How to Make Art Just Like Takashi Murakami

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Good morning. Today we are looking the wonderful, vibrant art of Takashi Murakami! It is such happy art and it is perfect for children (and adults!) to emulate – especially when we are studying flowers! 

About Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami is a Japanese artist that creates bold Pop Art, which often include colourful, smiling flowers! He became well known in the 1990s and is still making art and film today! 


Murakami has created a systematic method of making appealing art which has been influenced by  traditional Japanese painting, sci-fi, anime, and the commercial art market. 

He makes paintings, sculptures, and films which are populated by repeated motifs, colours and characters of his own creation. He now has a factory where his images are digitally created. Part of the reason for his digitalisation of images is to create the symmetrical and repeated patterns of images that are a huge part of Murakami’s aesthetic. 

Murakami also hosts and curates huge exhibitions for emerging artists to show that a mix of culture, art, media and fantasy can come together to create all kinds of new work! 

Colouring Pages

First up, I have some colouring pages for you – colouring can sometimes feel like a bit of a cop out, but it really isn’t! Colouring sheets can help us explore artist’s work without any pressure or expectation, and can be very therapeutic and enjoyable. 

Remember, when you are using colouring sheets, you don’t have to just use crayons or colouring pens, you can use water colours, acrylic paints, oil pastels, pastels…. you can use anything – they are just a starting point…

If you click the image, you will get the colouring sheets on a single page that you can print off! 

How to Make a Murakami Flower

Now, let’s have a go at making our own Murakami style flowers! You can just have a go at copying, or there are some more detailed instructions below! Have fun! 

Murakami Flower

The best way to have a go at making a Murakami style flower is to follow these steps: 

 

  1.  Find a circular object to draw around – maybe a mug, bowl, tape roll, or flower pot
  2. Draw around it in pencil first 
  3. Next, you could either draw freehand 12 petals around the flower centre, or you could make a template of the petal shape (above) and then draw around it. The easiest way is to draw the top, bottom and sides – the 12 o clock, 3, 6 and 9 o clock petals, then fill in the rest. 
  4. Now, for the face – draw two small ovals at the top of the middle circle. 
  5. Then you want to draw a big smiling face; the bottom line of the smile follows the line of the circle, the top line meets the two lines of the bottom, with just a slight upward curve. 
  6. When you have your drawing as you want it, you can use a black marker to go over the lines – a permanent marker or black crayon may work best. 
  7. Now you have your drawing, you can choose your medium to fill your colours – are you using paints, pens, pencils or something else?
  8. Choose your favourite colours, or use the rainbow!
  9. If you are using paints, you might have to mix different kinds of greens, yellows, blues and purples!  Don’t worry if you don’t find your perfect colours straight away, the fun is in the process of learning! 
  10. Remember, yellow and blue makes green, red and yellow makes orange, red and blue makes purple… try and mix different amounts of each and see all the different colours you can 
  11. EXTRA – Once you have mastered one flower, you could try filling a page with lots and lots of flowers. Is there a way you could make a print to replicate your flower quickly and easily like Murakami does in his factory? 

Lunchtime Viewing

Let’s look at some of Murakami’s other work in this psychedelic video that showcases his style… 

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Katherine is a mixed media artist, art teacher, writer, designer, photographer – and mum of 2 – who works and lives in North Devon, nestled in the woods on a little smallholding. She has a BA in Performance Studies, an MA in Fine Art, and an MFA in photography, alongside a background in early years childhood and special education. Katherine uses her artistic talents, passion for helping people, and unique creativity to create articles, courses and classes that promote creativity, artistic skills, self expression and well-being. She believes in the power of the creative arts and how engaging with them can improve so many aspects of life.
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