Art Inspired by the Book, Where Oliver Fits

Children’s books has always been one of my favorite sources of inspiration for art projects and was a big part of my art curriculum when I used to teach.

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We recently picked up the book, Where Oliver Fits by Cale Atkinson, from our local library and I fell in love with it immediately. It’s a wonderful book about a puzzle piece trying to find its way and to fit in but, ultimately, discovers that he can stay true to himself. I love this message and knew that it would be a perfect book for a coordinating art activity.


We made these mixed media collages with the following materials:

See our steps below.


1) We started by painting our puzzle pieces with tempera. *Tip- we painted the backs of the pieces, rather than the slick side. Also, mix in a little white paint with your colors to make them more opaque and show up on the brown cardboard.


2) While our puzzle pieces dried, we painted our wood pieces with liquid watercolor. The dry wood absorbs the watercolor quickly and looks great when it soaks in.



3) When our wood was dry, we added a layer of designs with firm chalk pastels. I like to use this kind when I want to avoid the chalk dust and smudging like regular chalk pastels.


4) Our final step was adding our puzzle pieces, along with some pony beads for added decoration.




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