I was looking for an interesting new artist to introduce students to instead of always turning to Jim Dine who is so well known for his heart paintings. What I found was the artist Romero Britto and the artwork above.
Britto uses a variety of patterns in the background of this piece and some of the designs use different shades of the same color. I thought this was an important aspect to touch on in the students' work. So using different shades of the same color in at least one of the patterns of each heart became part of the lesson criteria. In addition students had to use completely different patterns in each of their three hearts (no repeats at all). The individual hearts had to contain six patterns each for a total of 18 patterns (6 x 3 = 18 if you want throw a little math quiz in there).
Materials are simple enough: White paper, pencils, heart tracers, and markers. And you will need construction paper to mount the hearts onto.
It is best to break the hearts into segments with pencil, but then to do all the pattern making directly with black Sharpie markers before coloring in with water-based markers.