Painting In The Rain!


This is fun! Kids will love it! You will love it!

Amy Grennell, inspired me! Check out her version of "Rain Painting" here on her blog - Amy Grennell!

Amy is a talented mixed media artist. Don't miss her photography gallery - this one is my very favorite! And while you are on her site, check out her art gallery and her art journal pages.



Painting by Amy Grennell

After painting a canvas a couple weeks ago, Amy stuck it out in the rain to see what might happen! I liked the results enough to want to play!

I don't paint! But - I am a photographer! And I have an ink jet printer! And I have lots of rain!  I thought - why not take advantage of ink jet's tendency to bleed when it gets wet?


The technique is easy and I can't begin to tell you how much fun I had playing. I felt like I was 10 again!

There are no rules! You have little control over what happens. This is totally a "watch and see technique"!

1. Select a favorite digital image.

2. Print on watercolor paper. You can use other paper - but I recommend that it be at least card weight.


3. Set the print out in the rain.

4. Keep an eye on it and place it on a drying rack (dish drainers and cookie cooling racks work) when you are ready.


5. Let the paper dry completely. As you can see, there will be a little change in the image - mine tended to soften and lighten.

6. If you like, flatten your paper under a few heavy books before mounting or framing!.


Originally, my intention was to use images printed by ink jet on photo paper. But as you can see, photo paper - unlike the "olden days" - is pretty darn stable and even though I left this out in the rain a good long time, it never bled. And it dried perfectly - not a spot or blemish!

Nice to know! But useless for this project!


Rather than let the paper get rain saturated as I did in the first print, I decided to take this print out in a very light misty rain. The paper did not become saturated.


The droplets were so tiny and light that they left tiny impressions of themselves all over the surface of the print.


The tiny drop impressions remained after drying although they did expand just a little.


When I first found Amy's Post, I sent a link over to my artist friend Chris, who writes Parabolic Muse. Chris is usually up for trying almost anything in the interest of artistic expression! She wrote back telling me that she doesn't expect to see much rain in LA for a while but she does have a sprinkler!

Aha! Then a spray bottle should work too! So I made two prints of this image to test rain drops vs sprinkler bottles!


Rain drops at work!


Sprinkler bottle! I just moistened the surface of a rimmed cookie sheet, set the print on top and sprayed away until I got the result I wanted.

Actually, you might find that you have a little more control with this method because you can decide where the mist falls.


I sprayed a heavy stream of water right on the top/center, allowing it to run freely down the print surface and got the streaks you see here. Just playing around - you know!


Rain painted version - dry.


Spray bottle version - dry.


1. Handle the paper very gently once it is saturated. Transfer it from one surface to another by lifting from the bottom. Trying to peel it up from one corner might result in tearing.

2. Placing your paper on a wet surface or a dry surface will give you different results.

3. If you place your paper on an already wet surface, the paper will absorb moisture from both the front and the back and will change much faster. I placed the first image in the post on the wind shield of my car which had been sitting out in the rain for most of the afternoon. It changed almost instantly!

Now - grab a couple kiddos and go have some fun painting in the rain!!

Thank you so much Amy for sharing your "rain painting" .

I love this idea! Creates

I love this idea! Creates something very Monet-looking! I will find some of my photos to play with and let you know if anything pleasing comes of it. Since the only rain we've had in months has been in the form of insane thunderstorms which would blow it away or wash the image off completely, I will go with the spray bottle technique.
Can't wait to try it.

Loooooove this idea!

Loooooove this idea!

What a great idea...I think

What a great idea...I think it resembles a Monet and can't wait to try it.

Thanks for sharing!

Absolutely Beautiful! Thanks

Absolutely Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!!!!

Wonderful, Pam! I love this

Wonderful, Pam! I love this idea! I've done some playing with water photo transfers, but I really love the serendipity and chance of just putting it out in the rain . . .

I tried to post a comment

I tried to post a comment here a few days ago, but something got messed up- I was wondering if you got it. Well, needless to say I LOVE this idea, and your results were just beautiful!

Thanks for showing all these

Thanks for showing all these variations of the print. It's really interesting how you can get all sorts of looks!

Frankly... I'm stunned! I

Frankly... I'm stunned! I had no idea that it would change this much!! I loved the example you sent to me at first, of Amy's VW painting, but somehow it didn't register to me that I could print out a photo! I'm definitely doing this with my inkjet. I hope I can get my 140 lb watercolor paper through it, but if not, I'll use cardstock. This is fabulous! As long as I do that and have it set up on a slant tomorrow morning before 9, I should have a fantastic result from my sprinklers by 930!!

As a matter of fact....

I DO need to take a shower tomorrow...

Very pretty, Pam!

Very pretty, Pam!

I was reading through this

I was reading through this post, getting very excited because I was thinking, "I bet this would work with a spray bottle and I could do this with my patients" and ta-da! You did my research for me! Oh but wait, "research" is fun- I'll need to confirm your findings! This is so neat-- I'm off to find my spray bottle!

This is just GREAT! Having

This is just GREAT!
Having taken lots of flower photos I can't wait to see
how they will look after a summer shower.....and goodness knows we usually get one a day!

Very cool Pam! The kids will

Very cool Pam!
The kids will be all over this.

Looks like fun! At first

Looks like fun! At first sight, I thought you did that with Photoshop, but you DID actually put it in the rain! Fun!

How fun is that?! It almost

How fun is that?! It almost makes me glad about the continued rainy weather we're having. I love the look, and I could see you applying some iron-on-vinyl to the finished print to protect it once it dried. What a cool thing for card-making, gift wrap, or collage!

Ha!  You got my mind going

Ha!  You got my mind going sweetheart!  I could actually rephotograph the images once they dry and then using the printer, transfer them to fabric and then quilt them!

This would be a cool way to create that collage quilt I have been threatening to make ever since I took your amazing collage class several years ago. 

Great idea!  thank you!

I've always loved water

I've always loved water colors, but cant paint to save my life, so what a perfect idea, thanks for sharing! Sue

Dear Pam It is lovely, I MUST

Dear Pam
It is lovely, I MUST do this with my kids as they love to pain (in walls and carpets) the ideia of the sprayer is much appreciate because here in Portugal we are facing a 30ºC sunny weather.
Thanks for sharing this.

This is fantastic! I love the

This is fantastic! I love the results- some feel as thought you are looking at a scene through a rainy window others feel like impressionist paintings. Thanks for posting this Pam!

I've mixed up all my comments

I've mixed up all my comments and wrote about this on together with the previous post. Hope you don't mind!

How fun... I need to do this

How fun... I need to do this project with the kids. I think they may enjoy it. I know I will and my tween will wait she is almost a teen I need to stop calling her that.

Looks like an impessionistic

Looks like an impessionistic painting.

Dear Pam Something else to

Dear Pam
Something else to add to my list of "must do's". I love this and it really appeals to my senses because I am a hopeless painter. I think I might take this one step further and see what it does to some paintings I did last year in a course with a real artist and I've hidden behind my dresser. To me a 10 year old could do better, but maybe a little spray of mist will give it the 'Chris' appeal. My teacher said I had potential if I could learn to relax and she suggested that I continue to paint but with a class of wine in my hand.
Sound like a good idea, but I'm a bit scared with what I might come up with. Probably end up with more paint on me than the canvas. Thanks for putting more fun into my day.

Beautiful photography and

Beautiful photography and beautiful results, Pam! These would be pretty "one of a kind" artwork you could sign and make into postcards! Great tutorial and thank you so much for including the tips at the end!
Big hugs,