Try this color mixing art lesson this Fall with your kids. Start the project by reading Apple by Nikki McClure.


Apple Art Project


While searching for a literature tie-in for this lesson, I found Nikki McClure’s exquisite book Apple. The story takes on you in a visual journey of the life cycle of an apple; from apple picking time to composting and re-birth. The children had fun anticipating what would become of the bright red apple.

Here is my book review for APPLE

I read this book to my group of Kinders. They were absolutely enraptured. The Kindergarten teacher and I marveled at the simplicity and effectiveness of the vocabulary and images. Afterwards, we created a very simple apple art project that featured five art techniques:

  1. Tracing (holding an oil pastel)
  2. Cutting and pasting
  3. Painting with primary colors to achieve secondary colors
  4. Adding value
  5. Composition

What you’ll need:

  • 12″ x 18′ colored sulphite paper (background)
  • 12″ x 18″ white sulphite paper
  • Black and brown oil pastel
  • White chalk pastel
  • Cardboard apple template (you can draw through observation, too)
  • Palette of red, yellow and blue liquid tempera paints
  • Scissors and glue
  • Burlap or colored craft paper for the “tablecloth”

Try this cute apple drawing project with your kids then experiment with colors to paint your apples.

I used templates for this lesson as I have young kinders (4 and 5), but if you were doing this lesson with slightly older children, it might be more interesting if the children drew the apples using observation techniques.

Try this cute apple drawing project with your kids then experiment with colors to paint your apples.

After the childen have 3 apples on their paper, have them draw stems and leaves. Now comes the fun part: painting! I placed the tempera primary colors in a muffin-style palette and had the children paint one apple yellow. They used very little water and cleaned their brushes by sweeping the bristles over the placemat. Next, they dipped their paintbrush into the red paint and painted the second apple red. Now, without cleaning the brush, dip paint brush in yellow paint again and paint the third apple. The children will notice right away that the yellow and red on their brush creates orange. If they need more paint, they can add more yellow or red directly to the apple.

After cleaning their brush, they painted the leaves yellow, then dipped their paint brush into blue paint and painted directly over yellow leaves. Don’t worry about the stems for now.

Try this cute apple craft with your kids then experiment with colors to paint your apples.

Try this cute apple drawing project with your kids then experiment with colors to paint your apples.

In the next class, or once the apples are dry, cut out around the apples and set aside. Place some pre-cut burlap and some colored background paper on a table in the back of your art room. As the children finish cutting their apples, they can select a background paper and a piece of burlap. Glue burlap onto the paper first, and then arrange apples onto the burlap.

Try this cute apple drawing project with your kids then experiment with colors to paint your apples.

Once everything is glued to the background paper, the children can add the finishing touches: coloring the stems with brown oil pastels and adding chalk highlights. I showed the kids how to add a crescent moon shape to the top of their apples to create a shiny spot. They loved this!

My students apple art…Didn’t they do a lovely job?

Try this cute apple craft with your kids then experiment with colors to paint your apples.


What do you think?

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  • Elizabeth - Dream Painters

    A lovely project for littlies – so colorful, and it covers lots of skill areas. I really like the texture of the burlap.

  • Adrienne

    I did this lesson with my co-op preschool kids and the” lightbulb” turned on! New knowledge about primary colors and mixing primary colors was gained and I found it very fun! Very doable with modeling and specific instruction.

  • Gwen Curry

    Thanks yet again for a simple yet effective idea… Harvest Festival display sorted! My new class of year ones in Northumberland, England have yet to meet with Deep Space Sparkle fun and I’m so looking forward to repeating the lessons I tried out last year.

  • Jamie

    My K and 1st grader had such a fun time with this art project! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Terri

    What fabulous art projects!! THANK YOU for being so generous with your amazing talent!!!

  • Son


    I liked your idea re apple lesson. It’s great to share and send in ideas. Here’s what I did: I used the ‘apple’ theme for Fall topic. I didn’t find burlap but I got some harsh linen material very similar to burlap. It was pale yellow. I cut it in squares. Primary kids can do that by themselves, but I teach kids with special needs who do not have fine motor skills. Then I used the apple for the kids to feel – the smooth texture on the outside, and the grainy inside with the little pods inside. They also felt the material which was rough. Then we painted half an apple green, and the other half red using tempera paint. We then pressed these half apples onto the cut out squares. We added the seeds with black and a little twig on top, and you can add a leaf if you want to. We then sewed together the cloths and hung it on our notice board at school as a fall banner! Hope you like my idea.


  • Lynn

    We created these beautiful apples in my K class yesterday. It took two periods and they are stunning! within 5 minutes of them being displayed on a hallway bulletin board, a couple other teacher’s came to rave about them! Thanks so much for the inspiration from a very non-artsy teacher!

  • Ruth Newberry

    Can you tell me the author of the book you used. I can’t seem to find it just using the title 🙂

  • Ann Johnson

    Beautiful! I love the skills practice with such varied and bright results. Thank you for giving the sequence so they can experience the color-mixing right on the paper. I will give this a try with my after-school kinders.

  • Martha AngĂ©lica

    Me encanta!! Gracias!! Saludos desde MĂ©xico!!

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