These chalk pastel poppies are just gorgeous! I love how the bold red looks with the bright blue colors and adding in the black really makes the whole artwork pop. This project makes a wonderful Remembrance Day craft idea as well as an opportunity for kids to learn about Georgia O’Keeffe.
Pastels are so fun for kids to explore! Take a look at my collection of chalk pastel art for more creative ideas kids will love.
We used white glue and chalk pastels for this project. Using white glue and chalk pastels together is a fun technique that kids love! The glue acts as a resist to the pastels and gives the project some dimension.
For more ideas using chalk pastels and glue take a look at our easy Kandinsky art for kids with chalk pastels.
Check out this beautiful watercolor poppy art for another great poppy idea!
Learn about Georgia O’Keefe
This is a perfect project for kids to learn about Georgia O’Keefe and be inspired by her beautiful flower paintings!
Georgia O’Keefe painted her flower pictures big, so they didn’t always fit on the page. Some of her flower paintings even look abstract. She wanted people to see the flowers the way she saw them, to take notice of their beauty.
Have kids take a look at her artwork and notice how she really studied the flowers she was painting, using lots of detail and colors in the petals. How painting the flowers big, really made you take notice of the flower and all of the details.
She took her subject matter and showed it in a way that no one else was doing at the time.
Helpful Links about Georgia O’Keeffe
For more information about Georgia O’Keefe and her artwork, you can check out this page from Tate Kids.
You can also take a look at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum for more information on her life and art.
Here is a picture of one of her red poppy paintings for kids to look at.
This YouTube video gives some facts and talks about her artwork in a fun, kid-friendly way.
Books about Georgia O’Keefe
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There are so many great books kids can look at to learn about Georgia O’Keefe and her life and art!
My Name is Georgia by Jeanette Winter is one of our favorites and has beautiful illustrations!
Create your own chalk pastel poppies
- Black drawing paper, chalk pastel paper, cardstock or construction paper
- Plastic lid to help with poppy drawing (optional)
- White glue
- Chalk pastels
- Blending stick or q-tip (optional)
- Workable fixative (optional)
1. As they begin their flower art project, have kids look at some poppies (either real or in pictures) and notice the subtle color differences in the petals and in the center.
Children can draw out their poppies big on their paper, just like Georgia O’Keeffe. Using a plastic lid to help draw the center of the poppy, will make it easier for some kids.
We used black drawing paper for this project, which works great! We have also used black pastel paper and black cardstock. If you are doing this project in the classroom you could also try using construction paper.
2. Using white glue, trace the outline of your poppy drawing. This needs to completely dry before moving on to the next step.
We let our paper dry overnight. Make sure to lay the paper flat or the glue will run.
3. Have kids choose 2 shades of red to start. Fill in the flower petals with the red chalk pastels. Then use your fingers to blend the two colors together.
Some kids don’t like to use their fingers to blend, they can try using a q-tip or blending stick instead.
After they have blended in the petals, there could be quite a lot of pastel dust, take the paper outside to blow off the excess dust.
4. Add in some darker red shading and white highlights in the petals by layering your pastels on top. Kids can choose to blend these colors in or leave them without blending. Both will look great and make their artwork unique!
Blending and layering chalk pastels are great beginner techniques for kids, learn more about chalk pastel techniques for beginners here.
Kids will also love: Monet Water Lilies Art Project
5. Use grey and black to draw in the center of the poppy, again layering colors on top of each other. Blending these colors together will add some softness to the center of the flower.
Remember to blow off the dust every so often in an outside area.
6. Use black pastel to add in the black details on the petals. We carefully blended the black in for this step.
7. Finally, color in the background with bright blue pastels. This will really make your whole picture pop!
To keep your pastel drawing from smudging, you could spray your artwork with a workable fixative. This is just an option and not a necessary step. This step should be done by an adult in an outside area.
I love the bright colors in these chalk pastel poppies! These poppies make a great project to do for Remembrance Day and also for kids to learn about Georgia O’Keeffe and her artwork.
Tips for working with chalk pastels
Chalk pastels can be messy (but so fun!). There are a few things you can do to keep some of the mess contained:
- Put newspaper down on desks or tables
- Put your project on a tray or a shallow cardboard box which will keep most of the mess inside the tray
- You can try doing your project outside
- Have lots of paper towels handy
- Once you are done with your project, take it outside to gently blow or shake off the excess dust
- If you are using chalk pastels in the classroom and the kids are ready to take their artwork home, simply place the art between some newspaper to keep it from smudging and for easy transport.
More art projects kids will love
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Pin this chalk pastel art for later
- Black drawing paper, pastel paper, cardstock or construction paper
- Chalk pastels
- White glue
- Q-tip (optional)
- Plastic lid
- Blending stick (optional)
- Start by having kids look at Georgia O'Keeffe's art and learning a bit about her life. Take a look at the helpful links above for more information.
- Draw out a poppy with a pencil. Have kids think about drawing their poppy big on their paper, like Georgia O'Keeffe.
- Use white glue to trace the pencil drawing. The glue needs to dry completely before moving on to the next step. Keep the paper laying flat while it's drying.
- Take 2 shades of red and color in the poppy petals. Use your fingers, a q-tip or blending stick to blend the colors together.
- Use a darker shade of red to add in some darker areas to the petals. Kids can choose to blend this a bit, but it's not necessary.
- Add in some highlights with white chalk pastel.
- Color in the center by layering grey and black colors. These colors can be blended together slightly to add some softness to the center.
- Use black to add in some dark areas to the petals like in the photo above.
- Finally use bright blue pastels to color in the background.