10 Magical Mary Blair Art Projects for Kids
Learn more about Mary Blair, the artist behind many Disney classics like Cinderella, with the help of some magical Mary Blair Art Projects for Kids!
“You get an education in school and in college. And then you start to work. and that’s when you learn!”
What’s common between the following: Cinderella, The Lady and the Tramp, Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland?
Of course, they’re all Disney movies and an integral part of our childhood, but there’s something else. They’re all movies that feature the work of American artist Mary Blair!
What you see in the image above is part of the many works of concept art Mary Blair created for Walt Disney’s Cinderella. Of course, modifications were made to the final version. Blair’s illustrations were a lot more angular, and her color styling is completely unique and different from other artists of her time.
But Mary Blair wasn’t always a part of Disney. She started off as an artist interested in watercolor, attending an art institute, marrying another artist and becoming a member of the California School of Watercolor. However, it was her association with Walt Disney that changed her life.
This association is so well known that much of Blair’s work is still used today. Even modern Disney animators reference the illustrations made by Blair when creating their own art, especially for Disney princesses. And it wasn’t just movies – Blair also designed some grand murals for Disney, which are now replicated across all the Disneyland parks in Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong.
If you were to ask your child if she’d like to know the person behind some iconic Disney art, she’s most certain to say yes! So let’s introduce kids to the person who made all our childhoods a little more magical through her art, with some simple and colorful Mary Blair art projects for kids.
10 Magical Mary Blair Art Projects for Kids
1. DIY Sticker Castle
Art Campla has an easy project that makes use of these bright shape stickers you can easily get in any craft store. Even if you don’t have stickers, it’s okay. Just punch or cut out shapes from craft paper and create a beautiful castle a la Mary Blair!
2. Mary Blair Abstract Art
How pretty is this abstract art from Deep Space Sparkle? They have all the instructions to make this very Disney-like work of art. The kids will have fun spotting all the different shapes inside it.
3. It’s a Small World Block Sculpture
Got a lot of baby’s wooden blocks that no one uses anymore? Then this wooden ‘sculpture’ from A Waltz through Disney is a must try! Just paint on a clock face to replicate Blair’s famous work at Disney.
4. Blair-inspired Painted Bag
Cassie Stephens has recreated Mary Blair’s artwork in this gorgeous DIY! If you think this is a tad too complicated, you can go for a simpler design of Blair’s and then work on it. A plain Canvas tote would make a great surface to paint!
5. Blair’s Fantasy Castles
Disney is all about fantasy, and that’s what’s so magical about Blair’s work! Paintbrush Rocket shows us how to make a fantasy castle that is based on Blair’s art, but the kids can feel free to add their own details and paint using the materials they like.
6. Pocket Full of Colors
This book by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville is a great way to introduce kids to Blair, and the gorgeous illustrations by Brigette Barrager make it a sight for sore eyes!
7. It’s a Small World Art Project
This is a great project for preschoolers to make with those ready to use shapes packets you get in craft stores. Check out how they’ve done it at Learn Play Read. You can also cut out shapes if you can’t find the ready to use packs.
8. Small World Hoop Ornament
With the holiday season approaching, it’s time to make your own ornaments, and Disney Style has just the one for us! This one is inspired by the clock face on Mary Blair’s art and would make a great gift for a Disney fan!
9. Mary Blair-inspired Building Blocks
Merryweather’s Cottage has an idea for a Blair fantasy castle that you can mix and match as you wish! Just paint a bunch of wooden blocks in a Blair-inspired fashion and put together your own Disney world art!
10. DIY Mary Blair-inspired Pot
Got a boring planter you’ve been meaning to paint? Check out this idea from Cozy Reverie and do it Mary Blair-style! We love the colors used here and think a row of them would look wonderful.
Mary Blair had to struggle a bit to get recognition, since a lot of her art was initially rejected by most of the men in the company even though Walt Disney himself loved it. Her life is a lesson that your talent will eventually trump everything else, and these art projects should remind us of that!