Color and paint warm and cool colors on paper. Then turn into colorful collage art for kids inspired by Alma Thomas.
Updated January 2023
I’ve enjoyed the work of Alma Thomas for some time now. The vivid colors and patterns in her work instantly draw you in and are a great way to introduce concepts such as color theory and shape. Learning about her life and work is also a valuable opportunity to explore female artists and black history.
Alma Thomas used different types of art materials, like paints and crayons in her artwork (just like us!). She used bold colors and dabbed marks of paint over the canvas to create abstract pictures and radial designs.
This project is a great opportunity to try collage art as it is accessible to a wide age range. And you likely have all the needed materials at home!
Alma Thomas Inspired Collage Art for Kids
Time needed: 45 minutes.
Note: This is a two part project.
- Treasure hunt for colors
Start your time by taking a look at photos of Alma Thomas’ work to get inspired! We discuss the patterns and colors seen in the images.
Then, go on a treasure hunt to find colorful objects from around the house! Once you have some items, you can identify the colors of each object and group them into warm colors (red, orange and yellow) or cool colors (blue, some purple and some green).
Also Read : How to Make a God’s Eye Craft
- Identify warm colors in art materials
Next, kids can look through their art materials and identify the pencils, crayons, markers and paints that have warm color tones.
- Color paper with warm and cool colors
Once you have all of your warm toned art materials, you will cover a sheet of paper in warm colors.
Begin by coloring with lines and patterns, then fill in the negative spaces with paint. Discuss different types of marks that different art materials make.
You can use any art materials that you have at home, and it’s also a great opportunity to explore new materials to see what they can do.
It’s fun to stop once in a while and point out interesting things in each other’s artwork. This helps to build community and confidence among children, siblings, etc.
Once your paper is covered in warm colors, it’s time to do the same with cool colors on a separate piece of paper.
You will end up with one paper filled with warm tones and a second with cool tones. This is a good stopping point if you’d like to come back to this project later.
- Create your collage!
To make a collage, you need to cut your warm and cool papers first into strips, and then into smaller shapes.
Use a combination of the warm and cool papers to create a collage inspired by Alma Thomas. It’s useful to take another look at Alma’s work at this point for extra inspiration!
I love how every child’s artwork turns out so differently, but with common themes of color, nature and pattern shining through.
Read About Alma Thomas
For additional reading about Alma Thomas, I recommend Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History and Women in Art.
More Collage Art for Kids
- Paul Klee Art for Kids – Colorful City Collages
- How to Make Marble Paper Art Landscape Collages for Kids
- Collage Art Ideas for Kids
- How to Make Pablo Picasso Collages for Kids
- How to Make Painted Paper Collages for Kids Inspired by Mexican Culture
- Explore Texture with These Fun Mixed Media Collage Portraits for Kids
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