Jackson Pollack | With a Splatter and a Drip
from the Lesson Zone Index

Grade 2-6

Students will be introduced to the art of American artist Jackson Pollack, by being introduced to his art, and then by creating their own masterpiece after his work. This free lesson plan is in fulfillment of Standard #4: K-4 and Standard #4: 5-8 of the National Standards for Art Education: Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures.

Color Plate of Lavender Mist: Number One (1950)
Plastic Tarps
Basting Syringes
Buttons and Beads

Step 1
Tell students, "We will be learning about American artist Jackson Pollack. This modern artist developed an abstract style of painting that he called 'drip' painting. He would lay his canvas on the floor and apply paint with a variety of tools including hardened paint brushes, sticks and basting syringes. He also included pieces of broken glass, sand and other objects. His approach to painting challenged the traditions of Western art, eliminating the easel, and presenting us with images that were absent of primary subjects and backgrounds."

Step 2
Show students Pollack's Lavender Mist: Number One (1950), or a similar work.

Step 3
Tell students, "While these paintings look very simple to paint, though splattering paint in a artistic way can present a significant challenge."

Pollack said, "When I am in my painting, I'm not aware of what I'm doing. It is only after a sort of 'get acquainted' period that I see what I have been about. I have no fear of making changes, destroying the image, etc, because the painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well."

Tell students, "His art involved the movement of his entire body in dripping and flinging the paint in a way that seemed somewhat like a dance. It would not end until Pollack saw what he wanted to see."

Step 4
Tell students, "Our art project will be to create your own version of this art masterpiece."

Step 5
Tell students, "We will create our art on the plastic tarps I have covered the concrete with outside the art room. You will begin with a piece of white cardstock as your canvas. You may experiment with the different techniques on a piece of printer paper before you begin your work. If you would like to include objects in your painting, there are buttons and beads in this basket, and glue on this table."

Step 6
Quiz students on facts about Jackson Pollack's life and painting techniques as they work on their project.

Have fun!






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