7 Classroom Art Activities Inspired by Famous Artists

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Written by Holly (Teach Starter)

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

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I loved studying famous artists and their artistic styles with my class. We would study the artist’s life and analyse their famous pieces of artwork. In the next lesson, we would create a piece of art inspired by their style or one of their famous pieces. This blog outlines different art activities inspired by famous artists that you could do with your students using basic art materials found in the classroom.

We have a set of 54 famous artists cards that are the perfect addition to these art lessons!


Fun Art Activities Inspired by Famous Artists

(1) Andy Warhol Inspired Art Activity

Andy Warhol is an American pop artist that is most noted for his piece of Marilyn Monroe. Here’s a fun activity students can do with their own faces!

Art Activities Inspired by Famous Artists

Materials

  • 1 x white card
  • coloured pens and highlighters
  • ruler
  • avatar template
  • tracing paper
  • lead pencil

Preparation

Directions

  1. Use a ruler to divide a piece of white card into four equal sections.
  2. Use tracing paper to trace and copy the avatar four times.
  3. Colour each of the faces using bright pens and highlighters. Try to use combination of different colours for each box and face.

(2) Pablo Picasso Inspired Art Activity (Portrait Inspired)

This fun self-portrait inspired by Pablo Picasso’s work is super bright and cheerful and can include the art elements of line and colour.

Art Activities Inspired by Famous Artists

Materials

  • 4 x coloured A4 paper
  • oil pastels
  • lead pencil
  • glue stick
  • black marker

Directions

  1. Using a lead pencil, draw the outline of the face, neck and hair.
  2. Draw one eye facing outwards, another eye facing inwards and the lips on different pieces of coloured paper. Colour in both the eyes and the lips using oil pastels.
  3. Glue the eyes and lips onto the face.
  4. Draw lines to create sections on the remaining parts of the face.
  5. Using a black marker, trace over the lead pencil face and lines.
  6. Use oil pastels to colour the sections of the face and the hair. Bright vibrant colours work best.

(3) Pablo Picasso Inspired Art Activity – Three Musicians

The Three Musicians artwork by Pablo Picasso was created in 1921. The actual artwork measures 2 meters wide! In this inspired artwork activity, students cut up 2D shapes to re-create this art piece.

Art Activities Inspired by Famous Artists

Materials

  • metallic pens
  • 3 x coloured card
  • 1 x black card
  • scissors

Directions

  1. Cut out a rectangle from each piece of the coloured card.
  2. Glue the three rectangles on to the black card to create the background for each musician.
  3. Create the collage of the three musicians by using only shapes cut from the three different pieces of coloured card (use the original work of Picasso for inspiration).
  4. Use metallic pens to add detail to each musician.

(4) Piet Mondrian Inspired Art Activity

Students can re-create this artwork by Piet Mondrain by picking an object that represents something in their life!

Art Activities Inspired by Famous Artists

Materials

  • 1 x A4 white card
  • template of object
  • black paper
  • oil pastels (blue, red and yellow)
  • lead pencil
  • black marker
  • scissors

Preparation

  • Prepare some templates of objects that the students can choose from. You can use Teach Starter Studio and navigate to the pictures section on the left-hand side.

Directions

  1. Place the chosen template in the middle of the A4 card and trace around the template using a lead pencil.
  2. Trace over the lead pencil with a black marker.
  3. Using strips of 1 cm wide black paper, create boxes around the object by cutting to size and gluing around the image.
  4. Colour the boxes around the object using blue, red and yellow oil pastels (keep a few of the boxes white).

(5) Gustav Klimt Inspired Art Activity

This is a beautiful piece of art where students can let their creative juices flow inspired by Gustav Klimt’s Tree of Life.

Art Activities Inspired by Famous Artists

Materials

  • 1 x A4 white card
  • water paint
  • black marker
  • gold metallic pen
  • gold paper

Directions

  1. Paint the A4 card with colourful strips using the water paint. Set aside to dry.
  2. Once the background is dry, draw the outline of the tree using a black marker.
  3. Paint the inside of the tree with black water paint or acrylic paint. Set aside to dry.
  4. Once the tree is dry, draw patterns using the gold pen and stick gold circles on the tree.

(6) Kandinsky Inspired Art Activity

Kandinsky is a Russian artist who is most famous for being a pioneer of abstract art!

Art Activities Inspired by Famous Artists

Materials

  • 1 x A4 white card
  • oil pastels
  • lead pencil
  • three different sized circular objects
  • black marker

Directions

  1. Use three different sized circular objects to draw circles on the white card (a bowl, cup and glue stick lid work well). Make most of them overlap to create lots of different shapes.
  2. Add some extra curved or straight lines to the picture.
  3. Colour in the picture in an imaginative way (I used a variety of block colour, smudging of oil pastels and some patterns to create the art above).

(7) Van Gogh Inspired Art Activity

You can’t go past a re-creation of Vincent Van Gogh Starry Night creation!

Art Activities Inspired by Famous Artists

Materials

  • 1 x A4 midnight blue coloured card
  • oil pastels
  • yellow paper

Directions

  1. Use the black oil pastel to create the city at the bottom of the midnight blue coloured card.
  2. Cut small yellow squares out of paper to create the windows in the city buildings.
  3. Using the yellow oil pastel, draw the moon and stars, using white and yellow dots and dashes to make the moon and stars pop!
  4. Finally, use a mix of black, purple, blue and white oil pastels to create the wind effect through the sky.

Other Classroom Art Activities

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Comments & feedback

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love these ideas for famous artists! Thank you

Tansy O'Farrell · Nov 6th, 2018

You’re most welcome Tansy.

Holly (Teach Starter) · Nov 6th, 2018

We are currently learning about famous artist. This will be a fantastic resource. Can you tell me what exact image did you search for the Seurat activity? So many pictures in the studio. Any help would be great.

Michelle Irving · Mar 23rd, 2018

Hi Michelle, so glad that this blog is going to be useful to you. I used the image of the ‘gem’ in Studio.

Holly (Teach Starter) · Mar 24th, 2018

These are amazing and I am looking forward to presenting an Art Gallery in my classroom next term, thank you 🙂

Tracy · Aug 30th, 2016

Thanks for your great feedback Tracy. I am glad this blog has helped you with some ideas! Good luck setting up your class art gallery!
Kind regards,
Holly

Holly (Teach Starter) · Aug 30th, 2016

Lovely ideas ❤️

Fiona C · Aug 28th, 2016

Thanks for your lovely comment Fiona!
Kind regards,
Holly

Holly (Teach Starter) · Aug 28th, 2016

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