Dirt Art!

This is slightly off topic, although still deals with making art from natural materials (dirt). Artist Scott Wade creates amazing paintings using brushes, water, and a dirty car window. Check out his website to see more of his awesome work!

This puts a whole new spin on the “dirt painting” lessons, in which students paint with different colors of mud. Side note: There is also a wonderful book, titled “Dig Your Hands in the Dirt: A manual For Making Art Out of The Earth” that talks about creating amazing murals using certain types of dirt and clay. I highly suggest reading this book for additional Dirt Art ideas!

But, back to Scott Wade’s works–his paintings could very easily be adapted to a classroom lesson!

Check this out:



Small glass objects (These could range from donated recycled picture frames (which would work great for this project) to glasses)

Spray bottle

Paint brushes

Dark Colored Paper (black, blue, red?)



1. Mix a very watered down mud mixture in spray bottles.

2. Spray the glass object with mud mixture. Be sure to cover entire surface.

3. Let dry.

4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 two or three times.

5. Sketch idea for painting on a separate sheet of paper.

6. Place colored paper on the back side of your dirt canvas–so the color shoes through once you begin removing dirt.

6. Using brushes of your choosing, begin creating the darker areas of your painting by removing the dirt with your paint brush and water. Leave the dirt on the areas that are lighter. (Could practice this process before starting on the real “canvas.”

7. One finished, spray with fixative and allow to dry.

You can tweak this lesson as you see fit–or come up with a lesson plan of your own to share! Happy painting 🙂


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