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Smart With Art: Cool Cat Lesson

Try this home art project, which pairs a tiny art lesson with a big-fun project, with your little one!


Published on: June 03, 2014

Do you feel overwhelmed when it comes to your child creating art at home? Let’s make it simple and fun as well! Here is a lesson from the Smart with Art curriculum, based on artist Laurel Burch and her cat paintings, plus some ideas on how to designate a creative environment.

Cool Cats

Kids will love this Smart with Art lesson on recreating one of Laurel Burch's cat designs with cool colors on black paper, focusing on lines and patterns. This project is easy to do at home and allows you to introduce your child to art history, art concepts and a new medium!

• Oil pastels (available at local craft stores, Crayola or Pentel brands are recommended)
• Black 9x12 construction paper
• Crayola Construction Paper Crayons (optional)
• Pencil and eraser

Laurel Burch (1945-2007) was an American artist, designer and businesswoman. She painted and created jewelry while working various jobs in San Francisco. She traveled and many of her designs were purchased and created into jewelry in China. With investors, she began mass producing her art pieces and her creations were distributed worldwide. Laura was a self-taught painter. She had a series of cat designs that became popular around the world.

NEXT: Create a Cool Cat in 3 Steps

Step 1: Create a cat

Using the step by step illustration above, create the cat of your dreams in pencil on the black paper. Holding paper vertically will work best.

Step 2: Pastel it in

Once the pencil line is created, begin going over with oil pastels. Focus on COOL colors: Refer to the color wheel and color charts.

Step 3: Create patterns using line designs to fill in your cool cat

Create a background as well if you wish. It may provide a good contrast to focus on warm colors in your background. There is no wrong way to do this exciting project: The sky's the limit! 

NEXT: Tips for a kid-friendly creative space 

Tips for a kid-friendly creative space

Choose an area that can get messy:

  • Kitchen with no carpeting
  • Garage
  • Porch
  • Playroom
  • Create your own area using newpaper, or old sheets and tablecloths

Don’t be fearful of allowing your child to experiment with new materials

  • Control the environment
  • Allow for fun
  • Get involved in the creativity
  • Allow for the process in art creating

Focus on a subject that is interesting to your child.

If your child loves cats, we've got you covered! If not, pick a project that centers around your child's favorite animal, character or hobby. This will help your child stay engaged and interested in the process.

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