8 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 art work. The next lesson, we would create a piece of art inspired by their style or one of their famous pieces. This blog outlines eight different art activities that you could do with your students using basic art materials found in the classroom.


Andy Warhol Inspired Art Activity

Andy Warhol Inspired Childrens Art Activity

Materials

  • 1 x white card
  • colored 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. Color each of the faces using bright pens and highlighters. Try to use combination of different colors for each box and face.

Pablo Picasso – Portrait Inspired Art Activity

Picasso Inspired Children's Art Activity

Materials

  • 4 x colored 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 colored paper. Color 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 color the sections of the face and the hair. Bright vibrant colors work best.

Pablo Picasso – Three Musicians Inspired Art Activity

Picasso Inspired Children's Art Activity

Materials

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

Directions

  1. Cut out a rectangle from each piece of the colored 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 colored card (use the original work of Picasso for inspiration).
  4. Use metallic pens to add detail to each musician.

Piet Mondrian Inspired Art Activity

Mondrian Inspired Children's Art Activity

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. Color the boxes around the object using blue, red and yellow oil pastels (keep a few of the boxes white).

Gustav Klimt Inspired Art Activity

Gustav Klimt Inspired Children's Art Activity

Materials

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

Directions

  1. Paint the A4 card with colorful 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.

Kandinsky Inspired Art

Kandinsky Inspired Children's Art Activity

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. Color the picture in an imaginative way (I used a variety of block color, smudging of oil pastels and some patterns to create the art above).

Seurat Inspired Art Activity

Seurat Inspired Children's Art Activity

Materials

  • 1 x A4 white card
  • cotton buds
  • acryllic paint
  • black and white image

Preparation

  • Have a handful of different images available for your students to choose from. I used Teach Starter studio and searched through the pictures available to find this image.

Directions

  1. Select three different colors for the inside of the image.
  2. Using the ends of cotton buds, paint the inside of the image with only dots.
  3. When the inside of the image is covered in dots, select different colors for the outside of the image.
  4. Using dots, follow the outline of the image until the edge of the page is reached.

Van Gogh Inspired Art Activity

Van Gogh Inspired Art Activity

Materials

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

Directions

  1. Use the black oil pastel to create the city at the bottom of the midnight blue colored 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.

Classroom Art Gallery

Displaying children’s art in the classroom shows that we recognise and value each students’ piece of art work. It also allows students to have a sense of ownership and belonging.

In my classroom, I dedicated one of my display boards to art work and called it ‘2H’s Art Gallery’. You could use some of our classroom bunting templates to create this heading.

I made a colorful display for each of my little artists and laminated it. By laminating the display it made it a lot easier to change artwork as it was completed. The students loved it and many parents would come in every couple of weeks to see the updated artwork.

Here is an example of what you could laminate for each student:

Art Gallery Student Display Idea

For this display, I simply used one A3 piece of paper and 2 x A4 pieces of colored paper (glued to two diagonal corners). I used our editable tray labels to create the little artist’s name at the top.


Prisma App

Prisma is a fun app you may like to use in the classroom when studying artists and their styles. This app transforms photos into works of art using the styles of famous artists. Here is an example of a photo transformed using the Piet Mondrian inspired filter.

PISMA

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