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Black History Month: A Lois Mailou Jones Art Lesson

Below you’ll find an easy Loïs Mailou Jones art lesson. As an influential artist and teacher, she paved a path for black artists who had been shut out of the world of fine art.

This Loïs Mailou Jones drawing project borrows some of Loïs’ favorite patterns and colors and are arranged in a grid format that she often used. It allows students of all ages to try on her style, and makes it easy for them to mix things up a bit too. Encourage your students to rearrange those patterns to come up with their own special drawing to honor the work of this amazing artist.

Loïs Mailou Jones was an influential artist and teacher during her seven-decade career. She was one of the most notable figures to attain fame for her art while living as a black expatriate in Paris during the 1930s and 1940s.

Loïs began a successful career in textiles, selling her bold designs to department stores and manufacturers. She, however, quickly realized her fabrics were completely anonymous; no one would ever know she was the artist who had created them. It was that realization which greatly influenced her career as a fine artist.

Loïs’ seven decades of work in design, painting, illustration, and academia made her an exceptional artist who continues to receive national attention to this day.

Use the Button below to Download a PDF Tutorial

A step by step tutorial for an easy Lois Mailou art lesson, also available as a free download.

Lois Mailou Jones Coloring Page

A Lois Mailou art lesson coloring page, available as a free download.

Materials for a Lois Mailou Jones art lesson

Step by Step Directions for a Lois Mailou Jones art lesson

Time needed: 45 minutes.

How to Draw like Lois Mailou Jones

  1. Draw four lines as shown.

  2. Start the profile face in the center.

  3. Continue the nose and lips.

  4. Finish with a chin.

  5. Draw the slanted eye.

  6. Add patterns on the sides as shown.

  7. Draw diamonds along the bottom.

  8. Add diagonal lines along the top.

  9. Trace with a marker and fill with bright colors.

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