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This was a project I quickly put together when our neighbors’ kids came over and wanted to hang out. I had each of the four kids select an image to use as a template for their Halloween silhouette art, and then we got to work creating some beautiful projects.
One thing I love about this project is how it makes use of negative space – or the space around and between the focal subject of the artwork.
As such, the images the kids selected are seen in silhouette. Nonetheless, they remain the focal point of the artwork.
This project also gave us a chance to talk about the colors of Halloween.
Orange is an obvious color because of Halloween’s association with pumpkins. But of course, there’s also black, green, purple, and also red that are commonly associated with Halloween.
Note: For more Halloween arts and crafts, see my Halloween Activities for Kids page.
To make these stunning Halloween silhouette art pieces, start by gathering the following materials:
- Black construction paper
- Tempera paint sticks (or oil pastels)
- Printer paper or cardstock
- Optional: painter’s tape
- Optional: Printable Halloween Outlines
Start by selecting the Halloween image you wish you to use in your artwork. My shop includes a selection of Halloween Outlines featuring bats, cats, pumpkins, and more that you can download for free to help you get started.
Print the image(s) you have selected and cut it out. (For younger kids, you may wish to print on cardstock rather than paper to make the image sturdier.)
Roll a bit of painter’s tape into a circle and attach it to the back of your image(s).
Then place your images into position on your black construction paper. Push down on the tape to ensure they remain in position.
Be sure to leave plenty of blank space around your images. If necessary, print the images at 70% or 80% of normal size by adjusting the settings in the print dialogue box.
Next, take a white stick of solid tempera paint. (We used our no-mess, quick drying Kwik Stix.) If you don’t have solid tempera paints, oil pastels should also work well.
For best effect, place your white paint stick on top of the Halloween image and draw lines radiating outward onto the black paper, as shown below.
I very purposely did not take the white paint all the way to the edge of the paper, but left a black border around the edge for visual effect.
Next, choose a selection of Halloween colors to layer over the white paint. (I like orange, purple and green!)
I suggest using the same technique of starting with the paint stick on the image and making lines that radiate outward onto the black paper.
The image below shows my daughter in action making her Halloween silhouette art. You will notice she didn’t do things the way I did.
See how she used squiggly lines instead of straight lines? See how she rarely radiated her colors outward from the pumpkin toward the edge of the black paper?
Some might say she did it “wrong.” But you know what? I am okay with it!
Art should be about PROCESS in addition to PRODUCT.
It’s okay if your child’s process is not exactly the same as yours.
Last but not least, carefully remove your Halloween image to reveal your Halloween silhouette art!
Here is how my bats turned out.
And here is how the kids’ artwork turned out.
Each of the four kids had a different approach to the work, and each finished piece has a unique style. I love it!
Want a copy of my Halloween Outlines to make your own silhouette art?
Add this free product to your cart by clicking the button below!
More Halloween resources
More Halloween posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Grow a candy jack-o-lantern
- Flying teabag ghosts
- Mason jar jack-o-lantern
- Candy experiments
- Halloween Montessori activities
- Toilet paper mummies
- Pumpkin decomposition experiment
- Describe a pumpkin using all five senses
- Jack-o-lantern Printables Pack