Paper Mache Cartons, Painting Day

These beautiful cartons started off as old plastic Model Magic containers two weeks ago. After two layers of paper mache, they were ready for some paint. I encouraged them to paint a solid background, and then add decorations on top. Next week they will add more lines with paint markers, and finally some Mod Podge to … Read More

Color Mixing Birdies

This is one of my ‘keeper” kinder projects, so much more fun than painting a boring color wheel. Give students wide sheet of paper as shown. Have them first trace a circle in the center, then one on the left and one on the right. They add beaks, eyes, wings, feet and tail as shown. Students … Read More

Oil Pastel Hearts

This project actually did triple duty last year: continued the student’s study of warm and cool colors, taught them about a Pop artist named Jim Dine, and provided a colorful picture that I think will work for our annual fundraiser with Original Works. 1. After viewing some of Jim Dine’s painting to see his style, students … Read More

Giant Cardboard Glasses

Look at all these adorable glasses made from some old Cheez it boxes. It took a bit of prep work, but I love the creativity that came out with them. • View and download Giant Glasses PDF template PREP: I cut cardboard rectangles, about 8″ x 3.25″, and traced the frame on each. The inside holes … Read More

Chinese New Year Mural 2016

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

Just in time for the Chinese New Year on Feb. 8th, the year of the monkey. You can purchase and download my PDF template for $5 and print as many murals as your heart desires. Please visit my PDF SHOP for more info.

Watercolor Jewels

Here’s what my Art Trading Card students did last week, a series of jewel shapes that were painted with watercolor and topped with glitter paint. I diagrammed on the board how to draw each jewel first, mostly starting with the inside shapes and then working out. I keep seeing that most students handle drawing straight lines … Read More

Save the Date for Art Retreat

posted in: Art Retreat | 0

I don’t know about you, but this is my idea of heaven. Working on art projects with new friends, eating gourmet food, while relaxing in an historic old house for one, long lazy weekend. That’s what will happen this summer during my 3rd annual Whitney Hill Art Retreat in Hickory Valley, TN, July 7-9. Stay tuned … Read More

Sophia’s Collage

posted in: artist Beardon, Collage | 0

This has to be one of my most favorite collages ever. Fourth graders were challenged to make a new person or animal by combining at least two magazine photos. Sophia was drawing a blank for most of the class, and then I turn around to see this. I just can’t get over how perfect it is, … Read More

I’m a Finalist!

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

I am thrilled to find I have been named a finalist in the Art of Ed Blog of the Year Contest. The Art of Ed, an amazing source for art teachers, holds this contest every year and the final voting process has just begun. If you would like to vote for me, just follow the link. … Read More

Finish the Wolf Face

When students have a photo to refer to, I think they are often pleasantly surprised at what they can draw. • View and download Wolf Face Template 1.  Students start by looking for the edges of the wolf head, nose and eyes and lightly sketch them in with a pencil. 2. Working in layers, students first … Read More

Martin Luther King Silhouette

Here’s a start to a MLK project that children can customize however they want. It begins with coffee filter, template and black Sharpie, and ends with an added message and watercolor paint. • View and download MLK Dream PDF template PREP: Press 9.5″ wide coffee filters with a steam iron. Print out a template for each … Read More

Martin Luther King Template

To support all the upcoming lessons about Martin Luther King, I’d like to offer this posterized letter size version of my MLK mural. It’s simplified into two shades, dark and light. I printed my sample out on a grey card stock, colored the darkest with a black marker, and the lighter with gray, and then the … Read More

George Washington Quarter

As a followup to the Penny Project, here is a template for making a George Washington Quarter. Just download the template below, trace onto a flattened coffee filter, and paint with gray watercolor paint. Try making a little darker gray paint and adding it to shadowy areas. Happy President’s Day! • View and download Quarter PDF … Read More

Matchbox with Mini Pom Poms

My afterschool Matchbox kids did a great job today, as they experimented with adding mini pom poms to their drawings. These two amazing 2nd graders, Rebecca and Violet, made them with both Hanukkah and Christmas in mind. Follow the link below to download the box templates and instructions. • View and download Matchbox Tutorial

Kinder Candle Cards

Making holiday cards with kinders may sound like a fairly simple task, until you factor in all the details. Is it doable with a wide range of abilities? Is it flexible for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or neither? Can students learn a new skill with it? And in the end, will it (hopefully) make a good looking … Read More

Penguin Art Show

posted in: Uncategorized | 3

OK, get ready for a little penguin art show. My students (grade K to 4) once again astounded me with what they can create with Model Magic. They just need a starting point and then they are off and running…

Mayflower Map

 Lately I’m finding benefits to creating some tracing projects. It requires focus (so the room gets really quiet!) and I think students find it soothing somehow. This was made by tracing a map onto tissue paper, and then adding info and coloring with watercolor paint. I love how the paint makes the paper wrinkle, just like … Read More

Map Tracing

posted in: Drawing, Painting | 2

I’ve found another use for my supply of dry wax paper, which is my staple for canvas portrait art. The paper is perfect for tracing, painting and crumbling, as in making “old” maps. Lots of possibilities for Columbus Day and Thanksgiving art projects. 1. A class was studying ancient Greece, so I googled for a line … Read More

Tree Hand

I love how this shows kids that lines can give dimension to their art. 1. The students first trace their hand on a piece of paper. When finished, they should make the tops of their fingers very pointy. 2. Vertical lines are drawn as shown. The more irregular they are, the better. When complete, the lines … Read More

How to Draw a Bike

I have come across students that are not interested in the least in drawing people or animals or flowers, etc. but could spend hours on buildings or machines. I think that’s an early indication of draftsman-type skills, which could lead to a career in architecture or product design. I think it’s good to offer drawing lessons … Read More

Bone Letters

You could make this a lesson about anatomy and what the different kinds of bones in your body look like – or you could just make some creepy looking name signs for Halloween. 1. Draw examples of some typical bones on the board. They generally look like sticks, but have large bumps on the end. I … Read More

Make Your Own Glitter Paint

I was happy to stumble across the joys of glitter watercolor paint this week with lots of Day of the Dead artwork, but sad to read that my supplier was discontinuing it. I had a McGyver moment though, and discovered how to make my own. I mixed this glitter paint found at Michaels and my liquid … Read More

A 2nd Paycheck for Haiti Teachers

posted in: Haiti | 0

Here are my friend’s nine teachers who work at his school in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Thanks to you all, they got their first paycheck last month, each $120. It was amazing, and I heard that they were skeptical that my Go Fund Me drive would actually work, and each was happily surprised when they got their money … Read More

Spiders from Santa Maria, CA

This is such a great extension of my posted spider project that I thought I’d share it again. It turns a symmetry exercise into a beautiful work of art. • View and download PDF Half Spider Template “I’ve done this project for the past 2 years when my 4th grade students were learning symmetry. This year … Read More

Halloween Shapes for Pre-K

posted in: Drawing, Kindergarten | 0

A Pre-K teacher at my school was looking for a fun way for her kids to practice drawing shapes, so I came up with this Halloween worksheet. Students are asked to copy the drawing in the box below, starting with the main square, circle, etc. I’m sharing my pdf, and would love to hear if this … Read More

Cubism Face Fun

Mix Frankenstein with computer illustrated eye drawings and kids can have fun making some very silly faces.  1. Those on a budget could use magazine eyes, but I had too many kids to chance that they could all find some, so I looked for another option online. I found a great set at Pycomall and bought … Read More

Silly Pumpkin Face Collage

posted in: 1st Grade, Halloween | 2

I love this idea of putting “people” teeth in a pumpkin, so whoever thought of it first is pretty genius. I’m using it this week for my kinders and first graders as it’s a great chance to learn about cutting on the fold. The head, mouth and eyes may be cut on folded paper to create … Read More

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