Kids of all ages enjoy art history when you teach it through projects inspired by the work of famous artists. Abstract art is especially fun for kids because it removes the pressure that can come with trying to achieve “realism“. This project is inspired by the Surrealist movement and the work of Spanish artist Joan Miró.
Joan (pronounced “Djo-ahn”) Miró was a painter, sculptor, and ceramicist born in Barcelona. He was one of the original artists of the Surrealist movement, but his early paintings were influenced by Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cezanne.
Among Miró’s most famous work was a series of 23 small paintings known as the “Constellations”. He liked to think of clever names for his paintings. The painting below is called, “Woman Encircled by the Flight of a Bird”.
Follow the steps below to make your own Miró-inspired art!
- White construction paper (9×12 or 12×18)
- Black “F” Sharpie
- 4 or 5 brightly colored markers
- 1 or 2 crayons or oil pastels with the paper peeled off
- Look at several of Miro’s “Constellation” paintings, making note of the symbols, shapes, and design elements that are similar between them. Choose about 5-10 of these motifs to incorporate into your picture.
2. Use a Sharpie to make lines that travel around your paper, with some simple shapes overlapping them.
3. Next, fill in some of the shapes with solid black. Where a line runs through a shape, fill in half of the shape with black and the other half with one of your colored markers.
4. Then, find a flat surface with a rough texture, like the sidewalk outside. Use the side of one or two crayons or oil pastels (with the paper peeled off) to add an uneven, textured background. But try to avoid going over any of your brightly colored areas with the rubbing.
5. Finally, think of a clever name for your picture!
Would you like to design your own kids’ art lesson inspired by a famous artist? The process is similar no matter which artist you choose to focus on. You can find my step-by-step tutorial here.