Invoke Spring With a Flower Mosaic Drawing
Mosaics are artworks that arrange small pieces of glass, tile, or stone to look like a picture. It's one of the oldest traditions in art, dating back to ancient Greek and Roman times – and earlier! Elaborate mosaics were used throughout the ages to decorate the floors, walls, and ceilings of prominent buildings.
This is a great art form to explore with your family, but it's pretty hard for most of us to do an actual mosaic at home. Luckily we have a more accessible solution! This flower mosaic drawing can introduce your kids to the idea of mosaics, using whatever basic art materials you have on hand. It's also a playful, colorful project – perfect for adding new designs and brightening up your home this winter.
sturdy, smooth paper (or watercolor paper, if you'd rather use paint)
permanent black pen
thick tip markers, crayons, or oil pastels
Optional additional supplies: extra-thick permanent black pen for details
1. Explain to your kids a bit about mosaics – maybe even look up some photos together online, if you have time. In mosaic art, pictures are made out of lots of small different pieces clustered together. We'll start with the outlines of our flowers, but when it's time to color we'll fill them in with lots of little shapes or marks.
2. Start by planning where you want your flowers to go. Each one can begin with a different size circle (older kids can add several; younger kids might just stick with one or two). Remember, it's ok for some of your circles to go off the edge of your page!
3. Add different kinds of petal shapes around your circles. Some might be long and skinny, others pointy or fat. Do one flower at a time; if the next flower runs into the first one, try to jump over your first lines instead of drawing through them.
4. Look at your drawing and think of extra details you want to add now that your flowers are there. Do you want extra designs or lines inside your circles? Would a second row of petals fit on one of your flowers? If you have a big empty space in your background, try filling it in with a wiggly vine and leaves or some fun shapes. If you have an extra-thick black permanent pen, you can choose some lines to trace over and make bolder for decoration.
5. Before you start filling in your shapes, use a sheet of scrap paper to try all the different kinds of marks you can make with your crayons, oil pastels or markers. Use the texture examples for ideas – you can start with a cluster of marks in one color, then switch to a new color to add more marks in the empty white spaces in between. Don't feel like you have to draw perfect individual squares or circles; all you have to do is make some marks!
6. Use different kinds of marks and colors to fill in your shapes. Get creative and play around with overlapping colors, too! If your kid gets tired of making small marks, feel free to color in some parts like usual instead. Follow whatever kinds of drawing, marks, colors, and designs feel most fun to you for different parts!
Theresa Harris is founder of Thrive Art School in Seattle and Thrive Art Online, an online art program for kids. Thrive Art School offers year round art classes, workshops and summer camps for kids age 3 and up in Seattle's Ravenna and Madison Valley neighborhoods, as well as their recently launched online art program for kids.