Diego Rivera Painting Lesson


As a nod to our Around the World series: Mexico, we recently learned about Diego Rivera. He was a famous Mexican painter that lived from 1886-1957. Diego began painting when he was 3 after his twin brother passed away. His parents gave him the tools to create his art in the walls of their home, which no doubt made a big impact! He traveled a lot from age 10 and on to study his craft.

diegorivera1 Lorelai and I browsed different paintings by Rivera and decided upon Peasants for our project. I really liked the description of the painting under the photo: “This painting was originally produced on 1931. Rivera looked to represent the individuals of Mexico through painting, and in doing so, he captured the country’s essence. In the painting Peasants, the workers reflect Mexico’s culture, people, struggle, and even its social/political structure. In this way, the simple image of a peasant can be both specific and universal. Any daughter of industry or son of agriculture could look at that painting and see Mexico. By covering a deep yet simplistic meaning in his paintings, Rivera often unified his people through his art.”

diegorivera2 I ended up printing the picture of the painting so that Lorelai would have it in front of her — it’s much easier to “copycat” paint something if it’s right in front of you! I gave her a marker and she drew the horizon, 2 men and the shovel. She did a great job! Black, yellow, and orange were the only colors I gave her to work with, since those are the main colors in the photo. She mixed all three at one point to get the brown she needed for the shovel and shading on their pants.

Overall, she really enjoyed painting Diego Rivera’s Peasants. She liked the challenge of trying to mimic his brush strokes on the background. She was very proud of the end product.

I hope you get a chance to check out some of Diego Rivera’s work with your children. He has a lot of interesting pieces!

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