Painting With Air

Little artists blow air through drinking straws to move liquid watercolors across the page. Salt is added while the paint is still wet, as it dries, the salt absorbs water creating interesting speckles and textures.


  • White card stock
  • Drinking Straws (2 per artist)
  • Liquid Watercolors
  • Table Salt


  1. I find it helps to practice blowing air through the straw before painting. Show your little artist how to aim their straw at the paper and blow!
  2. Drop dime-size amounts of liquid watercolor onto the white cardstock. Encourage your little artist to aim their straw at the paint and move it across the page by blowing. Blowing hard with create long lines, blowing softly with create little lines.
  3. Add as many colors as your little artist would like. Help your little artist look for places the colors blend as they collide.
  4. After your little artist has finished painting with air, show them how to sprinkle table salt over their painting. As the paint dries, the salt absorbs some of the water, creating interesting speckles and textures.


  • I cut the card stock in half horizontally when I teach this project. I find the smaller space is easier to fill when painting with air.
  • This project does not take much time so consider giving each little artist two to four pieces of card stock and encourage them to use different colors and techniques for each page.
  • Remember to brush the salt away before displaying your little artist’s work.


Image result for art patrick mcdonnell book coverBefore or after your painting with air project, read the book Art by Patrick McDonnel with your little artist.

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