Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Quick Modern Art Project: Warhol

This past week's after school art class was great! We were able to get two art projects done in the allotted time and some children had a few minutes to sketch. Both of these projects are fun and colorful and easy to do. I've done them with preschoolers up through fourth graders and everyone seems to enjoy it! This time, I was able to show the children artwork from each artist and link the lessons to children's books about the artists. If you haven't checked out these books, please do! The first project is: Handy Andy's inspired by the blog Artolazzi.

For this project, I shared the book: "Uncle Andy's," by James Warhola. What a lovely book! This is written by a nephew of Andy Warhol and is told from the child's perspective. James Warhola talks about visiting his Uncle Andy at his studio and all of the interesting projects and people he sees there. I really like this book. It is interesting to look at the illustrations and see all of the fun details. The book also reminds me that children are like little sponges, soaking up info and inspiration from their environments. Warhola speaks about how inspiring it was to be surrounded by all of the art objects and artwork in his Uncle Andy's studio and being able to see the process his Uncle went through to create his art (note: I brought in one of the Marilyn Monroe series of paintings for the children to view--it had repetition and color that I wanted to highlight with the project below).

Handy Andys

I saw this project on the blog: Artolazzi and loved it. I changed it a bit to use bright papers instead of paint for the backgrounds to speed things up a bit. I used a bright pad of paper I bought at the local copy store (Staples) which was 50 sheets of 11" x 14" paper (5 bright colors) for about $5.

Supplies Needed:

  • 1 sheet of bright paper 11" x 14" for the background
  • 2 5.5"x 7" rectangles of bright paper (different colors than your background)
  • 4 5.5"x 7" rectangles of bright paper (assorted brights so that the hands cut from these papers are different than the backgrounds)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Black tempera paint
  • Paper plate for palette


1. I had the students select one 11" x 14" piece of bright paper for their background. In the above image, my background piece is yellow.

2. I then had them select two rectangles (5.5" x 7" each) these needed to be different than their background paper. These were glued down to the background so that it appeared the background is divided into four sections. Use the photo as a guide. In my example, I used a blue and a green rectangle.

3. I then handed out stacks of four rectangles (each 5.5" x 7") of assorted colors that had been stapled together. I had the students trace their hands onto the stack and cut through all four at once with their scissors to create four identical hand shapes. Remove the staples, arrange onto the background and glue down using the glue stick. Glue the fingers down well so they don't curl off of the page.

4. Once everything was glued down well, I had the students come over to the printing station where they could dip their hands into the black tempera I had placed in foam plates and then print onto their backgrounds over each of the hand prints.

They came out great! The children had lots of fun with these and the bright colors really created an eye-popping display! These would be so nice for Mother's Day or Father's Day and they didn't take any time at all (maybe 30 minutes from start to finish).

Coming soon: Part two of this post...15 minute Jackson Pollock paintings!


  1. Very cool and so effective! What a great Pop Art lesson- thanks for sharing your version.

  2. I love this activity! I teach 5 and 6 year olds and we have nearly finished a 10 week unit of work about Andy Warhol. Will be using this activity to finish off the unit. Thanks for your ideas ;-)

    1. Hi Karyn-So glad you like this project and are going to try it! It's one of my all time favorites--send me some picts, if you'd like, and I'll post them to the blog. I'd live to see them! Thank you so much for stopping by! Mrs. P

  3. Special thanks to writer to give us such imaginary things. :)
    Muslim Church
    Your arrangement is good.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas. A lifesaver for less creative minds such as mine. As part of a dinosaurs unit this week we did Warholasaurus pop art. The kids really loved it and it looks great on the wall. Happy to post a photo but no ide how to do it! Jackie, Australia.

    1. Thank you, Jackie, for stopping by! I would LOVE to see what you and your students have done! If you look on my blog in the upper left and click on the "View My Complete Profile" it will take you to a page that has my gmail address. You can send images of your students' work there. Can't wait to see them! Mrs. P


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