Magritte was an artist who painted regular people and objects – in a completely irregular style! Learn more about this cheeky artist with these 10 Rene Magritte Art Projects for Kids.
Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.
In fact, Magritte was friends with Dali, and their work inspired each other. Yet, Magritte’s work is a little more subtly surrealistic. You look at his painting and it has an overall normal imagery, yet, a few odd points stand out and make you a little unsettled – that’s the power of Magritte’s work. Take a look at this 1929 painting, ‘The Treachery of Images’, for instance:
What do you see? A pipe, of course. But right at the bottom, it says “This is not a pipe”. When asked, Magritte said, “Try filling some tobacco in this and see”. Well of course, this is just the picture of a pipe!
And that’s how most of Magritte’s work is. Born in a middle-class family in Belgium, Magritte was interested in learning art from a young age. He created illustrations for commercials and book covers for income, and became world famous only after his death. There have been numerous parodies of his work, some of which you’re sure to have come across.
With 21st November being his birthday, we think it’s the perfect time to introduce kids to this cheeky artist, who painted riddles and dreams. And we’ve got the perfect collection of Magritte Art Projects for Kids to get you started!
10 Rene Magritte Art Projects for Kids
This art project from Woo Jr. is based on the painting, ‘The Promise’. The project uses some good sponge painting techniques on canvas, the steps of which are explained in detail. The resulting work is remarkably similar to the original!
‘The False Mirror’ is a painting by Magritte that features a single eye, without lashes and with the sky inside the iris. The magic of this painting is that when you look at it, it’s like looking through a window, but at the same time, the eye is looking at you! Art Projects for Kids has a great project based on this painting, with the full tutorial available for download.
‘The Son of Man’ is probably Magritte’s most recognizable and most parodied work. It is a self-portrait, featuring a man whose face is obscured by an apple, suspended in mid-air. It makes you want to move the apple and see the man’s real face, and this is exactly the feeling Magritte wanted to show. 2 Soul Sisters have turned this into a cute project where kids can make their own self portraits, and let the apple be replaced by whatever they like. You might find some really interesting art work!
Magritte played a lot with positive and negative space in his work, further focusing on his ideas of ‘the mystery of what’s hidden’. Educational Toys for Children explores this concept in a simple project, of which your child can be the subject. Choose an interesting picture that’s also easy to cut, so the resulting art work is neater.
This is the story of a dog named Magritte who sees a bowler hat that changes everything. The illustrations are quite clever, including themes from Magritte’s paintings. Ask kids to point out anything that seems a little ‘out of place’ – and tell them that that’s Magritte!
This is a pretty big project, a collaborative one that’s more suited to a classroom, but it’s too awesome not to include in here! Cassie Stephens combines many of Magritte’s themes like surrealism, birds, clouds, positive and negative space, as well as the contrast of light and darkness. All in all, a project that’s 100% Magritte!
Repetition was a strong theme in Magritte’s work and is visible in ‘Golconda’, a painting based on a fort of the same name in Hyderabad, India. The painting shows many men dressed similarly, appearing to ‘rain’ from the sky. Yet, their clothes and things are intact, and their faces are actually different. That Artist Woman creates a similar effect with masking. Check out her detailed instructions on how to recreate this iconic painting the easy way. Don’t forget to set the cloud background first!
This is a great beginner lesson for kids learning about Magritte. Gather images or models of popular Magritte icons and arrange them inside a cardboard box for your very own Magritte gallery. Check out all the pictures at Extra Edu, for some really genius galleries!
Petit A Petit has a wonderful take on Magritte’s Golconda, with a cute creative art! You can do the full DIY to make the bowler hat on the T-shirt, but you can try it with a plain t-shirt too.
Yes, Halloween’s over, but there’s always a costume party, an art special at school or else – next Halloween! Pierce’s World shows you how easy it is. A generic suit and a bowler hat is all you need – and of course, the apple!
These Magritte art projects for kids should give them an insight into the artist’s work. Do show them the original paintings when starting any of the projects and talk about what they see and what they think the painter is hiding in the picture. It’s not just a way to get them to appreciate art, it’s also a lovely way to know their thoughts and feelings!