One of the most beautiful and powerful devotions we have as Catholics is that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is celebrated on the Friday following the feast of Corpus Christi (Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ).
I’ve always been fascinated with the history of this devotion, and especially with Roman Catholic mystics like St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Children are also amazed when they hear the background of this devotion and Jesus appearing to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and telling her how he desired souls to have a special devotion to His Sacred Heart.
My intention with this project is to help children visually explore Christ’s Sacred Heart and help them participate in this deep reflection on the wounded heart of Jesus through prayer and His immense love for all of us.
This tutorial includes 2 options:
Option 1: Oil pastels and watercolor version for ages 4-8
Option 2: Black Sharpie and watercolor version for ages 9+ allowing for more advanced details
Be sure to grab the free PDF for this project that includes the supply list, template and printable prayer by clicking below:
Follow along with this video tutorial:
Here is what you need to create this project:
- 9″ x 12″ watercolor paper or white sulphite paper
- White card stock for heart template (included in download above)
- Oil pastels: black and brown (ages 4-8)
- Black Sharpie marker (ages 9+)
- Kwik Stix: metallic gold or gold liquid tempera paint
- Watercolor (liquid or pan)
- Large & medium round paint brushes
CREATE OPTION 1: AGES 4-8
If needed, take the heart template and trace with yellow paint. Sometimes kids can stress about not being able to paint or draw a heart large enough, so I just alleviate that for them by providing a template so they can move forward to the painting. But if you prefer to have them draw it on their own, go for it!
Using a brown or black oil pastel (or crayon), draw a horizontal line of X’s going across the heart for thorns. Press down hard so they stand out with the watercolor resist.
Add a cross above the heart. Start with straight vertical line going from the heart toward the top of the paper, but stop an inch or so before you get to the top. Add the second line of the cross. Color over it to make it thicker and bolder. You can even outline it with a black oil pastel to make it pop.
Paint the inside of the heart with red and pink, allowing them to blend together. Using the wet-on-wet watercolor technique is really fantastic here! Just start by painting the heart with plain water, then add drips of pink and red and watch them spread out over the paper. Paint right over the X marks. They will show through!
After the heart is painted, add yellow and orange wavy lines for the flame around the cross.
Once the paint has dried, outline the heart with a black oil pastel. Add a few more X’s for the thorns and some lines over the flame for contrast.
As an optional final step, take a gold metallic tempera paint stick and add some gold marks over the heart for a special shine! You can also use gold metallic liquid paint.
OPTION 2: AGES 9+
This is a wonderful option if you have older students or siblings that can handle more details! This is what we did:
Using a black Sharpie, draw a large heart on the watercolor paper leaving enough room at the top for a cross and flame. Encourage them to draw large so they have more to paint! Add some texture lines on the cross to make it look like wood. Then add some curved lines going around the heart to start the crown of thorns.
Add small triangles all along the curved lines to finish the thorns. Then follow the same steps as option 1 to paint.
A fun finishing touch for this project is adding some splatter marks to the art. Dip your brush into the red and/or pink and lightly tap the brush over the paper splatter the paint. Kids love this part!
I would love to hear how this Sacred Heart of Jesus for Kids project worked out for you. Feel free to comment below and let us know what you thought! Also, give us a shout out on Instagram and tag us using @littleholyhearts so we can celebrate you and your artists!