Abstract Art with Alma Woodsey Thomas

This abstract art lesson let my students choose which painting format they wanted to try out — a circular or an vertical stripe one. By the way, this artist, Alma Woodsey Thomas, developed her signature style—large, abstract paintings filled with patterns of bright colors—in her 70s. She also was the first African American artist to have a show at the … Read More

Black History Artist: Lois Mailou Jones

Black history art projects are a great way to learn about some amazing people who had to forge their own way in the world. Lois Mailou Jones (1905 – 1998) had an impressive career, but do you know how she got started? She had been working as a textile designer and often sold her bold fabric creations to department stores. … Read More

Faith Ringgold Flag Project

Faith Ringgold, an African-American artist, is best known for her large story quilts. In 1985 she made a piece titled “Flag Story Quilt”. For a great follow up project, see my Faith Ringgold Mural template in my PDF Shop. MATERIALS • Download PDF Flag template • Card stock paper • Old magazines • Scissors • Glue sticks • Hole punch … Read More

Gee’s Bend Quilt Collage

The women of Gee’s Bend, in a small, remote, black community in Alabama, have created hundreds of quilt masterpieces dating back to the early twentieth century. This community also has a pretty fascinating connection to Dr. Martin Luther King. You can read the book “Belle, the Last Mule at Gee’s Bend” to find out more. I had no idea this … Read More

Lois Mailou Jones Mask

This Lois Mailou Jones-inspired drawing is one of my favorite black history month art projects. During Lois’ remarkable life, she painted, designed masks, textiles, stained glass, traveled the world and never stopped learning. For a terrific follow up this project, check out my Lois Mailou Jones Art Mural Project MATERIALS • Black card stock paper (This one is smooth and … Read More

Collage Your Name Project

Collage projects for kids can start with old magazines, crayons and a little watercolor. For a little art history, you can also connect this to artist Romare Bearden. Romare Beardon, an African-American artist and writer, is renowned for his experimental collages, a technique he began to experiment with in 1950s. Some students in California learn more about Mr. Beardon in the fourth … Read More

Draw Martin Luther King

I created this Martin Luther King for kids project to support classrooms that are celebrating MLK Day. It’s a tutorial that will help students consider more about how to draw his hair, facial features and customary black suit. Please note that the eyebrows are made by coloring heavier with crayons. Older students may find that a good way to add … Read More

Martin Luther King Coloring Page

Martin Luther King coloring pages don’t have to look like cartoon drawings. This one is what you call “posterized”, which is pretty much a simplified photograph. I printed my sample out on a grey card stock, colored the darkest with a black marker, and the lighter with gray, and then the eyes and shirt with a white pencil crayon. For … Read More

Art Projects for Kids