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Banana Collage Art Project

January 19, 2012

The Bean's banana collage.

This year we’ve been focusing more on art than we have in the past. The Bean has always taken out-of-home art classes, and some have been better than others, but this year we’ve ramped up our homeschool art experience a notch or two. I credit Pinterest and School Arts magazine.

I found School Arts when I was on a magazine binge. I love the folks at Carus Publishing, and we subscribe to a few of their magazines (Cricket, Calliope, Cobblestone, and Odyssey … yikes, that seems like a lot, but The Bean devours every one of them so I believe they’re resources well used). Oddly enough, Carus doesn’t have a magazine devoted entirely to art. (If you know of a kids’ art magazine other than the classroom magazine published by Scholastic, PLEASE let me know.) Anyway, my kids love magazines, and I really wanted to bring the world of art to them in a way they would enjoy. So I started looking for kids’ art magazines.


Buddy drawing an abstract design inspired by School Arts magazine. You can see the project featured in the magazine in the foreground.

What I found was School Arts. It’s not for kids. It’s for art teachers. Um, THAT’S ME. That’s me even though I don’t think I have ever taken an art class in my life. I’ve decided not to let my abject lack of qualifications to be an art teacher get in the way of my teaching art.


Drawing the first of several abstract patterns. Note that she's created borders to give herself some boundaries.

School Arts has become the power source for our homeschool art program. Each issue has had projects for early childhood, elementary, middle school, and high school, with lots of information about how to do them, what to expect from the kids, how long they take, what supplies to use, how to use the supplies, and what outside information to share with the kids. I LOVE IT.

Which brings me to: the banana collage. Now, this is NOT a project from School Arts, but it is INSPIRED BY a project from School Arts. The actual project featured in the January issue of School Arts was done by 8th graders and was not a collage. The students drew all of their work directly onto the paper. I sensed that The Bean would find that frustrating. She’s been known to abandon art projects because of minor goofs. Also, the pressure to draw a colorful fruit or vegetable with some sense of realism in the middle of a bunch of other intricate designs was not something I wanted her (or me) to have to deal with.


The banana picture we used.

To make the project more Bean-friendly, I had her create several different designs with a Sharpie, draw the banana separately, and then create a collage using Mod Podge to glue and seal the pieces. (That way, if she didn’t like her banana, or a particular design, she could ditch the offending element rather than the whole project. Interestingly enough, she actually used all of the elements she created.)

To help her draw the banana, I took a picture of a banana in Instagram and applied the Lomo-fi filter, which is fairly contrasty. This turned the banana into a 2-D image and also made it easier for her to focus on where to shade and the different colors that are in the shadows. Taking a tip from the magazine, she colored the whole banana with marker first, to make it vibrant, then she added details with colored pencils.

I think the finished product is really cool and am looking forward to our next art project!


Cutting out the collage elements. She was really particular about this and even used tracing paper to help her get precise shapes.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 26, 2012 12:31 pm

    Thanks for the kind words! We love to hear how SchoolArts is being used!

    Nancy Walkup
    Editor, SchoolArts

  2. Amos permalink
    January 29, 2012 8:16 pm

    Another magazine is Arts & Activities ( The magazine is wonderful, the website has free lessons, ideas and resources, and the Facebook page ROCKS! has a lot of lesson plans that inspired readers. And, you might like this:

  3. February 2, 2012 4:46 pm

    Reblogged this on Bored Magazine and commented:
    I did this art project, and mom posted it. IT. IS. AWESOME!!!!!! I hope you think so to!

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