Folk Art Flag

Given that folk art is created by untrained artists, everyday items are often used for its creation. I’ve had this wooden flag idea for awhile, and finally got to try it out. 1. I glued two sticks together with white glue to make a “flagpole”. I did this about 20 minutes prior to class so they … Read More

Model Magic Mother’s Day Flowers

I only half jokingly asked this 3rd grader today if she wanted to teach next week’s class. I had showed students how to simply make and wrap rose petals, but she ran with the idea and added colorful stamens and beautifully detailed leaves. Thank you Erin for inspiring all of us today! 1. Students started with … Read More

Art Trading Cards with Texture

You can buy texture rubbing plates, but my favorite alternative is using plastic embroidery mesh panels that are made for cross stitching. If you buy them large and cut them up, they are pretty cheap. Give students white cards that measure 2.5″ x 3.5″. Challenge is to think of things that come with a grid-like texture. … Read More

Sailboat on a Lake

This sailboat painting gives students a chance to add interest with elements such as the reflection of the sails and blue sky and the tonal greens across the shoreline forest. 1. Draw the boat and sails. Add a horizon line. Make some zig-zag lines for two layers of trees. 2. Trace all the lines with a black permanent marker. 3. Use a white … Read More

How to Draw Grumpy Cat

You can learn how to draw Grumpy cat with my step-by-step tutorial. Luckily, he has some pretty distinctive features, like the dark rings around his eyes and his famous frowning mouth. • View and download New Grumpy Cat Tutorial MATERIALS • Color print of Grumpy Cat Tutorial • Drawing paper • Sharpie marker, fine tip • … Read More

Louise Nevelson Found Sculpture

This Louise Nevelson found sculpture was inspired by her creation of wood assemblages. Louise was a passionate artist who worked hard to get recognition in the mostly male art world, and wished to be seen as more than just a ‘woman artist’. She died in New York in 1988, but is now considered one of America’s … Read More

Easter Card

Here’s an idea for a pretty Easter Card. Grid formats are fun to play with so feel free to make your own variation of this drawing. 1. I started by folding a piece of 8.5″ x 11″ watercolor paper in half. To make a quick grid without a lot of measuring, give each student a 1″ … Read More

April Fool’s Eye Glasses

Here’s a popular project I thought I’d repost before April 1st. The glasses are pretty much guaranteed to create lots of giggles, just be sure that children don’t try to do much more than pose in them. • View and download Glasses Template 1. Follow my link to download a template I’ve posted for the glass … Read More

Frida Kahlo Portrait

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter, who is best known for her self-portraits.  1. I like to use black card stock paper from Michaels instead of construction paper, which often looks more gray than black. I guided the students in a portrait of Frida, making note of her signature eyebrows. 2. Students traced the drawing with a … Read More

Get Creative with The Lorax

I was inspired by Dr. Suess’ colorful Lorax Truffula Trees, which I recreated here with just some twigs, yarn, paint and a little clay.   1. Collect thin twigs that are fairly straight and mount them in a small amount of clay. Let dry overnight. 2. Paint twigs with white acrylic paint and the clay base … Read More

Dr. Seuss Signs

Our school has a Dr. Seuss celebration each year, and with our modular classroom set up in California, we have a lot of long outdoor halls without much signage. I had students make up their own to add color and creativity to our school. 1. I started with large sheets of white foam core, and chopped … Read More

Abstract Numbers by DeMuth

Charles DeMuth was an American artist who lived in the early 1900’s, and became famous for his abstract paintings that used lines to fragment and divide his canvas. 1. DeMuth’s “Figure 5 in Gold” is a wonderful abstract painting to show children as they can easily see the firetruck elements in it. Start by having students … Read More

Burlap Weaving

Weaving lessons can come in many forms, the simplest being with just plain paper. My preference though is using actual fabric, and burlap has the most open and visible weave for beginners to work with. 1. Give each student a rectangle of burlap, about 3″ wide by 9″ tall. They are to pull about 5 threads … Read More

Warhol Art Trading Cards

If you are familiar with Andy Warhol’s art, then you might know that he celebrated repetition that came with popular art images like the Campbell’s soup can. I made a custom ATC template that you can download so students can come up with their own creative soup flavors. • View and download Warhol ATC Template 1. … Read More

California Mission Drawing Guide

Many California students are learning about missions this time of year, so I thought I’d like to share some more details about my drawing guide in my PDF Store. Years ago I discovered that students could draw some amazing buildings if they started with a grid. It really helped them concentrate on architectural features without struggling … Read More

Geometric to Organic Shapes

This is a fun and easy project that shows how you can turn geometric shapes into organic ones.1. Students used cardboard templates to trace many  triangles, circles and squares on their paper. Shapes could overlap, but some space should be left open. 2. All the shapes are to be colored in with a NON-permanent, waterbase marker. … Read More

Radiating Hearts

Students can practice radial symmetry with this Radiating Hearts drawing. It takes time to fill in the entire paper, but the results can be really amazing. And once someone gets good at the process, it can be applied to many other shapes as well. MATERIALS • Colored Card stock paper, 8.5″ x 11″ • White card … Read More

Watercolor for Elephants

I tried out this elephant just today and loved the results! Some students went for realism with a muddy landscape background, and others had fun with fancy accessories. Either way, it’s another example of my favorite combination of black Sharpie marker + crayon + liquid watercolor paints. And yes, a step-by-step tutorial may be seen below. • View … Read More

How to Draw an Elephant Tutorial

A stock art drawing inspired this “How to Draw an Elephant” tutorial. I like how it helped students fill their paper, and just focus on the front of the animal. Afterwards, there was lots of room for being creative with adornment as well. MATERIALS • Multimedia or watercolor paper • Sharpie marker, black • Crayons • … Read More

Tiger Drawing

Henri Rousseau was a French artist that lived in the late 1800s. He tried to paint in the schooled manner of the traditional artists, but it was the innocence and charm of his work that won him the admiration of many avant-garde artists such as Paul Klee.  1. If possible, show a poster of Rousseau’s “Surprised! … Read More

Color Wheel Heart

Combine a color lesson with Valentine’s Day and you may end up with a very pretty card too. I love it when students just draw with watercolor paints, and not use any pencil first. One option is to give them a heart-punched card that they can use as a stencil. They fill it in with red … Read More

Martin Luther King Coloring Page

To support all the upcoming lessons about Martin Luther King, I offer this free 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 eyes … Read More

Geometric Winter Trees

This Geometric Winter Trees project will help students focus on making lots of shades of green. I asked mine to make at least three different ones for a simple but colorful abstract landscape.    MATERIALS • Multimedia Paper • Crayola Watercolor Mixing Set • Crayons • Hole Punch • White paper, scraps • White glue   … Read More

Dry Brush Winter Painting

This lesson was designed to show students how pretty layered colors can be when using opaque paints, such as acrylic or tempera. Some very painterly effects can happen when you just lightly brush one color on top of another. SESSION ONE: Students painted the bottom third of a heavy paper white to create a base. This example … Read More

Winter Birch Trees

This Winter Birch Tree project uses tape to block off the tree shapes, and watercolor paint and salt to make the textured midnight sky. MATERIALS • Watercolor paper • Masking tape • Scissors • Watercolor paint, blue • Table salt • Acrylic paint DIRECTIONS 1. Tape a border around the edge of a square of watercolor … Read More

My Favorite Drawing Products for 2012

Some may think there’s no big difference between brands of markers and papers for kids, but I’ve learned better. My search this year for cartoon drawing tools that would bring the best results led me to the combination of Stabilo Markers and Artist’s Loft Drawing paper. The markers are amazing as they have fat tips that … Read More

Mini Matisse Painting

Matisse was a French artist, known for his use of color and organic shapes. You can see his painting that inspired me HERE.  1. Miniature canvases (3″x3″) and easels are available at Aaron Brothers stores and jerrysartarama online. Use a pencil to lightly draw lines on the canvas in the style of any Mondrain painting.  2. Using Sharpie Brush Tip Markers, color the light colors … Read More

Mini Mondrian Sharpie Painting

Piet Mondrian was a compulsive Dutch artist who could never bear to see anything disordered or untidy. It’s not difficult to see that in his artwork, which you can see HERE.  1. Use a pencil to lightly draw lines on the mini canvas in the style of any Mondrian painting. 2. Using Sharpie Brush Tip Markers, color in the rectangles … Read More

Mini Diamond Kandinsky Painting

Imagine the fun of giving your friends a Kandinsky masterpiece – made by you of course. These are too fun and easy to give to everyone on your list.  1. Miniature canvases (2″x4″, 3″x3″) and easels are available at Aaron Brothers stores and jerrysartarama online. 2. Use a pencil to lightly draw two lines on the canvas, evenly … Read More

Mini Kandinsky Masterpiece

I was excited to find these mini canvases and easels online at jerrysartarama, but I noticed that Aaron Brothers sells them now too. At any rate, they are perfect for a little “Mini Masterpiece” project. And Kandinsky’s circle painting is perfect for even very young ones to imitate. 1. Mini canvases come in all different sizes … Read More

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