Valentine’s Day can be a big deal for your students, but some may not find it as exciting as others. You need to find a delicate balance to find an art project that all your students enjoy. Thankfully, that’s where we can come in to help.
If you need any Valentine’s Day inspiration for your middle school students, we’ve found 18 ways to involve your students in fun activities they can enjoy.
Textured Heart Paintings
Inspired by the artist Donna Downey, you can let your students work on their own textured heart paintings. You only need to scrunch a piece of white tissue paper and glue it to a page.
They can then paint it and rub contrasting oil pastels over it. Once they’ve done that, they can draw and paint a heart and add more black and white oil pastels to create the appearance of a shadow. It’s an interesting project and one we’re sure your middle schoolers will love.
Sunburst Heart Painting
Sunburst paintings are a perfect art project for middle schoolers that combines painting with math. It’s a fun way for students to utilize the left and right sides of their brains.
You can make lines spread out from a heart and combine various colors to appear as a sunburst. These are best colored with watercolor paints and can be an excellent way for your students to focus on coloring within their geometric lines.
Smeared hearts are a fun project for any middle schooler who wants to try a new activity. Compared to other heart-shaped projects, smeared hearts are made using a combination of different-sized hearts.
They need to outline each heart and smear each of their hearts to create a unique design with plenty of interesting visual effects. It can cover your Valentine’s Day lessons, and they can create their design to suit their own tastes too.
3D Art Projects
A popular choice for your students is a 3D art project, where they can design their own 3D heart. Create a shaded outline for your heart, and draw several lines in the background.
Then, join these lines from within the heart, so they appear to have 3D effects. Students can consider how they can do this project, and it allows them to focus on their techniques and how they use them.
Inspired by the artist Bridget Riley, this is a type of artwork that both boys and girls will appreciate. You only need a piece of paper, a pencil, and a black Sharpie.
You must trace your hand with your pencil and draw a heart between your thumb and index finger.
Then, draw your curved lines on your hand with your Sharpie, and do the same with your heart. As you curve each line, the better the 3D effect will be.
Stained Glass Heart Effect
While it is a simple project, you can combine Valentine’s Day with a geometric stained glass design.
You can use various shapes and colors in the background and see how they fit together in your design.
By experimenting with colors, you can see how your students showcase their emotions in their work and appreciate how they utilize their shapes to create their images.
Notan Heart Art
You only need paper, scissors, glue, and watercolor paint for this project. Notan is a Japanese concept that allows students to play with light and dark.
Students can cut out a paper heart and combine it with a watercolor background. Notan focuses on light and dark, but incorporating watercolor paint can add more color and textures to the artwork.
You also only need one half of a heart shape, so measure it on the paper, and cut it into pieces so your students can flip the shapes around to create their own unique hearts.
Your middle school students will appreciate the chance to make this XOXO-themed Valentine’s painting.
Your students can adjust the colors to their liking and use a ruler and a circular object to make their X and O shapes in opposing corners.
All you need to do is ensure your students have washi tape available to ensure their colors don’t leave the borders of each miniature portrait.
If you want a project that isn’t the usual heart-shaped Valentine project, this can be a great starting point to get inspired.
Mixed Media 3D Art
If you want a lesson where your students can experiment with mixed media, this 3D art project is perfect. For this project, you’ll need some heart-shaped pieces of paper, watercolor paint, and coarse salt.
Your students will be able to play with the texture of their product and create a design that works for them, and they’ll be able to have fun while doing their work too.
Jim Dine Valentine’s Project
Your middle school students will love experimenting with this art project inspired by Jim Dine’s The Handkerchief.
Using bleeding tissue paper, acrylic paint, chalk, and nu pastels, and you can blend the different colors around the heart.
It’s a fun project that can be done by all ages, but if you want a simple Valentine’s-themed lesson plan, this project could be perfect for your class.
Mosaic hearts are an exciting project allowing you to focus on shapes and watercolor texture. You can allow your students to immerse themselves in the values of their paint.
Once they have painted a strip of paper with different shades of watercolor paint, they can decorate their hearts with them by using two contrasting colors. It’s always interesting to see what your students will work with next.
Burton Morris Inspired Hearts
Burton Morris did various ad designs for companies like Coca-Cola, and he has a distinct style that all ages can appreciate.
Students can work on a project inspired by his composition and focus on their work’s symmetry. Your students can use any colors they like for their composition, and as this is a collage project, it’s best to focus on how each shape is placed.
Heart Painting On Canvas
There is a wide range of painting methods on canvas, but the most essential tools you need are acrylic paint, your hearts, and a tool to paint with.
If you don’t have Q-Tips or paint brushes, you can modify your artwork with cling wrap or an old credit card or voucher.
You can experiment with various techniques on canvas, and your students can have fun with the different painting techniques they have available.
Chris Riggs Inspired Heart Art
Chris Riggs is a modern artist who is known for layering his work. To emulate his work, you can use a cut-out collage, or some students may prefer to test their layers of paint.
You can also adjust this project for any time of year and allow your students to work with different shapes. This new way to enjoy a Valentine’s Day project offers a unique insight into modern art.
Jar Of Hearts
You could always try a new approach by allowing your students to create their own jar of hearts. Allow them to use pastels and watercolors to create their own individual jars.
This project allows students to showcase their individuality while sticking to a formula. Each student can utilize different techniques to color their work in their own style.
Chris Uphues And Dasic Fernandez Inspired Project
This Valentine’s inspired project is inspired by the work of artists Chris Uphues and Dasic Fernandez. Chris Uphues paints different facial expressions in his artwork.
Likewise, Dasic Fernandez works on beautiful drips that create an animated background. This combination can create a dynamic image that all your middle school students will want to get involved with.
Carla Bank Inspired Art
Carla Bank designed a portrait incorporating various patterns in and around a group of hearts. This pop art design can be a great way to experiment with patterns and contrasting colors and a fun group activity to see what your students can create.
Consider putting your students into a group to create different heart designs that showcase their individuality and have fun patterns.
Recycled Heart Project
You could work on a collaborative project for Valentine’s Day and use recycled materials to create a heart-shaped design.
Get your students to bring in different recycled materials and encourage them to make an individual portion of their design, then bring them all together until you have a heart-shaped collaboration that represents all of your students.
We hope that you’ve found these designs helpful and that you were able to draw inspiration from these inspired projects.
While Valentine’s day is fun to do projects, it can be difficult to involve all your students. If you want to intrigue all of them, it’s best to allow them to have their own individual works that they can use to turn their designs on their heads.
Please check out our other posts if you want more advice to keep your students engaged.
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