DIY Art Camp For Kids: Teach Your Kids About The Masters

March 20, 2018 | Tutorials

If you just clicked on the link that took you to this DIY you must have a little person who LOVES to create! Like your kids my son loves to paint, draw, sculpt and imagine. Not too long ago I started to scour local family magazines, camp blogs and community centers for a program that would nurture my little guy’s love of the arts. To no avail my search came up pretty empty handed for a program that existed in my community. There are plenty of paint your own pottery and paint along with me type of businesses that would keep him busy for an hour or two. But what I was looking for was activities that would enrich his love of art while teaching him about some of the most influential artists in history.  So what’s a mom to do that can’t send her kid to a fancy art school in another state? You Do It  Yourself!

Gulp… that I knew what I had to do, how do I do it?  Well, you do a search on Pinterest of course! After finding  a few amazing bloggers/teachers/Pinners who have put together tutorials on some of my  favorite artists , I compiled this post to create a mini DIY art camp for your kids. Below you are going to find some really fun art projects to do with your little ones, along with a sample lesson plan and art history on each artist.


The sample lesson plan:

If you are treating these activities as a “camp” style activity for your kids then you will want to break the lesson/day up into segments. For my kids I set it up to have an “art day” once per week during part of our summer vacation. The following is a guide line for how to set up your lesson plan.

  1. Warm up activity: For the younger children I print out coloring sheet of famous works of art by the artists or make sure to have library books on hand for the kids to flip though. For my older son I allow him a few minutes to do some online research about our daily topic or flip through books related to the artist.
  2. Mini lesson about artist: I like to give a few minutes of history about the artist (the who, why, where, what & when). This is a good opportunity talk about the artist’s period and style and what methods they used to achieve their style.
  3.  Break time: Giving your child a little time to decompress with a fifteen minute snack and bathroom break will fill in some time plus give them some time to digest what you just talked about.
  4. Project “In The Style Of”:  This where you get into the meat and potatoes of the lesson. I always start with an over view of the materials we plan on using for the activity and how to use them. It will be your choice if you want to preview each of the steps or have your kids complete each step before going on to the next. Either way I think it is helpful to participate in the activity to give visual examples. And of course always be positive and compliment each child’s style and creativity. There is no “right way” in art. Art is self expression and should be appreciated for its individuality!
  5. Wrap Up Discussion: As the kids are finishing their pieces this is a good time to start some discussion on the artist, and what they were trying to communicate with their work. Some questions might be:
    • How does “the artist’s” sample work make you feel, or what does it make you think of?
    • Would you feel the same way if the artist used a different medium (ie : materials, paint, marker, imagery, lines, patterns)?
    • Do you think the artist influenced other people with their artwork and why?

The Artists & Guided Art Activities:


Picasso Face, by Expressive Monkey

Short Artist History:

Pablo Ruiz Picasso (25 October 1881 in MálagaSpain – 8 April 1973) was a Spanish painter and sculptor. He is considered one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.[1] His full name is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Clito Ruiz y Picasso.[2][3] He is best known as the co-founder of cubism.[1] A work of art is cubist when the artist opts to break up objects and re-assemble them in abstract and geometric form.[4][5] Pablo Picasso created over 20,000 pictures.[6] 

Analytical Cubism is one of the two major branches of the artistic movement of Cubism and was developed between 1908 and 1912. In contrast to Synthetic cubism, Analytic cubists “analyzed” natural forms and reduced the forms into basic geometric parts on the two-dimensional picture plane. Color was almost non-existent except for the use of a monochromatic scheme that often included grey, blue and ochre. Instead of an emphasis on color, Analytic cubists focused on forms like the cylinder, sphere and the cone to represent the natural world. During this movement, the works produced by Picasso and Braque shared stylistic similarities.

Materials needed: 

Paper, sharpie markers, crayons, texture plates, colored markers, and water (no paint), die

Paul Klee Castles, by Deep Space Sparkle

Short Artist History:

Paul Klee was born in Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland in 1879. His father, Hans Klee, was a music teacher, and mother, Ida Frick, had trained to be a singer. Paul was the second of two children.

Paul took an interest in music and drawing at a young age. By the age of seven he was playing the violin, and at age eight he was given a box of sidewalk chalk by his grandmother. In the beginning his parents encouraged the development of his musical skills, though in his teen years he decided to focus on becoming an artist.

In 1898, with his parent’s reluctant permission, Klee began studying art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. He showed talent in drawing, though struggled to develop a sense for color and felt that he might never learn to paint.

Klee traveled to Italy in 1901, after receiving his Fine Arts degree. While there he studied the master painters of past centuries. The colors of Italy excited him, though he recognized that a long struggle was in store for him in understanding how to use coloring in his art.

was originally associated with the German Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter.  Expressionism is a broad term for a host of movements in early twentieth-century Germany. Many Expressionists used vivid colors and abstracted forms to create spiritually or psychologically intense works, while others focused on depictions of war, alienation, and the modern city.

Materials needed:

  • Thick paper
  • Watercolor pallets
  • brushes
  • sharpies
  • crayons

Jackson Pollock Arty Lesson, by Classic-Play

Short Artist History:

Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956) was an American painter. He became famous for painting in the abstract expressionist style. Pollock’s most famous paintings were made by dripping and splashing paint on a large canvas. His nickname was Jack the Dripper. Because of the method, this style is often called action painting. Pollock was helped by his wife, artist Lee Krasner, and his style was very new at the time.

Pollock was introduced to the use of liquid paint in 1936 at an experimental workshop operated in New York City by the Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros. He later used paint pouring as one of several techniques on canvases of the early 1940s, such as “Male and Female” and “Composition with Pouring I.” After his move to Springs, New York, he began painting with his canvases laid out on the studio floor, and he developed what was later called his drip technique.

Pollock described this use of household paints, instead of artist’s paints, as “a natural growth out of a need”.[1] He used hardened brushes, sticks, and even basting syringes as paint applicators. With this technique, Pollock was able to achieve a more immediate means of creating art, the paint now literally flowing from his chosen tool onto the canvas. By defying the convention of painting on an upright surface, he added a new dimension, literally, by being able to view and apply paint to his canvases from all directions.

Abstract expressionism is the name given to the American post-World War II art movement.[4] It was the first specifically American movement to achieve worldwide influence and put New York City at the center of the western art world, a role formerly filled by Paris. The term was used in 1919, but is more widely used for American work of the 1940s to 1960s.

Technically, an important predecessor was surrealism, with its Freudian emphasis on dreams, and on spontaneous, automatic or unconscious creation. Jackson Pollock’s dripping paint onto a canvas laid on the floor is a method of using spontaneity. It was novel, and brought into play several factors. Action: movements, how the artist worked. Automatism and the unconscious: the work was planned, but details were not.

Materials needed:

For this messy and extremely fun art lesson, you’ll need:

-an old white or cream sheet, canvas, or think paper
-various paint brushes
-several colors of paint
-a few sticks, toothbrush, comb, bowls, string or yarn

Andy Warhol Icon Portraits, by

Andy Warhol (/ˈwɔːrhɒl/;[1] born Andrew Warhola; August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) was an American artist, director and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertising that flourished by the 1960s, and span a variety of media, including painting, silkscreening, photography, film, and sculpture.

Warhol was drawn to the glamorous worlds of Hollywood, fashion, and celebrity. His interest in pop culture manifested early in his childhood; he collected autographed celebrity photographs. Even as an adult, Warhol bought and read teen magazines and tabloids to stay current on what was popular. He carried this interest into his artwork, creating iconic paintings of megastars, such as Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and Elizabeth Taylor. Warhol appropriated images for his portraits from magazines, newspapers, or directly from publicity photographs.

Warhol used the photographic silkscreen printing process to create his celebrity portraits. This method creates a precise and defined image and allows the artist to mass-produce a large number of prints with relative ease. Some of his celebrity portraits were first “under-painted” by tracing simple outlines of the photographic image onto the canvas and painted in blocks of color. Some were painted in slick, hard-edge styles, whereas others had solid fields of color or more gestural brushwork. Once this initial painted layer was dry, Warhol printed the photographic silkscreen image on top. Warhol adopted this method of mass production to make images of movie stars that were themselves mass-produced. Elvis Presley existed not only as a flesh-and-blood person, but also as millions of pictures on album covers and movie screens, in newspapers and magazines. He was infinitely reproducible. Similarly, using the silkscreen printing process, Warhol could produce as many Elvis paintings as he pleased.

Materials needed:

If you are interested in finding more tutorials on teaching your child about famous artists and techniques visit my Pinterest Board “Art Lessons 4 Kids“! Then head over to Kraftjoy’s shop section and find materials for your next art or craft project!

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