Featuring colorist Ronda Francis

Friday, September 11, 2015

Make a Picture Like Eric Carle ~ Kids Can Create a Picture Collage

The illustrations in The Very Hungry Caterpillar seem to capture the attention of almost every young child.

Simple yet complex, they are colorful and eye-catching.

Recreating the look is fun and easy for any child who is old enough to use a pair of scissors.

What you'll need:

Several sheets of white paper

One sheet of thicker white paper or board

Watercolor paints or markers

Paint brushes

White glue


First, decide what you are going to draw. Feel free to copy my bears, but if you want to draw mice, or bugs, or your family you can.

Then paint several colors of watercolor on the regular paper. The colors can overlap, they can be in patterns, white areas are fine...basically you can't make a mistake. 

To give the colors even more texture, after the first layer dries choose a different color and make lines or dots. Crinkling up another small sheet of paper or paper towel and dipping it in the paint will create nice textures when softly touched on top of another color.

Using your paintbrush for texture is fun too. When the paint is almost used up on the brush it feels a bit dry and breaks up into sections. Without wetting the brush, dip it into a color and lightly go over another color on the page for a cool lined effect.

I did one page of my first layer of paint in browns and blacks because I wanted to make some trees. To get the spots, dip the brush in black paint, then brush your finger so the paint is kind of flicked off onto the paper. If your brush is too soft, hold the brush over the paper and lightly tap the finger of your other hand so little speckles drop off onto your page. (This method can be a bit messier.)

After your pages have dried, begin cutting shapes.
For my picture, I needed three ovals, three circles, for the bears heads and bodies, three very long rectangles for tree trunks in brown, several shorty skinny rectangles for tree branches, and many leaves cut out from all the different colors I painted. I also made six little arms, six little legs, and six little ears, and one big oval in green that will be a patch of grass. I also cut out a butterfly from some of the scraps and some very long curved triangles for grass. (The butterfly is made from two B shapes.)

Please feel free to make your trees, leaves and bears ANY color you like. Don't feel limited to the edges of the paper--go out of the lines!

Now start to glue the pieces you cut any way you like. You can see within the cut out pieces how the white spaces, speckles, squiggles, and paint splashes all add to the texture and charm of the picture. You can copy mine or create your own. I hope I see some mice, cats, dogs, wolves, monkeys, or anything else you can think of.

Send me any of your completed work--I'd love to show it off here!

Have fun!!