Art Projects for Teenagers

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Encouraging teenagers to create art can sometimes be challenging because teens are concerned about outcomes and having art projects fail. By creating fun art projects that have simple instructions and low expectations, teenagers feel comfortable expressing themselves and creating finished art pieces.

Photography Self-Portrait

  • Photographs have the ability to capture an emotion in just a moment. A photograph also has the ability to capture a moment that someone might not be aware of, showing his or her true personality.

    Have teenagers bring their own cameras or provide them with point-and-shoot cameras. Discuss the concept of a self-portrait with teenagers and how it doesn't just have to be a photograph of a face. They could shoot hands, feet or a body in action. Allow teenagers to take pictures in environments that best express their personalities, such as favorite places or doing favorite activities. Have teenagers select 10 photographs that best describe themselves. Display photographs as a series in a row and allow other teenagers to look at them.

Expressive Collage

  • A collage is an artwork using media such as paint, cut-out images from photographs and magazines, pencils, markers and oil pastels. Incorporating words into the collage is a way to directly express feelings and thoughts. Discuss the concept of collage with teenagers and have them select five words that describe themselves. Have teenagers create a short poem or descriptive paragraph using the words.

    Provide teenagers with magazines and other materials such as markers, pencils, glitter and feathers. Have teenagers look through magazines to find some or all of the words, along with images. Provide teenagers with large sheets of white paper and encourage them to layout words and images in an interesting design and adhere to paper with glue. Have them fill in blank areas with other materials.

Andy Warhol Portrait

  • Andy Warhol was an artist who created famous artwork from the 1940s until the 1980s. Warhol's style was different from other artists, and he incorporated icons of the time into his artwork, such as his famous portraits of Marilyn Monroe. Some of his artwork even became covers for popular record albums of the time. Warhol liked to use complementary colors, or colors opposite each other on the color wheel such as red and green, yellow and blue, and orange and purple, in his artwork. Have teenagers look at examples of Warhol's work and learn more about his life.

    Using his grid formation portraits of Marilyn Monroe for inspiration, have teenagers use photographs of their faces and print out a 5-inch by 7-inch image. Make four black and white photocopies of each photo and have them glue onto a rectangular length of paper that will fit all four photocopies. With Warhol's Monroe portrait as inspiration, use watercolor paints to paint over the top of photocopies. Encourage teenagers to use complementary colors, and make each image look different.

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