At-Home Art Activity
The Happy! exhibition at NSU Art Museum includes several works by Keith Haring, who was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1958 and lived and worked in New York until his death in 1990. Haring created hundreds of symbolic, graffiti-infused drawings, paintings and murals during his short lifetime. One of the pieces, Untitled (3 Eye Smiley Face), 1982, depicts a frequently used, recognizable image from his repertoire. He reportedly developed this image by accident when he left too much room between two eyes and decided to fill the gap by adding a third. Many have offered alternative meanings to this third eye. However, Haring felt the meaning of this image as well as many of his other iconic emblems should remain open for interpretation.
- Colored paper – Neon cardstock or construction paper
- Colored poster board – for larger finished images
- Scissors (to be used with adult supervision)
- Thick black markers or black crayons or black paint
- Paint brushes if you choose to use paint
- Covering for your work surface
Graffiti – Images or pictures drawn or painted on walls, buildings or train cars where they are not intended to be.
Inspiration for your Imagination
Keith Haring, Untitled (3 Eye Smiley Face), 1982. Enamel on sheet metal. Private Collection, Florida © Keith Haring Foundation
Always use a protective cover for your work surface. Several layers of newspaper, brown paper or a plastic tablecloth work well.
Select a sheet of colored paper or a poster board if you wish to work in a larger format.
Fold your paper lengthwise and carefully cut on the fold to create a long rectangular work surface on which to design your image. This step will create work similar in dimension to the work shown by Keith Haring. Keep in mind that you are the artist and may work on any size or dimension of paper you like.
Using pencil, draw simple facial features, including 3 eyes, on your choice of paper or poster board.
Choose your medium: marker, crayon or paint. Use your choice of medium to draw or paint over the pencil drawn facial features.
Allow work to dry if you used paint. An additional idea you may wish to use is make multiples of these iconic faces and display them together.
If colored paper is not available, white paper or cardboard may be used with an assortment of available color drawing mediums.
This project can easily be done outside with chalk on the sidewalk or driveway, keeping safely out of the way of traffic.
For younger children use very large paper or poster board and supply them with a selection of unbreakable objects to trace. Plastic containers, shoes or flip-flops and small toys are great shapes to trace to create an assortment of facial features.
*If you have any questions about these art activities please e-mail Sue at: [email protected]. Now in her garage making art!