“As long as autumn lasts, I shall not have hands, canvas and colours enough to paint the beautiful things I see.” – Vincent Van Gogh
Isn’t that just beautiful? I feel the same, but fail to have the eloquent wording, or the painting skills like Van Gogh, but it certainly makes for a better intro than my southern greeting, “happy fall, y’all”! I really am a fall-lover, a lover of artsy things, and I’ve got several ideas, (four tried and true, because I have more ideas than time) for your fall art projects! Most of these projects are perfect for younger kids, bigger kids, and the moms or dads who want to join in!
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Before jumping into the fall art projects, I recommend learning about the artist! My two favorite resources are Lives of the Artists and Famous Painting Cards. You can see the cards in person, as well as other uses for them on my YouTube Channel.
Jackson Pollock Pumpkin
Don’t you just love Jackson Pollock? Not to disrespect the artist, but his way of painting can bring out the artist in absolutely anyone! Did you know that his unusual way of working earned him the nickname “Jack the Dripper”? Pollock stopped naming his pictures and started giving them numbers, because he didn’t want people to look for a subject matter or a meaning in his art. Instead, he wanted people to appreciate the painting for what it was. So, here’s my Pumpkin #23.
Instructions: First, gesso the pumpkin before painting. Next, paint the pumpkin a solid color of your choice and let it dry. Then, dab, flick, and throw on some color! I used wadded newsprint dipped in paint for some of the markings, dabs of paint with a brush, and flicks of color with a toothbrush. Last, I glued paper leaf cutouts in random areas of the pumpkin. They did not show up well, so I outlined and added details with a gold paint pen. After the pumpkin dried, I sprayed on a nice coating of UV spray for protection and a subtle shine. Last, I added paper string/twine to add a whimsical vine detail.
Picasso Meets Frankenstein
Oh, this was a fun one! It is a step-by-step drawing from Art Projects for Kids that I turned into a painting. You can grab the free printable here as a guide (it’s very easy)! The color can be added with crayons or colored pencils if using paper or cardstock, but I thought it was canvas-worthy. I chose to paint the background blue to represent Picasso’s “Blue period”. For the rest of the project, I used acrylic paint and a Sharpie marker for the facial features.
The next one I had to dig in the art archives for! Several years ago we created these little masterpieces with instruction from TPT. There is a small cost for the file download. We used oil pastels on cardstock, and I think they turned out great!
From the British Museum, “It is art’s most haunting and iconic face. A universal symbol of anxiety. It even has its own emoji.” Munch painted several versions of this painting, and there are several YouTube tutorials of how to do it yourself. The versions we made several years ago are made with oil pastels. Be sure to check out 10 Things You May Not Know About the Scream.
Monet inspired leaves
When trying to decide how to paint these wooden leaves, I thought of Monet. Monet usually used very strong colors – however, he didn’t mix them. He said, “as for the colors I use, what’s so interesting about that? I don’t think one could paint better or more brightly with another palette. The most important thing is to know how to use the colors. Their choice is a matter of habit. In short, I use white lead, cadmium yellow, vermilion, madder, cobalt blue, chrome green. That’s all.”
While the colors aren’t exactly the ones Monet used, I chose to use a variation of what I already had of the six. I first applied a coating of gesso before painting, then carefully added the color, as to not mix them. I envisioned the leaves to have a blurry look, although some turned out better than others.
John James Audubon’s Turkeys
To complete the list of fall artsy projects, the often overlooked turkey must be included! The wild turkey is the first image in John James Audubon’s “Birds of America.” I am unable to find a tutorial of that magnificent turkey, but I did find a turkey tutorial that far exceeds the basic hand-print turkey! The Art Sherpa has a realistic turkey video that I plan to try. I followed one of her tutorials of the Grinch, and was well-pleased. If you’d like to keep the Picasso-theme this fall, here’s another turkey you might like.
Every season brings its own beauty, and autumn is so very colorful! Any of these fall art projects would be fantastic to do with your kids, by yourself, and certainly in a group setting! So which artist-fall-themed project will you and your kids be doing?