How to Paint with a Power Tool & “Sky Color”

A Lovely Book & Painting with a Power Tool!

After reading Peter H. Reynolds’ “Sky Color” & engaging in The Masterpiece Alphabet Curriculum for Letter B, we decided to try Painting with a Power Tool two ways! We used a real drill for this which was very cool. I’m excited to walk you through how to paint with a power tool, so let’s get started…

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Summary of “Sky Color”

“Sky Color” by Peter H. Reynolds is a lovely book about an artist who loves sharing her art and believes everybody is an artist. She is super excited to hear her and her classmates are going to paint a mural for the library, and volunteers to paint the sky. But when she realizes there is no blue paint, how will she paint the sky?!

Illustrated with Peter H. Reynolds classic drawing style, he purposefully omits color from everything in the story except the art & sky. The people and every thing else are a muted grey making so much more of a statement than words could. A great message and another book by Reynolds I would definitely recommend!

The Masterpiece Alphabet Curriculum – Letter B

I was gifted a wonderful curriculum called “The Masterpiece Alphabet Curriculum” by Alexandra from that covers both the alphabet and the elements of art! I only post about books & activities we genuinely like and this curriculum is truly amazing & worth many mentions!

The Masterpiece Alphabet letter Bb printables with power tool painting art.

I’m not one for following a set curriculum in our homeschooling. We definitely identify more as unschoolers; and my daughters least favorite thing is any type of worksheet. So I was very pleasantly surprised when I opened up the pdf file to find a very full, multifaceted approach to learning about art while reinforcing the alphabet at the same time. As you work your way through the alphabet this curriculum offers book suggestions, sensory letter tracing, hands on crafts, recipes, felt or embroidered letter making & more!

The Masterpiece Alphabet Curriculum has links to many different tutorials and read aloud’s. But the absolute best part is the super helpful & timesaving QR code she put on each letter lesson page! Just open your camera, point it at the QR code on the printout and bam all the links at your fingertips to click and engage with!

The Masterpiece Alphabet letter Bb printables with power tool painting art.

I’m sure you can tell I could go on and on about this terrific curriculum but you should really go check it out. The first lesson “A is for Artist” is generously available for FREE to sample!!! You can see what we did with that lesson HERE.

We’re currently working on “B is for Brush” which is why we read “Sky Color”, watched a video showing how paintbrushes are made & were motivated to try something new to us; mixing paintbrushes & power tools! Yep, that’s right Painting with a Power Tool two ways!

How to Paint with a Power Tool Two-Ways…

We tend to keep the activities as simple as possible around here. We’re not interested in complicated or costly. We are also all about fostering independence. For this activity we decided to Paint with a Power Tool two ways, using different brushing techniques inspired by The Masterpiece Alphabet Curriculum “B is for Brush”. Both were actually very simple.

Drill Spin Art…

close up of painting with a power tool

First we tried drill spin art as seen on here. We got out the drill, inserted a bit, and got the cardstock paper and our new pre-filled paintbrushes.

First things first, this was our first time using these “paintbrushes” from Crayola. In my opinion they are basically glorified markers. When you “paint” with them the final product looks like you used their markers to do it, just saying.

painting with a power tool art with masterpiece alphabet Bb & pre-filled paintbrushes

Most of the time we use cardstock paper for our art; because its thick and easy to work with. No holes in the paper if your kiddo goes too heavy on coloring or pours too much liquid on it. Anyway, we thought it would be awesome if we could put the Masterpiece Alphabet letter B printable on the drill but the full sized paper was too big and it didn’t work. 🙁

No worries, we cut the cardstock paper into 4 pieces. Poked the drill bit through the center of the small paper and positioned the drill to be drill bit face up.

A Drill?! Is this Safe?

close up of painting with a power tool

Its a power tool, so obviously use caution & I would absolutely recommend you do not leave your child unattended with this at all. But I believe that shielding children from things only makes them more dangerous. It’s important to talk about and teach safety when handling any tools. I offer more specific advice about this in our “Communicating & Connecting” FREE Printable found in our FREE Printables Library.

Uppercase and lowercase B printables from The Masterpiece Alphabet

For us, my daughter is familiar with safety precautions and always airs on the side of caution in her personality. So I felt very comfortable to closely supervise and allow her to first press the drill button a bunch of times to see how it felt. I reminded her to not touch the drill bit at all & to always be mindful where her fingers were. Then she took the pre-filled paintbrushes, pressed the drill button and began making contact with the paper.

That’s all there is to it. Experiment with placement of the colors on the paper and watch how it makes cool circle spin art in seconds! Thanks for the idea!

Drill Painting…

painting with a power tool

We decided we didn’t want to stop there. So we tried another drill painting activity we’ve seen floating around the internet for a while & inserted the pre-filled paintbrushes into the drill where the bit goes & began painting!

I taped paper on a door and she started the drill. These pre-filled paintbrushes are angled so they did fit in the drill but depending on how much we squeezed it closed changed how wobbly the painting designs came out, which was cool.

close up of art made by painting with a power tool

You could also use a regular paintbrush instead & dip it into paint, that’s what I’ve seen. It looks super fun & definitely more messy. We will be trying it (probably outdoors lol). But this time around we decided to keep it simple and use the same materials we had out.

Wait?!? Am I Supposed To Be Making One Too?

I highly recommend getting hands on and doing art projects with your child. If you’d rather not, thats okay too, but please do not correct anything they do. If you want the art to look a certain way – make your own.

close up of art made by painting with a power tool

Especially if your child is little, its okay if it doesn’t turn out the way you imagined. Maybe its what they imagined. Also, its a process. They are learning. They will learn more through trial and error than if you correct them or do it for them. All they will learn if you “help” is that they didn’t do a good enough job on their own or they can’t do it; not exactly the message you want to give your kid. Am I right?!?

Believe me, I know it can be really challenging to let them make “mistakes”. Try doing the project along side them. It will allow you to focus on your own work, give them appropriate modeling of how to use the materials, and show them that you like art too! A lot of what I talk about in “What about the Sensory Mess?” applies to Art projects as well, you might wanna check it out! I love how each art has its own identity. I would suggest Painting with a Power Tool if you’re looking for a super fun art activity to connect with your child.

Materials We Used

  1. “Sky Color” book (from the library or buy it here)
  2. Cardstock paper
  3. Pre-filled paintbrushes
  4. Drill
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

How We Made Drill Spin Art?

  1. Get the drill with a drill bit in it.
  2. Place it on a secure surface with the drill bit face up.
  3. Cut a piece of cardstock paper into smaller pieces (we cut our into 4 pieces).
  4. Carefully place the small piece of cardstock onto the drill with the bit in the center. (The adult can do this part)
  5. Open your pre-filled paintbrush.
  6. Place one hand on the button. (The adult can be the button pusher)
  7. As the paper is spinning, lightly place the tip of the paintbrush anywhere on the spinning paper.
  8. Repeat with different colors and positions of placement on the paper.
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

How We Made Drill Paintings?

  1. Insert a pre-filled paintbrush into the drill where the drill bit goes.
  2. Tape paper to a wall or use an easel.
  3. Place the tip of the paintbrush onto the paper.
  4. Press the button of the drill and let the vibrations make cool designs as you paint with a power tool!

Wait, There’s More…

Sample of “Communicating & Connecting FREE Bonus Printable.

I believe you can easily strengthen communication skills and foster independence all while playing and connecting with your child. To help you do this; I’ve created a FREE printable for each activity called, “Communicating & Connecting”.

It will give you a list of suggestions I’ve found very helpful as a Mom & as a special education teacher; to help you build lifelong skills. Please don’t feel obligated to do everything on the list (but if you do, you’re a rockstar 😉 ).

As a Thank You for subscribing; this is a special FREEBIE for our Email Subscribers Only. 🙂 Click here if you’ve already subscribed. Otherwise, Sign Up below to get the password & access to our entire FREE Printables Library today! 😉

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