Ash Wednesday Art Project For Kids

If you are looking for a beautiful and fun art project for your kids that focuses on the season of Lent, then this mixed media portrait is a fantastic option!

Lent is a time for fasting, almsgiving, prayer, and repenting. Sometimes it can be difficult helping children to understand this important (and emotional) time of the liturgical season. I figured if I can help children understand it a little bit better through art, then that is something worth sharing!

Check out the video tutorial for this project below:


Psalms for Young Children by Marie-Helene Delval and Arno is a precious picture book that simplifies some of the Psalms so children can more easily understand and pairs them with gorgeous child-friendly illustrations. It’s a great book you can use for story time and turn it into family or bedtime prayers.

We focused on Psalm 51:12- A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me since it is commonly the Psalm sung during the Ash Wednesday Mass, and it’s such a beautiful prayer for Lent as we focus our hearts on preparing for Christ’s Passion, death & resurrection.


Here are the supplies we used:

  • 11″ x 15″ watercolor paper
  • White card stock for templates
  • Face & praying hands templates
  • 9″ x 12″ white heavyweight construction paper
  • Kwik Stix (paint sticks)- optional
  • Oil pastels (lime green, green, black, pink or red)
  • Violet liquid watercolor or pan watercolors
  • White school glue & scissors
  • Skin-toned washable marker or crayon
  • Large round paintbrush
  • Black chalk pastel or oil pastel


Here is how it all came together:

Download and print the templates for this project by clicking HERE or the image below:

After your templates are printed onto card stock and cut out, This is what you do:

  1. Using lime green and regular green oil pastels, draw palm branches on the watercolor paper (horizontal orientation) for the background. Press down hard. Construction paper crayons work too.

2. Paint over the oil pastel lines with violet liquid watercolor paint. The lines will show through the watercolor! *Oil pastels show up better than crayons.
Set aside to dry.

3. Trace the oval and praying hands using a crayon. Add two curved lines at the bottom of the oval for the neck. Then draw downward curved lines to the bottom of the paper for the shoulders.

4. Using a skin-toned washable marker or crayon, color the head, neck & hands.

5. Use Kwik Stix or oil pastels to color the shirt and hair. Then use oil pastels to draw facial features. Using a black chalk pastel (these smudge really well and mimic the feeling of getting ashes) or black oil pastel, draw and smudge a cross on the forehead.

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

6. Cut out the portrait and glue to the background to finish!

We’d love to hear how you enjoyed this project! Tag us on Instagram @littleholyhearts

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