Filed in Book Reviews

Review: 50 Fantastic Ideas Inspired by Famous Artists

Main Details:
ISBN-13: 978-1472956842
ISBN-10: 1472956842
Authors: Judith Harries
Publisher: Featherstone
Published: 11 July 2019
Purchase: £10.99 from Bloomsbury

Summary: Easy to follow activity guides which link to a variety of different art skills and themes. Really looking forward to trying these activities in class.

About the Book:

50 Fantastic Ideas Inspired by Famous Artists uses well-known art as a visual inspiration to develop expressive art and design skills in the Early Years. It is much easier now to access art online and to bring inspirational pieces into a setting without having to buy postcards or visit an art gallery. Drawing on these readily available online sources, Judith Harries presents 50 ideas featuring a range of diverse artists from Lubaina Himid and Friedensreich Hundertwasser to Mary Delany and Picasso, and famous art including pop and street art, sculpture and portraiture.

Using art supplies easily found in and outside the classroom such as paints, clay, pipe cleaners and natural resources like leaves and flowers, the interactive activities found in this book are ideal for inspiring creativity and fun at the same time!


Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.

– Picasso

The introduction includes the above quote and discusses the process and outline of the activities in the book. It also includes a handy list of ‘useful resources’ linked to different areas such as drawing, sculpture and collage. The format of the ’50 fantastic ideas …” follows the same structure as previous titles in the series:

  1. What you need
  2. Top tips
  3. What to do
  4. Taking it forward
  5. What’s in it for the children?
  6. Health and safety
  7. (with the addition of) Meet the artist

There are activity ideas for drawing, portraits, still life, landscapes, abstract, shapes and patterns around the world, sculpture, collage, pop and street art and contemporary.

Sometimes we can fall into the trap of repeating some activities that have worked well in the past, but this book really does have some fantastic ideas (sorry!) about how different areas of art can be explored even if you are not as confident when it comes to teaching elements of art. These ideas could also be quite easily transferred to children higher up in school as well.

As I have bought this book only recently, I haven’t actually had a chance to try these activities in class yet. However, as soon as I do, I will edit this review to include some images of what we have created!

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