Valentine Party Hearts

I came up with this project for my 1st grade students.  This art is inspired by the American pop artist, Jim Dine (b. 1935).  We viewed a few examples of similar heart paintings of his, and then recreated our own similar hearts using acrylic paint on canvas.

Here are 4 examples of Jim Dine’s art that inspired this project:

heart Collage2Each student started with the project with a blank canvas. I set out plenty of bottles of acrylic paints on the table, in a variety of colors. Each student also had their own small dish to hold their paint colors. I gave each student a choice of a few colors to begin with and I squeezed them out onto their dish.

Step one: Begin with one color and make “dashes” or “blotches” or “spots” randomly on the canvas. Keep going until you’re happy with the amount of that color used.

Step two: Wash the brush, dry it, and use a second color in the same manner. Randomly blotch/dash/spot that color across the canvas wherever you choose.

Step 3: Continue as before with all colors that are in the paint dish. Once those colors have been used up, the student can then choose 4 more colors to be squeezed into their dish. The process continues until most of the entire canvas is covered in what looks like “confetti” paint. Of course, some white spaces may remain.

Step 4: Once the “confetti” background is dry, the student can choose one or a few colors to create the heart with. The drawing of the heart is free-handed. If you’re child is too young to do this alone, you can make a few dots that will help guide their heart. I would place one single dot at the bottom tip of the heart, and one more where the heart dips down at the top. The heart can be outlined with a few different colors, but don’t fill the heart in with paint. Leave it as an outline.

Here are actual examples of my students’ artwork after completing this project in class:

heart Collage1

 I LOVE this project! Even though the instructions are the same for each student, every piece of art comes out looking very different from the next. Each is unique and full of color and also takes little to know drawing skill at all!


-Blank canvas

-Acrylic paints (variety of colors)


-Cup of water to clean the brush between color changes

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