Paint a Summer Still Life

Summer can be full of amazing outdoor adventures, and fun in the sun. But sometimes you need a little break from the heat, and an indoor art project can lead to an afternoon of creative exploration.

When you need a project like this, invite your kids to paint a summer still life!

Summer art for kids- paint a summer still life... with full tutorial and activity guide printable!

Painting a still life is an especially great art activity because there are really two parts to it.

Part #1

Choosing your subject and arranging your items.

For your still life you can go traditional (think fresh fruit beautifully arranged in a bowl, a bouquet of flowers from the farmer's market, or tablescape with draped fabric, and interesting items from around the house). 

Or you could invite your kids to think more modern. Look at instagram for inspiration and create a "flatlay" of summertime items to paint. Arrange a pair of sunglasses, a seashell, their swim trunks, and a whole pineapple. Or some of their favorite beach toys. Or pool toys. Or anything else that says "summer" to them.

Tips for success: Try to keep it simple. Don't be afraid of using just a bunch of strawberries in a white bowl. Or just a shell and a handful of sand. Busy and bright arrangements can be really fun for some kids, but can overwhelm and discourage others. Simpler arrangements can be easier for kids who are still building their confidence with art.

Part #2

Paint it!

Or use chalk pastels, oil pastels, colored pencils, or crayons. You could even invite your kids to practice their photography skills, and take pictures of the still life from lots of different angles and perspectives. Remind them to use the viewfinder to crop their image in an interesting way. They can also think about lighting, and re-arrange the items as they work to find the best composition.

If they are painting or drawing it, they can try out different styles. If you've explored artists together and they are familiar with a few of the masters, they may think it's fun to do a Warhol version of the still life, then a Van Gogh version, and then paint it again in a Renaissance style.

If you want to do a little extra art history exploration, research Cezanne and his amazing still life paintings.

Paul Cezanne | Apples, Pears And Grapes | 1880

Mix it up, explore, get creative, and have fun!!

And, remember to post your masterpieces on Instagram using our hashtag– #arthisorykids

You can also connect with a growing group of homeschool moms and teachers in our amazing Facebook group! Come join us so we can grow our creativity together!