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Jim Dine inspired Heart Art

This heart project is inspired by Jim Dine, an American artist who is still alive and working today. He has created all different kinds of art (he's been working for over sixty years!) and hearts have been a symbol he has experimented with numerous times. He has said that the heart is "a universal symbol that I could paint onto... It is a kind of landscape and within that landscape I could grow anything, and I think I did." The heart became a place to experiment creatively for him and that idea has inspired this project too.

Jim Dine, Cottonwood Darkness, 2014

I recently came across some of his heart art that had incredible color and texture. I discovered they were made with paint and sand and charcoal - so of course it had a great texture! We wanted to achieve a similar feel so we grabbed some sand paper to work on. Then we used some water soluble oil pastels (they need to be water soluble to get a good blending texture), and water to create our hearts.


- Sandpaper (fine grit)

- Water soluble oil pastels

- Paintbrush + water

This project is pretty simple and really fun to experiment with, there are so many great new textures to work with. Cut up some small pieces of sandpaper to experiment on first before you start on your final piece. First color on the sandpaper with the oil pastels and then use the paintbrush (dipped only in water) to paint on top of oil pastels. What happens?

Then work on your final piece. Use a mixture of colors, draw a big heart in the center and layer colors, starting with the lighter colors and add the darker colors last.

You could also make smaller versions, glue some plain paper on the back and make a valentine card for someone you love!

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