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Family Art Project: Create Your Favorite Book Characters

As a parent of two little kids (and a children's book author myself), we have an insane amount of books around the house. From a pile of library books to our own personal stash, we have literally hundreds of books scattered around the house right now!

One of my favorite part of the books are the unique characters they feature - Pete the Cat, Fly Guy, Mother Bruce, Curious George, Pig the Pug, and on and on. :) They are all adorable and unique in their own way - so we started an art project a few weeks ago to feature these cute characters and have been adding to our collection all quarantine. And now you can too!

If you are more visual you can watch the YouTube video our Creative Director and her kids as they create their artwork!



1. (CHILD) Dig through your library and pick out two of your favorite books!

2. (PARENT) Use a pencil and draw the character from each book onto a panel.

TIP: I like to draw the character large so it's mostly shoulders up like a portrait (easier to paint). And we usually do 2 boards each at a time, since there is drying time in between.

3. (CHILD) Choose 1 color for the background of the picture.

4. (PARENT) Squeeze a small amount of the color onto a paper plate and give a paintbrush to your child.

TIP: I do the color mixing as an activity together, but I control how much paint getting squeezed out. A little goes a long way! Ask them which colors mix together to make blue, for example.

5. (CHILD) Paint the background with your color.

6. (PARENT) While the first painting is drying, repeat Steps 3-5 for the second painting!

7. (CHILD) Next, paint the middle ground of your painting, like the fur on your animal or the skin color.

TIP: I teach the kids about layering a painting, starting with the background and working towards the foreground and face details as the last step.

8. (PARENT) Keep rotating back and forth with your paintings as they dry the layers, and take a dance break in between if the kids are getting antsy. It takes a lot of patience to paint in layers!

TIP: Explain that it is like "paint by numbers" and you can only paint one color at a time so it doesn't all get messy together. :)

9. (CHILD) After all the paintings are done let them dry for an hour or so. Way to go!!

10. (PARENT) Use the Sharpie permanent marker to outline the paintings and finalized the eye features. It really makes them POP and gives them that finished feeling!




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