Monochrome art collage paintings are the perfect color theory art activity for kids of all ages. Art project by Samara Caughey of Purple Twig.
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 Art for Kids
- Tempera paint in chosen color
- White glue
- Paint brush
- A variety of materials in chosen color such as: cut straws, colored rice (see recipe below), buttons, fabric, colored paper, spangles, yarn, milk jugs tops, colored sand, pom poms
1. Choose color and prep materials
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.
3. Offer materials
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
When dry, this artwork has such a lovely variety of textures and pattern.
Colored Rice Recipe
- 1 cup white rice
- Food coloring or liquid watercolors
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 gallon ziplock bag
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.
I hope you try this monochrome art project for kids!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Samara Caughey is the owner of Purple Twig, an art studio for kids and families in Los Angeles, CA. She has a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago in Photography and an MFA from USC in sculpture.
Samara has been creating art with children for 15 years and continues to be constantly surprised and delighted by watching kids explore materials to create their work. You can also find her on Instagram.
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