Most homeschoolers love books and look for an easy way to add art to literature! It’s so much fun to read and explore new books with our children. And an art project can be a way to make literature even more fun! This art tutorial demonstrates a way to illustrate interesting characters from books we’re reading with our children, but it could also be used to create landscapes, seascapes, or anything else you want!
What you will need for this Color Harmonies Art Project:
- corrugated cardboard– torn for an artistic backing
- multimedia art paper or cardstock cut into various wide strips (neutral color)
- tissue paper in selected color harmony
- black art ink pens or a felt tip black pen
- paintbrush and water
- watercolor or colored ink- (light markers of various shades could also work)
- Color Harmonies Mini Workbook ( Subscriber freebie!)
* I found inspiration for this art idea in a wonderfully resourceful book: The Usborne Complete Book of Art Ideas. It could easily be used for a year+ of curriculum for art!
Vocabulary for this lesson could be: color wheel • color harmonies • monochromatic • analogous • triadic • complementary • line drawings • line (as an element of art)
Color Harmonies Art Project Tutorial
1. First of all, use our FREE Color Harmonies Mini Workbook to teach about color harmonies. The last page has your child select a color harmony to use for the color palate for the art project characters. If you like, you can make some samples for your child as an example, but it’s not necessary.
2. Once your child has chosen a color harmony, it’s time to make a character line drawing. It’s a good idea to practice a few first. Find good examples of line drawings for your child to imitate. Some fun stories or characters that are line drawings are the Peanuts comics, The Giving Tree (Shel Silverstein), Where the Sidewalk Ends, and many more. How does the illustrator make great use of line for the trees, characters, and other details? Add details using line to your character’s hair and clothing accents to make your characters interesting and in line drawing style.
Remember, character is much more important here than skill or perfection!
3. Begin by selecting the cardboard piece for your backing and then choose the right size strip of cardstock. Glue your cardstock on the cardboard backing. We glued ours off to one side to make the most use of the torn cardboard style. What other materials could you use to create background texture?
4. Next, use one of the darker colors in your color harmony choice to add shading to one side of your character using ink or watercolor. Your student may want to use markers instead of ink, or a mixture.
5. Beginning with the lightest color, tear clothing pieces out of the tissue paper. Add accents with darker colors. Then arrange them for previewing the outcome. If you like what you see, glue them down. I used regular white school glue and a paintbrush with a little bit of water.
Once dried they can be used as a puppet substitute, or if you recreate a famous character, they can be used to retell your child’s favorite story.
How might you use these colorful characters in your homeschool?