paint on a piece of watercolor paper then added watercolor flowers. Adding a light wash of blue for the sky was the last step. You can find more variations and ideas in some of my other blog posts.
How to make splattered paint cards here.
More splattered paint flower art ideas here.
I answer some splatter FAQ here.
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