Eric Carle is known for creating many vibrant creatures for children’s books. You’ve probably heard of some of his creations, such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar or the The Very Busy Spider.
Eric Carle employed a unique artistic process that he happily shared with other aspiring illustrators. At Kaleidoscope, we recently held a Symposium with children and their parents, learning about and then emulating the art of Eric Carle. If you would like to try this at home or in your classroom, follow the steps below.
Creating an Eric Carle creature takes four steps: paint, design, cut, glue.
Paper (preferable card stock/thicker paper)
In this stage, let loose and have fun by filling your paper with colors and textures. Almost anything in your house can be used to give you texture–anything you don’t mind getting paint on, of course. For example, a crumpled paper bag from the recycling bin or leaf from the yard can add interesting textures to the wet paint.
In my project, I used cut and torn cardboard and paint brushes. To keep the painting from getting too muddled and brown, use just 2 or 3 colors. Because the paint will take a few hours to dry completely, plan ahead accordingly.
Here’s where you let your imagination run wild! Eric Carle made many animals you can take inspiration from, or you can create your own creature. Begin with a rough sketch of your design. Take note of the shapes that make up your design.
Lightly trace shapes from your design onto the back of your dried painted paper to cut.
Arrange the pieces of cut paper. Once you have them configured the way you would like, dab glue on the back and press them onto the paper. After gluing, details like googly eyes and fur marks with colored pencils are optional. If you don’t have googly eyes, you can make your own eyes with paper or drawing them on.
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