I have seen so many different versions of this idea, and have used it myself in a myriad of ways. I’m not sure where it originates from, although I have seen the basic idea behind it in ‘The Rainy Day Book’ by Jane Bull. Here’s a few examples of what I’ve done with it…
Start with a blank piece of paper and decide on the orientation of portrait or landscape.
Using a black permanent marker, start in one corner and draw a smooth, curved, continuous wavy line that lazily loops it’s way around the page to the oppposite corner. Encourage large flowing movements rather than tight, small ones as this creates a better flow and bigger spaces to work with. (I would demonstrate this first).
Once you have a fabulous black and white design, the options are endless…
Encourage your students to look for closed spaces and explain that, in each of those, they can do something different. For Kindergarten, it might be as simple as using a different colour in each one. We used watercolours.
…or you could use wax crayons and watercolours…
…or simply just textas!
For a Year 1/2, you might look at using patterns and draw a different pattern in each closed shape with wax crayons, and then use watercolours (or edicol for an easy single colour wash) over the top.
For Year 3 or Year 4, break out the textas and get creative with patterns, trying to eliminate as much white space on the page as possible!
For Year 5 or Year 6, work with a black fineliner to create intricate black and white designs in each space.
These always make beautiful artworks and bookcovers! They’re also a great ongoing project for Year 3 upwards that they can keep coming back to.
Happy Mess Making!
PS Even 3 year old Josie gave this a try and I love what she created!