Beginning Basquiat Art Project for Kids

Jean-Michel Basquiat is a world famous neo-expressionist painter. He used lots of lines and color to create striking pieces. His unique style is unmistakable once you see it and he is one of my favorite artists! So together, let’s dive into this beginning Basquiat art project for kids.

Beginning Basquiat Art Project for Kids

For today’s project, we will explore neo-expressionism Basquiat-style. Much of Basquiat’s work is of human figures, so you can talk about the simple shapes that can represent human bodies. There’s a bit of geometry and also anatomy, as Basquiat’s figures sometimes look like you can see their skeletons as if you have X-ray vision.

Beginning Basquiat Art Supplies

You will need these supplies to make this Basquiat art project for kids:

  • Paper
  • Colored pencils in black and at least two or three other colors
  • Paint and brushes

Beginning Basquiat Art Project for Kids

You can start by drawing an oval for the head and some rectangular shapes that add up to the body of the figure. None of it has to be perfect. That is part of the style.

How to Draw Like Basquiat

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Next you can make the face and add some other elements. I added a simple crown because Basquiat’s paintings often have crowns.

Beginning Basquiat

After you have drawn your figure, follow along the figure with each of your other colors. I added skeletal elements, but if you worry that children might be frightened, you can just keep drawing around the original shape. Again, imperfect lines are a part of the style, so don’t let any perfectionism get in the way during this project!

You can also add fun elements, like the ovals you can see in the image below. This guy looks like he’s juggling!

Beginning Basquiat Art Project for Kids

After you have drawn you pieces, you can add your paint color. I used a craft acrylic paint and it was thin enough that the pencil still showed through.

I chose a second color because Basquiat’s used lots of bold and bright colors. For your own piece you can play with as many colors as you like. You can do a search and see that Basquiat sometimes just used a couple of colors. Sometimes he used all the colors!

Basquiat Kids Painting

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Once you have added your paint, you can fill in some elements, like adding some gold in the ovals.

In addition to being an amazing artist, Basquiat was also very outspoken about matters of social justice. You could encourage children to think about something important to them. Maybe they could write that on the piece. You can see that Basquiat did lots of writing on his work. Check out our Black History Month writing prompts for some ideas!

Now that you have the beginnings of Basquiat, explore and play! There’s lots of wonderful and interesting art to be made.

Basquiat Art Kids

You might also be interested in our Spring Poppies Step by Step Art Project for Teens!

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