Kandinsky Circles with Oil Pastels

Kandinsky pretty much invented abstract art back in the early 1900’s. His “Study of Abstract Squares” is a fun and easy painting to imitate. Encourage students to lay in on thick, so they will have lots of rich colors. MATERIALS • Multimedia paper, 9″ x 12″ • Oil pastels (I recommend Portfolio brand) DIRECTIONS 1. Start … Read More

Collaborative Hearts on Canvas

Looking for a collaborative project that creates a colorful, finished work of art? Try my favorite combo of Sharpies on dry wax paper, decoupaged to a stretched canvas and you are guaranteed some pretty amazing results. Sharpies make the color super bright, and the dry wax paper will hug the canvas in a way that nothing … Read More

Mini Canvas Art

I brought back one of my favorites, mini canvas art, for an after school class today. Mini canvases, brush Sharpies and homemade craft stick easels. My lesson was about making art with letters, so they just drew their first initial in block form and decorated it with lots of patterns. A nice, simple way to make … Read More

Cake Sculpture, Miniature Style

Here’s an easy way to make a very yummy looking cake sculpture, thanks to all the great food-looking colors that Model Magic comes in. Their natural set makes a perfect chocolate and caramel, and the white looks like whipped cream every time. Need one more reason? Math is involved when circles are cut into quarters. Fractions … Read More

Maple Leaf Drawing, Kandinsky Style

Here’s a maple leaf drawing idea that uses colors, Kandinsky-style. Kandinsky was one of the first artists to make abstract paintings that celebrated ideas as simple as rings of color. I followed my Maple leaf drawing lesson seen in the diagram below and then used some new Prang crayons for the vivid color. They really do … Read More

Klimt Patterns

Gustav Klimt was an Austrian painter who often used gold leaf to make his elaborately patterned paintings, as in “Adele Bloch-Bauer’s Portrait.” One way for students the appreciate all the patterns is to imitate the look just using lines. • View and download Adele Head Template MATERIALS • Color print of Adele Head Template • Black … Read More

Modigliani Self Portrait

This Modigliani self portrait project seems to work surprisingly well every time I try it. Something about the distortion frees students up from getting overly fussy, and thick pastels are the perfect media for imitating Modigliani’s rich dark look. MATERIALS • Black construction paper, 18″ x 24″ • Oil pastels DIRECTIONS 1. Cut the paper to … Read More

NEW! Frida Kahlo Mural

posted in: artist Frida Kahlo | 0

In honor of the amazing Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo, I have created a new color-by-number posterized mural that is now up for sale in my PDF Shop. It only uses 3 colors plus black, so there are lots of coloring possibilities. • View Frida Kahlo Mural template in PDF Shop

Self Portraits, Modigliani Style

This Modigliani self portrait project seems to work surprisingly well every time I try it. Something about the distortion frees students up from getting overly fussy, and thick pastels are the perfect media for imitating Modigliani’s rich dark look. MATERIALS • Black construction paper, 18″ x 24″ • Oil pastels DIRECTIONS 1. Cut the paper to … Read More

Miniature Cakes with Model Magic

So it turns out can make really cute miniature cakes with Model Magic because it comes in just the right cake and frosting colors. This may be one of my favorite Model Magic project so far. MATERIALS • Cardboard, 3″ cut round circles • Plastic cups, small, shot size for cake stand • 3″ plastic souffle … 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

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

Miro on Coffee Filters

If you’ve ever painted on a flat coffee filter, you’ll know how fun it is to watch the color seep and spread and grow. That’s what got me started with trying to find a fun new way for pre-K students practice drawing shapes. The fact that it looks a lot like Miro’s artwork is just a … Read More

Sharpie Scribble LOVE

How about making it “Opposite Day” in art class, one where scribbling is not only allowed, but encouraged? This lesson could tie in Jasper Johns for his textured letter paintings, or Robert Indiana for his LOVE art, and of course, a review of warm and cool colors. Would also look pretty great on a coffee cup, … Read More

Draw an Abstract Self Portrait

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

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

LOVE Lines

Students can practice using a ruler with this drawing project, and do some very basic measuring, which is a 2nd grade Common Core Standard. 1. Students start with a square piece of drawing paper. (I recommend one about 6″.) They measure and mark the center of each side and draw lines connecting them to make the … Read More

Color Study, Paul Klee Style

Paul Klee (1879 – 1940) was an modern art master who fell in love with color after a visit to Tunisia. I love his “Ancient Harmony” painting that twinkles with light and dark patches of color. Students can follow his idea for a fun color study by choosing two groups (light/dark, warm/cool colors) and have one … Read More

Sunflower Mural from Orangevale, CA

Kelli from Orangevale Adventist School shared the Van Gogh Sunflower Mural that her students recently finished. The artwork is amazing enough, but the framing and the quote on the wall are just the perfect finishing touch, if you ask me. Thanks again for sending this Kelli, I’m sure it will inspire lots of readers! Note: The … Read More

Van Gogh’s Bedroom Mural $5

posted in: artist Van Gogh | 0

Throughout Van Gogh’s career, he painted everything around him: landscapes, people in his town, even the shoes he wore. In Van Gogh’s “Bedroom in Arles” painting he shows a room in his rented house in the town of Arles. This house, his Studio of the South, used many of his favorite techniques – no shadows, and … Read More

Van Gogh’s Sunflower Mural

posted in: artist Van Gogh | 0

Vincent Van Gogh painted a total of seven versions of his famous sunflower painting. But for all their amazing vibrant color, no one would buy them until after his death. You can make your own by purchasing my $5 template in my PDF Store.

Kandinsky Leaves

Here’s an idea for mixing art history with the season, filling in a leaf drawing with Kandinsky-style circles. I followed my leaf drawing lesson HERE, and then used these great crayons that Prang let me sample. They are called Color Wands, are a pleasure to color with, and keep little fingers from getting really messy. I … Read More

Fun with William Wegman

William Wegman is a photographer famous for his compositions with his Weimaraner dogs. His fascination with humanizing his animals has created hundreds of amazing videos and photographs. I like his book shown here as it shows the dogs in many everyday poses. • View and download Dog Head Template 1. Print Dog Head template and gave … Read More

Escher Lizard

M.C. Escher’s art continues to amaze people all over the world. His many nature-themed tessellations are both lovely and brilliant.I found the repeating pattern in Escher’s Lizard Tessellation, and thought it would be fun as a classroom project. Just print copies of the single downloadable page trim, color, and assemble in groups of four as shown. … Read More

Robert Indiana Art Journal Page

This Robert Indiana LOVE Letter project provides good dimensional drawing practice, and makes a nice Valentine card too. Robert Indiana made a famous sculpture in the sixties that came to symbolize the peace movement. Students can make a similar image while practicing their 3D shapes and shading. I started with my school’s diecutter and made about … Read More

Delaunay Art Journal Page

I love the work of Sonia Delaunay, not only for her colorful abstract circles, but also for her groundbreaking life story. This project is fun and easy for students if you can get transparent circle stencils. I found a really good one at Laurie Speltz, The Creative Coach. She offers a teacher discount so you can … Read More

How to Draw Like Paul Klee

I made this “How to Draw like Paul Klee” tutorial to guide students in a continuous line project that would end up looking a lot like Klee’s famous painting. This drawing is made by following the “up” and “down” and “over” directions shown on my diagram page. The fact that the finished art will look a … Read More

Kandinsky Art Trading Cards

Kandinsky was one of the first creators of pure abstraction in modern painting. Students can have fun imitating his color style, and for a change, hope their colors “run” into each other a bit. 1. Draw concentric circles on a 2.5″ x 3.5″ watercolor paper, in the style of Kandinsky’s Farbstudie Quadrate painting. 2. Fill in … Read More

Award-Winning Starry Night Quilt

posted in: artist Van Gogh | 0

Congratulations to Alina Polta who used my Starry Night mural template to make an art quilt for a fall Quilt Arkansas show, and won 2nd place! I love the rich colors and quilted texture, it really is a beautiful piece. Congrats to you Alina on an amazing work of art!

Jim Dine Style Hearts

This project is actually doing triple duty this week: continuing the student’s study of warm and cool colors, teaching them about a Pop artist named Jim Dine, and providing 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, … Read More

Water Lily Pond, Monet Style

Claude Monet (1840-1926) painted his water lily pond directly from nature to show that even on the gloomiest of days, a vast number of colors can and do exist. To capture those variations, Monet created a new painting technique using short brushstrokes filled with individual color. The result was a canvas alive with painterly activity, the … Read More

Easy Tessellation

This easy tessellation makes fish-looking shapes to fill a paper with no overlaps and no gaps, which is the definition of a tessellation. My lettering procedure comes from many hours of figuring out how to work with a large group (35 or more) students and have as many as possible understand that they need to SLIDE … Read More

Ode to Picasso Mural

Pablo Picasso was born in 1881 in Malaga, Spain. He created thousands of paintings, prints, sculptures and ceramics during his lifetime. Many consider Picasso the greatest art genius of the twentieth century. This mural is compilation of some of his most famous paintings. It has 25 pages and measures 36″ x 48″ when complete. To purchase … Read More

Kandinsky Leaves

Here’s an idea for mixing art history with the season, filling in a leaf drawing with Kandinsky-style circles. I followed my leaf drawing lesson HERE, and then used these great crayons that Prang let me sample. They are called Color Wands, are a pleasure to color with, and keep little fingers from getting really messy. I … Read More

NEW Matisse Mural $5

The Dessert: Harmony in Red is a painting by French artist Henri Matisse and considered by many to be his masterpiece. You can make your own large mural (48″ x 36″) by purchasing my pdf template, coloring in all 24 pages, and taping them back together. Visit my PDF Shop to purchase and download for just … Read More

Klimt Line Art

posted in: artist Klimt, Markers | 0

Gustav Klimt was an Austrian painter who often used gold leaf to make his elaborately patterned paintings, as in “Adele Bloch-Bauer’s Portrait.” One way for students the appreciate all the patterns is to imitate the look just using lines. MATERIALS • Color print of Adele Head Template • Black Sharpie marker, fine tip 1. Students sketch … Read More

How To Draw Like Paul Klee

Here’s another project that I believe works well with a kindergarten Common Core Math Standard. This continuous line drawing is made by following the “up” and “down” and “over” directions shown on my diagram page. The fact that the finished art will look a lot like a famous Paul Klee painting means a little art history … Read More

Andy Warhol Portraits

Andy Warhol’s repetitive style is fun to duplicate and the perfect example for students to create their own repetitive drawings using Sharpies on acetate. 1. Review some of Andy Warhol’s portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, etc. Collect several photos of celebrities or of the students themselves and copy in black and white. Let the student’s … Read More

Maud Lewis Cat Painting

Renowned Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis (1903 – 1970) painted colorful scenes of rural Nova Scotia using random art supplies and painful hands as a result of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.   1. Wet a 12″ x 9″ piece of watercolor paper, and paint the background bright yellow. Let dry. Using watercolor pencils (like Prismacolor), draw … Read More

How to Draw a Klee Portrait

Here’s another project that I believe works well with a kindergarten Common Core Math Standard. This continuous line drawing is made by following the “up” and “down” and “over” directions shown on my diagram page. The fact that the finished art will look a lot like a famous Paul Klee painting means a little art history … Read More

Drawing Frida Kahlo

A few key features will help you learn how to draw artist Frida Kahlo like a pro. She was a Mexican self-portrait artist and feminist icon who was married to Diego Rivera. Draw her hair up, with flowers and classic heavy eyebrows, and there’s not much mistaking whose portrait you are drawing. • View and download … Read More

Matisse Patterned Collage

Henri Matisse, an important French artist, loved all kinds of patterns. Not only the decorative forms he created, but also reproductions of tapestries, embroideries, silks and more. A recent donation of leftover wallpaper inspired this project. 1. Give each student a 12″ square of chip board for mounting. Pass out a variety of wallpapers cut in … Read More

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