A tutorial on how to to make a Keith Haring inspired picture by drawing bold figure outlines with very little detail. An alien figure’s body parts are drawn separately in outline. These are then attached to each other with split pins to create a moving, pose-able alien shape. This forms a versatile template to be drawn around to create multiple alien shape outlines which will form the main picture. The limbs can be repositioned to create different alien shapes or fixed to repeat the same design. The traced outlines are drawn onto different coloured paper or card. Typically bold colours used in Keith Haring’s style might include, green, pink, blue or yellow, but colour schemes can be varied to suit the individual. When the figures are cut out and positioned on the picture, which has no background, action or whizz lines can be added to emphasise the figures’ movements so that they appear to dance or shake. This activity would also complement simple figure drawing or shape cutting activities based on the work of artists such as Matisse. There is a brief animated reference to American graffiti artist Keith Haring, as well as some of his works, to set this in context and add an element of art history.

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Children could practise drawing round templates to replicate shapes and figures. They could make a figure with moving arms and legs using split pins for joints. Children could draw round the figure in different poses for different effects.