3 Fun Art Lessons Inspired by Jim Dine

student work inspired by Jim Dine

Often in February we hit a sweet spot in the art room. Students have been exposed to a wide range of media, making it the perfect time to take their learning to the next level.

One artist I introduce during the month of February is Jim Dine. Dine is known for his paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints. His vivid, eye-catching work often includes hearts which is perfect with Valentine’s Day right around the corner. Many of my students fall in love with the blending and variety of colors he uses. All of this makes it easy to create lessons inspired by his work.

Take a look at these 3 lessons inspired by Jim Dine that will get your students inspired to create!

1. Printmaking with Hearts

student work inspired by Jim Dine

Printmaking is a favorite among students. Here you’ll teach your students about Jim Dine and expose them to the art of printmaking at the same time.


  • Examples of Jim Dine prints
  • Gelatin plates
  • Styrofoam for carving
  • Wood stylus
  • Acrylic paint
  • Printing ink
  • Texture materials (bubble wrap, texture sheets, etc.)


1. Introduce students to Jim Dine and show a variety of his prints.

2. Demonstrate the printmaking process you would like your students to use. You might try monoprints with gelatin plates or styrofoam relief printing. If you have older students, they could do block printing by carving into linoleum.

3. Let your students know they need to use a heart in their design, and give them time to sketch some ideas.

4. When student sketches are complete, set up printing stations for your students to create their art. If you feel they do not need to plan their design, students can get started creating right after the demonstration.

2. Mixed Media Lesson

student work inspired by Jim Dine

Inviting students to combine painting and collage is an exciting way to introduce students to the work of Jim Dine.


  • 8.5″ x 11″ scrapbook paper
  • 8.5″ x 11″ construction paper
  • 9″ x 12″ white drawing paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Watercolors


1. Have a class discussion about the artist, Jim Dine. Introduce the artist, and show at least three images of his work.

2. Remind your students what “mixed-media” means, and let them know the work they are creating will be inspired by Jim Dine.

3. Have students draw or paint with a variety of colors or paint with lots of blending on a sheet of white drawing paper.

4. While the painting dries, have students choose one sheet of construction paper or scrapbook paper that has designs on it. Have students draw and cut out a large heart on this paper.

5. When the painting is dry, have students glue the large heart in the center of their painting. If you want to give students more choice, allow students to cut out multiple hearts in a variety of sizes and add them to their painting.

3. Choice-Based Inspiration

student work inspired by Jim Dine

Students can make their own decisions when it comes to artmaking, but implementing a theme can be a fun way to inspire your students and expose them to a variety of artists.



1. Introduce students to a few facts and the work of Jim Dine. Share the works listed above with your students.

2. Once students view the works, ask them a few questions to get them thinking.

  • What type of medium do you think he uses in these works?
  • What theme do you notice in all of these pieces?
  • What differences do you see between the works?

3. Tell your students they will be creating a piece of work inspired by Jim Dine, and they will be able to choose their medium.

4. Give your students some time to sketch their ideas and let them begin creating. If your room is set up in centers, students should be able to flow easily to the center they would like to use in order to create their inspired piece.  If your students are used to a more traditional approach, show them where they can find the drawing, printing, collage, and sculpture supplies. You can even put certain supplies at tables and let them choose where to work.

5. The finished piece will probably take at least two to three class periods. Once students are finished, let them share their work with the class as well as how they were inspired by Jim Dine. Students will create a variety of work using different media choices which will enrich the conversation.

Take advantage of the season to incorporate this fun heart theme as you continue to build on students’ existing skills. The vivid colors, exciting media, and familiar shape will inspire students this time of year. No matter which lesson you choose, your students will have an enjoyable time creating art inspired by the artist, Jim Dine.

Do you teach lessons inspired by Jim Dine? If so, please share your images.

What other artists do you share to inspire your students’ work for Valentine’s Day?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Wynita Harmon

Wynita Harmon is AOEU’s Chair of Faculty Development and a former AOEU Writer and elementary school art educator.

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