Sharpie Marker Leaf

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One of my favorite combos is Sharpie Brush Markers and mini canvases. You just can’t beat the color and precision that you can get with these. 1. Follow my “How to Draw a Maple Leaf” to draw one in pencil on a mini canvas. Trace it with a black Brush Sharpie Marker. If you haven’t tried … Read More

Circle Pastel Sun

If I’ve learned one thing about oil pastels, it’s that the best results come from working with very simple shapes. They also allow for more experimenting with layering, which most students tend to overlook. And when that happens, all the lovely possibilities of overlapping colors are lost.

Self Portraits on Display

Here’s my canvas project from last year, finally on display at the local library in Studio City, CA. Each 18″ x 36″ canvas has self portraits from an entire grade level, representing kinder through 5th grade. It’s funny that it started off as a project with another destination in mind, but now seems custom made for … Read More

New Strathmore Cover Art

I had a chance to collaborate recently with the marketing department at Strathmore Paper, and really enjoyed developing this cover artwork for a new product that will be released in the fall. It’s a wonderfully thick, crisp black pad of paper that is perfect for dried glue and pastel projects. No more curly grayish construction paper, … Read More

Coffee Filter Flags

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I wanted to make my art room more festive, but couldn’t bring myself to buy those plastic streamers. My solution? Homemade painted coffee filter flags instead. 1. Dampen a stack of coffee filters with water and let dry flat. 2. Use a paper cutter to chop a lot of triangles. 3. Sew triangles with a zig … Read More

Art Camp, Day One

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My Art Camp is starting in just a few days, and so I’d like to share my plan for the first day. This image, by the way, which I love, comes from someone who posted it at theodysseyonline. I can’t wait to try it with my kids as they just need to tape a googly eye … Read More

Mission Paper Giveaway Contest

posted in: Drawing, Uncategorized | 0

For all the CA Mission Drawing teachers out there, here’s a chance to win some of the brown paper that I make myself for my students. It’s 12″ x 18″ Tru-Ray Pacon paper that is run through my Epson printer to add a light grid. It works wonders for aiding with architectural details, and the white … Read More

“Pizza, Pizza” for Art Storage

If you missed my post about this last year, here is my favorite way to help kinder teachers store their student’s artwork. They are 14″ pizza boxes that a local pizzeria donates in flat bundles. I like to fold them with the logos inside so students can decorate the blank exterior, but either way, they work … Read More

Delaunay Circles

Sonia Delaunay was the first living female artist to have a retrospective exhibition at the Louvre in 1964. My goal was to have students imitate her use of repeating shapes and colors so they could see the rhythm that is created. 1. Using circle templates, or misc. round shapes, students first draw two different sized circles … Read More

Draw an Abstract Self-Portrait

Here is an older student adaptation of my popular Abstract Face project. It still has simple features that fill the face, but allows for some personalization with hair. I think it might make a good early self portrait project for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders as it bypasses all the fussy eye and mouth details that … Read More

Juggling Balls

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My mini art camp is just two weeks away, and I’m looking forward to trying some more outdoorsy things like these balls made from balloons and sand. 1. I used 9″ balloons and a funnel to fill them with sand. I think 12″ balloons would work great too. It takes some pulling and shaking to fill … Read More

My Top Three Apps

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Here are two apps that I use almost every day, and a new one that I am keeping my eye on. The Cash app has turned out to be a great option for my after school parents. No more worries about sending their kids to school with cash, or writing checks, which seem a little old-fashioned … Read More

Top Two New Health Habits

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I know most people make resolutions at the first of the year, but for me, summer break is a great time to regroup and start new habits. I’m currently really enjoying these two, my new Fitbit Activity Tracker and Verve, my new healthy replacement for that extra cup of coffee, and dare I say it, occasional … Read More

Top Three Organizing Ideas

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After years of teaching, I’ve found that a (pretty) organized room lets you enjoy the process, and one in disarray makes for a very long day. It’s no fun. But solutions that may work for school are not always the best for home. For instance, I now store everything I can in clear containers at school, … Read More

Top Three Books I’m Reading

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Well, technically books I’m reading AND listening to, to be specific. “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” helped me tackle some long-avoided clutter problems, “10% Happier” will make anyone look at the art of meditation in a brand new way, and “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” is just stuffed with marketing insights for anyone working with … Read More

Top Three Art Supplies

I’m continuing my “Top Three” posts this week, and am moving on to art supplies. If I could only choose 3, these are the ones I love and feel confident would bring great results, for any age. Dick Blick Liquid Watercolors never fail in their color, the Twistable Crayola Crayons are a treat for kids, and … Read More

Art of Education Summer 2015 Conference

Yesterday was finally the big day for the online AOE Summer 2015 Online Conference. After looking forward to watching it live, I was happy to have the alternative of an after hours pass as an old friend unexpectedly came to town that same day. I’ve watched a few sessions already, and so far really love “Secrets … Read More

Lunch at Whitney Hill

posted in: Art Retreat | 0

For the curious, here is a sample of what Regina of Whitney Hills Estate serves for lunch, which her Art Class guests enjoyed last week. The food is home cooked and amazing, as well as her table decor. If you live in the area and need a place for a luncheon, her place and services cannot … Read More

Whitney Hill Art Classes

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Last week I was lucky enough to spend two days with some wonderful and talented ladies in Hickory Valley, TN. They came from near and far to learn a few of my favorite art projects, and also bask in the comforts of Whitney Hill Estates. A few of their completed projects are shown here in clockwise … Read More

Abstract Face Tutorial

Many children have a natural tendency to draw small, so I like to direct them in simple shapes that must touch the sides of the paper. I’ve used this drawing with tempera paint, but thought I’d also post a watercolor version that includes colorful crayon lines and patterns. • View and download Abstract Face Tutorial   … Read More

NEW! Mini Master Murals 2

This Mini Mural Set consists of three smaller versions of these popular murals: “Sunflowers” by Van Gogh, “Red Room” by Matisse, and “Tree of LIfe” by Klimt. FINISHED DIMENSIONS: • Sunflowers: 23″ x 31″ • Red Room: 31″ x 24″ • Tree of Life: 30″ x 30″ To purchase and download for just $5, visit My … Read More

Camouflaged Hands

Here’s an idea I tried awhile back when students were learning about camouflage. I loved that they had a chance to be fully immersed in their art, messy hands and all. PREP: Tape a sheet of white paper to a larger piece of corrugated cardboard. 1. Students choose one tempera color and cover their entire paper. … Read More

Mona Lisa Coffee Filter Portrait

It’s possible to make really brilliantly colored paintings without expensive watercolor paper. Start with liquid watercolor paints, and paint on coffee filters, which hold the color amazingly well. 1. Print out one Mona Lisa template for every student. Iron 9″ coffee filters to make them flat. Tape one to the front of each face. Trace and … Read More

Salvador Dali Mural Preview

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Salvador Dali, famous for his role in surrealistic art, made several elephant paintings that to me, epitomize the definition of “real, yet unreal”. His original versions have a lot of open space, and are actually still under copyright, so I made a kid-friendly version. I think it still conveys the strange idea of having a very … Read More

Art Classes in Tennessee

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If you live near Hickory Valley, TN and love to make art, I’ll be sharing my favorite projects at Whitney Hill Estate, July 10 and July 11th. Come one or two days, a delicious home cooked lunch is included. Learn how to make the projects that have helped my website, Art Projects for Kids, collect over … Read More

NEW! Draw More Animals 2 eBook

Just posted to My PDF Shop, my latest How to Draw ebook. In it you’ll find diagrams on how to draw an Armadillo, Baby Chick, Bald Eagle, Bird on Cat, Bunnies, Big and Little, Chickadee Bird, Dolphin, Easter Bunny, Elephant, Fox Sideways, Giraffe Face, Goose, Hippo, Horse, Cartoon, Kangaroo, Koala, Lab Puppy, Lion, Pig, Polar Bear, … Read More

Planning an Art Camp, Day 3

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It’s never too soon to inform parents about camp plans, if fact I wish I had made mine before school let out. Not to worry, long ago I started using Mail Chimp for my electronic newsletters, so I have a data base all ready to go. It did take a little time to set up the … Read More

Happy Father’s Day!

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Here’s a combo photo / painting that I made of my amazing dad a few years ago. It’s from his farming days in in rural Indiana, where I was fortunate enough to grow up. The funny thing is that it seemed a rather ordinary life at the time, but only now do I know what a … Read More

Planning an Art Camp, Day 2

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Today I focused on making a flyer for my art camp, which meant choosing projects and assigning them to certain days. I know that if I open camp up to single day enrollments, parents and children are going to want to know what to expect. I’ve started by choosing one 2D and one 3D project for … Read More

Nelson Mandela Mural

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Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa in 1994, serving until 1999. A symbol of global peacemaking, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. I made this mural to honor his incredible life and accomplishments. To purchase this PDF template for just $5, please visit My PDF Shop.

Planning an Art Camp, Day 1

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I’ve decided to venture into the land of Art Camps for the first time this summer, but in the most manageable way possible. I’m going to hold one in my art room at my school, but just for one week, and during the morning (9am-12) only. I thought that some readers might like to know how … Read More

Art of Education Summer Conference

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I did it, I made a commitment to learning more about all things art teacher related! I’m registered for the online Art of Education Summer Conference that takes place on July 16th. It sounds like it’s packed full of info and goodies, and I can’t wait to just sit back in my computer chair and take … Read More

Draw Lady Liberty’s Portrait

I’ve used this approach for drawing and painting the Statue of Liberty for years, and even kinders amaze me with how well they do. Just make sure to start with the guide lines shown on the tutorial, as they help keep the head in scale to the page. I also pre-mix the liquid turquoise color as … Read More

NEW Patterned Hands Project

If your students enjoyed my Warm Hands project, then they probably will like this one too. My pdf file includes the lined background paper for both the horizontal and vertical versions, and lots sample patterns so they can break away from the usual hearts, stars, etc. They also have a choice in coloring positive or negative … Read More

Art Retreat Approaches, July 9–12

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If you’d like to learn about my latest new art projects, while relaxing in the southern charm of the lovely Whitney Hill Estates in western Tennessee, then sign up now for the second annual retreat on July 9-12, 2015. We’ll be playing with paper mache, drawing, painting, making paper sculptures and much, much more. Click HERE … Read More

2nd Annual Art Retreat Approaches, July 9–12

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July 9th is getting closer, but it’s not too late to reserve a spot in my weekend art retreat in western Tennessee. I’ll be bringing dozens of my favorite art projects and Regina, owner of Whitney Hill Estate, will be cooking up a storm for all the lucky guests. Her beautiful, historic B&B is one of … Read More

More Canvas Journals

These journals are turning into one of my favorite projects. I’m loving how freely the kids paint when given one long piece of canvas instead of designing the front and back separately. CLASS ONE: Cut unstretched canvas into 8″ x 20″ rectangles. Students paint the primed side with one acrylic color, and then add patterns on … Read More

Haiti Artists are on their way!

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My school started fundraising for an Art Teacher Exchange late last year, and our special guests are about to arrive. Here they are in the Miami airport, waiting for their flight to LAX tonight. The three artists are with a group called the Atis Rezistans, and work out of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. They also just happen to … Read More

Dutch Windmills

This amazing idea comes from Dream, Draw, Create. An uncoated paper plate takes the watercolor really well, and the border makes for an instant frame. My sample is drawn in pencil, traced with a marker, and then painted with watercolors. With all the multicultural projects goring on at my school right now, I may find more … Read More

Foil and Sharpie Suns

posted in: Markers, Misc crafts | 0

If you’re looking for something different, but don’t want extra prep work, try having students drawing on aluminum foil sheets that are glued (with a glue stick) to a paper plate. The circle shape is built in, and the Sharpie color on foil never ceases to amaze. Especially when rainbows are involved, like Talia’s.

2nd Annual Art Retreat, July 9–12

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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 2nd annual Whitney Hill Art Retreat in Hickory Valley, TN, July 9-12. If you … Read More

Starting Paper Mache Ice Cream Cones

Time for one last paper mache project after school. Here’s a photo that explains how these ice cream cones are started. The flower pots from Michaels (about $1) offer a great heavy base so tall cones don’t fall over. Aluminum foil sheets are wrapped (about 5 per scoop) to make balls that can be stacked as … Read More

Another Model Magic Pizza

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From last week’s Model Magic class, here is what a 4th grader created. Lily was pretty clever with her pepperoni as she just used a Sharpie marker to make the little black dots. Smart girl!

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