Pipette Painting

by - Monday, March 21, 2016

Big J doesn't have a liking for doing art, especially colouring. Recently, I started him on more art, or rather, more focus on the art process rather than the final art piece. We used to emphasise too much on the final product that sometimes resulted in me being upset with him because he wasn't doing it the 'right' way.

We did Pipette Painting. It is a process art using pipettes instead of brushes. Using pipettes is great for fine-motor skills, something which Big J is lacking. This pipette that I am using is like a syringe, which requires using the 3-finger grasp. This is useful for future writing skills.

This is how I setup the activity. 

What you need:
3 containers with the primary colours, red, yellow and blue. 
3 pipettes, one for each colour.

Tip: To minimise mess, I put everything on a tray. I also place the drawing paper on a tray too. Process art could get quite messy, so using trays to keep everything inside is a good way to minimise mess and makes it easier to clean up too. I also leave a damp cloth nearby for clean up.

My Intentions:
- Using the pipettes to transfer the paint onto the paper.
- Using the straws to blow the paint. 
- Discover about colour mixing

What Happened:

When he saw the set up, he wasn't interested at all. I asked if he wanted to try and he bluntly said 'No'. As expected.

Then I quickly brought out the book 'Mouse Paint' and read to him. He loves reading. As I read, I linked it back to what we have in front of us. And he finally picked up the pipette to dribble the paint onto the paper.

I prompted him to use the straw to blow at the paint and see what happened. He blew a while and he gave up. I used tempera paints and these were too thick for blowing. 

But never mind, since I already got his interest, he was willing to continue to explore and I left him to discover.

He discovered that squeezing the empty pipette creates splatters of paint.

As he kept adding more paint to the same spot, he created a puddle of paint. He realised that if he squeezes the pipette in the puddle of paint, it creates bubbles. He was amazed and said this is the Flower Dome. He created more bubbles and said this is Cloud Forest Dome. 

Since there were bubbles, he started to blow the bubbles. To his amazement, he blew away the top layer of paint to discover the different colour of paints underneath!

He overturned the paint container and used it to make circle prints.

He was at it for about an hour. At the end, I folded the paper in half and asked him to guess what will happened. He said it will become a butterfly. (We did something similar before to make butterflies). 

When I opened up the paper, he said, 'Mummy, this is an elephant.' 
Me: 'An elephant? Not a butterfly?'
J: 'No, this is the back of the elephant.'

Well, it does resemble the back of the elephant. Doesn't it? 

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  1. This looks like great great fun! And such a beautiful artwork. Hmm, where did you get the pipette though?

    1. I'm surprised with the turn out of the final work. Didn't expect any nice outcome because this is more of a process work. The pipettes are from Daiso.

  2. This looks like fun!! Glad that big J enjoyed creating his masterpiece too! :D

  3. He was at it for one hour?!! Lucky you! My kid would have abandoned it by the 20th minute. Btw, where did you buy those pipettes?

    1. I'm amazed that he can stay there for an hour. He would usually just try for 5 min if it's not to his liking. The pipettes are from Daiso.

  4. Looks so fun! Kids these days are so lucky!

  5. Nice! I loved the final result of this technique. It is quite easy to do also.

  6. Some picassos you have at home! Where do buy the pipettes? So keen to try with my kids.

    1. Pipettes are from Daiso. Do remember to protect the surrounding walls because they can splatter.

  7. Didn't know Daiso sells pipettes too!! Gotta try this activity out with my 4yo. I'm sure he would love it! (well, he loves whatever's messy LOL)

  8. So cute that he related the Flower Dome and Cloud Dome to the bubbles he's created! I love that this activity is simple yet fun and engaging for the little ones. Thanks for sharing :)

  9. Oh wow these look fun! My son is a toilet painter. We give him washable paint and he paints on the toilet tiles!! LOL!!!

  10. I love how this painting activity evolved from being mommy-led to child-led. Very lovely! By the way, where did you get the pipettes from? I need some for K and I am clueless where to get them.

    Mary (Simply Lambchops blog)

    1. I got these from Daiso a few months back. Not sure if they still have this though. You can try searching at the bento area