My kids love a good art project especially anything to do with paint. My go to paint is washable liquid watercolors. We were inspired by Love by Matt de la Peña (sent to us for review) to create watercolor silhouette love art. The art depicts an example of what love means to my kids. Beautiful watercolors are the backdrop for silhouettes of people and landscapes. I get commissions for purchases made through the affiliate links in this post.
Love by Matt de la Peña
Love is a book that will touch your heart. Matt de la Peña’s lyrical poem is set to Loren Long’s scenes from everyday life. Together they tell the story of what love is. We can find love in our parent’s voices, in a stranger’s kindness, in summer sprinklers, on the roof of a trailer, in a field, and even in a slice of burnt toast. Love is always with us.
This book doesn’t stray away from difficult moments in life either. In one scene, a family is gathered around a TV watching a news story while a little one stands on the stairs wondering why everyone is so concerned. Another scene is taken up by a large piano. A little boy crouches underneath being comforted by his dog. His dad is walking out of the room while his mom has her hands in her face.
And let’s not forget about self love. One two-page spread is filled with the face of a girl. The text reads, “And the face staring back in the bathroom mirror – this, too, is love.”
Throughout each page of Love, my kids and I talked about how each scene showed love. Most of pages were easy for them. They could point out the acts of kindness and compassion in the illustrations. They could see the love that was being shown. Other pages required an explanation and allowed us to talk about how there will always be people who love them no matter what the situation is.
Listen to Matt de la Peña and Loren Long discuss their new book in the video below.
Watercolor Silhouette Love Art for Kids
After reading Love, my kids and I talked about what makes them feel loved and things that they love. Today’s watercolor silhouette love art project showcases moments where they have felt or have shown love. My kids settled on spending time with family outside. We looked through our pictures and they chose some that they wanted to replicate in their art.
Aiden (age 8) chose a picture from our road trip to Yellowstone (with about 5,000 stops along the way). This picture was taken in Badlands National Park while we were fossil hunting.
Lily (almost 4) chose a picture where she is holding hands with Elon on a local trail that we visit often.
To get the photo sizes right for our watercolor paper, I created a Microsoft Word document with the same paper size (9×12 inches). I cropped the photos and sized them appropriately. Before printing, I changed my paper size back to 8.5×11 to make sure the photos would fit on my printer paper.
Next, Aiden and I cut out the people, trees, and rock formations. (Lily cut around the pictures.) I glued the pictures face down on black cardstock and then cut them out. (Glue stick worked well for this.)
We painted with liquid watercolors to create the background scenes.
Aiden added a tiny bit of salt to his sky. The salt will absorb the liquid watercolor. After drying and wiping away the salt, the end result is a few stringy clouds. He glued his silhouettes down and had his final piece of love art.
I tried to cut out a black silhouette of Lily and Elon holding hands. It just didn’t look right. Lily wanted to add the actual photo on her art anyway, so it worked out in the end. After the watercolor was dry, she glued on a silhouette tree and her photo.
Next, Lily painted a sun with a chalk paint pen. I held a circle cookie cutter while she colored in the middle. The, she added the sun rays. I asked her if she wanted to draw some little flowers on her art. I gave her paper to practice drawing. She grabbed a gold marker and drew some lines and scribbles. She said it was dirt and that’s what she wanted to add to her art. A dirt path would be a perfect addition, so I showed her how to add little lines to make the path. She adores this final piece of art.
Elon and I worked on the third piece of art together. He painted the yellow and green on the bottom. I painted the top, drew the tree, and added the silhouettes. This scene makes me feel love as I watch my children walk ahead of me on a hike. Lily is closely following Aiden – both with walking sticks in hand. Elon is running with his arm flailing around in typical toddler fashion. This is love.
What does love mean to you?
More Watercolor Art Projects
- Watercolor Ocean Art Inspired by Here We Are – Oliver Jeffers gave us the inspiration for our underwater scenes. Combine watercolors with drawings or stickers and this one is perfect for all ages.
- Penguin Painting for Toddlers inspired by Penguin and Pinecone by Salina Yoon. Masking tape, watercolors, salt, tempera paint, and orange string help to make these beautiful penguins.
- Valentine Hearts Bubble Painting – Explore the baking soda and vinegar reaction while painting hearts with watercolors.
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