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How to Create Monochrome Paintings

by Samara Caughey
April 21, 2023
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 Monochrome paintings are the perfect color art activity for kids of all ages. Art project by Samara Caughey of Purple Twig.

Updated May 2023

We start teaching color theory lessons as early as 2 years old at the Purple Twig. Kids mix colors using the primary colors to make secondary colors. We also teach about hues of color like with this monochrome art project.

It’s great for many ages; two year olds will love touching and looking at each material and exploring the textures as well as color.

Older children will figure out how to make an intricate pattern using the same color but in different shades and tones. 

Monochrome Paintings_pin

Monochrome Paintings for Kids

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MATERIALS

Time needed: 30 minutes

  1. Choose color and prep materials

    Paint colors for monochrome art project for kids

    We began by having the children choose one color they would like to work with. If you are doing this project at home walk around the house with your child and see what materials they find in the color they have chosen.

    I add a little white glue to the paint so it’s nice and sticky when they are ready to add all the other varieties of materials.

    Then I give the children cardboard squares, which you could recycle from a box or just use a sturdy piece of paper.

  2. Paint cardboard square

    The kids paint away. I add a little white paint to each paint cup for them to mix in. So now we have two tones of color on the cardboard.

    Creating red monochrome art collage paintings

  3. Offer materials

    Materials for monochrome art collage paintings

    Next, offer the materials to the children one at a time, each in their own cup. Start with the flat materials first, like fabric or paper and build from there.  

    I absolutely love materials; I love the potential in the materials and so enjoy observing the children using them to their interest. 

    Some children enjoy organizing their materials on the board and some enjoy pouring the materials onto the paint and moving them around with their hands or the brush.

  4. Let dry


    Orange monochrome art collage

    When dry, this artwork has such a lovely variety of textures and pattern. It looks especially great hanging together in a colorful grouping on your wall!

If you’re looking for collage materials, you might add colored rice as well. Here’s a simple recipe that I use.

Colored Rice Recipe

  • 1 cup white rice
  • Food coloring or liquid watercolors
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 gallon ziplock bag
  • tray

Put the rice into the ziplock bag. Add a few drops of desired color and the water. Close the bag and shake until the rice is fully colored. If you would like the color to be stronger, just add a few more drops and shake again. When finished, pour the rice out onto a tray to dry. It dries in about 15 minutes or so.

Yellow Monochrome Art Collage Paintings for Kids

I hope you try this monochrome art project for kids!

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How to Create Monochrome Paintings

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