If your kids are anything like mine, they’ve gone through all the coloring books already during this quarantine! An activity that is fun for all ages (no children required) is making personalized coloring pages designed after famous works of art. Below is a walkthrough of this project inspired by Reynolds Beal’s Off Bridgeport (1908) from the Museum’s collection as an example.
To create unique, personalized coloring pages inspired by famous works of art.
- Pencil and eraser
- Paper (any size; a light color or white is preferred)
- Black permanent marker
- Colored pencils, crayons, or markers
- Contour Line – A line that defines the outer edge of an object.
- Negative Space – Space that surrounds the subject of a work of art (the way air surrounds us in real life).
- Positive Space – The space taken up by the subject of a work of art (like a person, a flower, or a couch).
Research: Search online (resources listed above) or look through art history books for artwork that inspires you. If you don’t have a specific artist in mind, try searching for art that contains something you or your children love. A special flower, a certain city, or a favorite sport are all great ideas!
Draw: After you choose your inspiration, get some paper and a pencil and start drawing. Take your time and draw the contour lines of the work of art you have chosen to replicate. The easiest way to draw contour lines is by drawing one section at a time, not trying to draw the whole object in one swoop. Your drawing does not need to include small details, but make sure it has the larger spaces for you to color in. Another thing to remember is that this is just like a rough draft for the final picture. You can adjust your drawing in the next step!
Outline: Use the black permanent marker to trace directly over the pencil lines, outlining the entire drawing without filling it in. During this step, you can choose which pencil marks you prefer, and you can even alter your drawing while you outline.
Erase: Fully erase any pencil marks left uncovered to reveal your clean, ready-to-color work of art.
Color: Now it’s time to color! The bold lines represent the boundaries between implied positive spaces and negative spaces of the picture which can guide color choices.
Have fun coloring your homemade creations!
Share Your Work
We would love to see your creations! Share your work with us by taking a photograph and emailing it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.