One thing I have learned from Kit, is that to make a proper mess, one must first be properly organized.
Sometimes she'll organize herself. Like lining up all her paints and dictating the order that I should squeeze dollops of paint onto her palate (which in our house is actually a "plate" ;). Then she smoothes and smooshes, usually starting out with a brush, but inevitably grandly spreading the purplish -brown mixture around all surfaces with and within reach of her artsy hands.
Other times she shows her appreciation for my organization skills by making sure each basket and bin has easy access to the entire floor. As quickly as possible. Like, under a minute, for all of them. Quite satisfied with a job well done, she moves on to inspect another room, ready for the next round of field tests.