Learn about Mexican art and culture with these Delightful Diego Rivera Art Projects for Kids, perfect to go with Frida Kahlo art lessons!
“The role of the artist is that of a soldier of the revolution.” ~ Diego Rivera
No parent has ever had all the walls of their home remain clean and spotless during the first 5-6 years of their child’s life. This is a truth of life, and it has remained undisputed through the centuries. Normally, we’d just sigh in exasperation and just hope this phase ends soon. Few of us would think that this is the beginning of an illustrious artistic career, but that could just happen, like it did with Mexican artist Diego Rivera!
At the age of three, little Diego began drawing on the walls of the house. His parents didn’t scold him; instead, they put up chalkboards and installed canvas on the walls so the boy could go ahead and draw to his heart’s content. His parents’ encouragement paid off, and by the age of ten, Diego Rivera was studying art in Mexico City!
Diego want on to study art in Spain and France, making friends with some great artists of the day. He was inspired by Pablo Picasso and Paul Cezanne, among others and began dabbling in Cubism. However, his heart remained in Mexico, and he returned to paint colorful stories about his country and the Mexican people.
Diego’s specialty was painting murals, large frescoes in particular. And they weren’t empty paintings – every one of them told a detailed story and featured lots of symbolism. Diego Rivera was a revolutionist at heart, and he never shied away from expressing his beliefs through his art. He was often asked to alter a painting or remove a caption, but he refused and stayed strong.
His work focuses a lot on the farmers of Mexico, and he shows their struggles and their livelihoods using bold colors and clean lines. In fact, his most popular work is shown at the national School of Agriculture in Mexico City. Diego Rivera was married to artist Frida Kahlo, and the two of them were the power couple of the art world.
8th December is the birthday of Diego Rivera and we think it’s the perfect time to learn about this immensely talented artist and all that he stood for. And what better way to learn about an artist than by creating art projects ourselves!
10 Delightful Diego Rivera Art Projects for Kids
This project by Woo Jr. is based on the painting ‘Flower Vendor’. Rivera painted many versions of people selling flowers, and this is one of the most popular ones. An interesting feature of this painting is that if you look carefully, you’ll find another person behind the flower seller, helping her with the basket.
Rivera loved painting scenes from the simple life of Mexican peasants, especially women and children. This project from Deep Space Sparkle is based on the painting, ‘Mother’s Helper’. Kids will enjoy the detail of a little girl helping her flower seller mother. Ask them questions about the child and what she’s doing.
Diego Rivera’s murals are what made him so popular, and he’s painted many across Mexico and the United States. Kid World Citizen gets inspired from a painting of Rivera’s, ‘The Flower Carrier’, and creates a collaborative mural project. Get siblings and cousins to come together and create this unique project.
The Laughing Zebra brings us an art lesson based on Diego Rivera’s last painting ‘The Watermelons’. Frida Kahlo’s last painting was also about watermelons, which the Mexicans associate with the Day of the Dead. In this painting, Rivera mixed sand with paint to get some added texture.
They say imitation is the best form of flattery, and this tutorial from Learn Create Love is an example of how much we admire Rivera’s work! As in this painting, most of Rivera’s depictions of farmers and other working class people are by showing them bent, as if they are constantly overburdened with poverty and struggle.
Art Prep has a chalk pastels art project for us, featuring the famous Rivera flower seller, with her basket of white lilies. Notice how the basket seems to be disproportionate to the size of the person, indicating how much the upper classes oppressed and overworked the farmers and those of the lower classes.
Magnolia Neighborhood Art Docent Program has another depiction of the famous Flower Seller, this time using a collage technique. Making the lilies separately and sticking them on individually gives a small idea of the painstaking detail the artist went into in painting each flower.
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera were far apart in age, and had quite a tumultuous relationship, but the two were inseparable, staying together till Frida died. Pear Mama celebrates this artist power couple with a Day of the Dead theme craft project.
Coloring pages are always great to start kids off on studying an artist, by getting in touch with a piece of his art. Get Drawings has free printable coloring pages you can use. This one is an illustration of the painting ‘La Piñata’, which is a great example of capturing action in a painting.
These Diego Rivera art projects for kids will encourage kids to ask many questions. Why are the faces of the people not clear? Why are the baskets so heavy? Why is everyone busy? You can use this to start a conversation on how hard farmers and others work, and how their rights were denied and it was revolutionists who brought this to everyone’s attention. Art is something with a lot of power, and Diego Rivera’s work is just one example of it!