Dimensional Magic Mod Podge

Here’s another new craft product that I’ve been turned on to, courtesy of Michaels and their 2012 Holiday Preview they invited me to last month. It’s called Dimensional Magic Mod Podge, and it looks like just glue until it dries, then “wow!”   1. Follow the steps posted in my “Creativity and Michaels Stores” post to … Read More

Creativity & Michaels Stores

Last month, fourteen bloggers and I were invited by Michaels to their 2012 Holiday Showcase in Dallas. We were all in arts and crafts heaven, spending time with Jo Pearson (above), Michael’s creative expert and judge of TLC’s “Craft Wars”, and previewing some of the coolest new products around. But most of all, we learned that … Read More

Paul Klee Castle Drawing

Paul Klee was one of the great colorists in the history of painting. I developed this project that imitates his abstract “Castle and Sun” painting by having students trace cardboard shapes and fill them in with colored pencils. 1. Give each student a piece of black paper, a pencil and half a dozen or so cutout square, rectangle … Read More

Positive / Negative Flower

This is a simple exercise that uses positive and negative shapes and lines. 1. Students start with a 6″ x 9″ sheet of white drawing paper, and a 4.5″ x 4.5″ sheet of black paper. 2. They place a 3.5″ x 3.5″ cardboard template on the black paper, centered on the top edge, and trace.  The … Read More

“Things that Are Most” Project

I decided to reapproach this creative writing/drawing project from a book titled “Things that are Most in the World” by Judi Barrett. I tried it’s enclosed follow up a few years ago, but have now created a more specific formula to follow. Each page in this book is based on a different adjective, such as “The teensie-weensiest thing … Read More

Marker Line Leaves

1. Start by drawing the center veins of each leaf, which kind of looked like a long main line with an “X” through it. Sketch lightly with a pencil. Continue drawing these until the paper is full. See my small diagram. 2. Still using your pencil, draw the outside curved edge of each leaf as shown … Read More

Scratch Art Leaf

A Scratch Art Drawing class calls for a different plan than a regular drawing class. Erasing is not an option, and I’d like the kids to focus on drawing lots of patterns, so I’m going to give them the outline of this leaf to start with.  • View and download Leaf for Scratch Art Template 1. … Read More

Color Wheel Download

I’ve found that most color wheels are either too complicated (lots of sections and subsections) or too simple (three overlapping balloons) for your average elementary student. My solution was to make my own, and also diagram primary, secondary, warm, cool and complementary colors. Enjoy!

Layered Paper Weaving

I’ve found the “over and under” concept of weaving is easiest to learn when using strips paper. Yarn gets tangled too easily and takes time to show patterned results. 1. This sample was made from Strathmore “Smooth Bright Construction Paper” tablet as it has sturdy paper in great colors. To create the “warp” paper, have an … Read More

Gelarti Painted Bottle

Gelarti Activity Kits let kids makes their own peel-off stickers, but I opted to put aside the stencils and just make my own colorful Kandinsky bottle instead. It was super easy as I just painted right on my bottle and let it dry. 1. Five tubes of paint come in a kit. They have little nozzles … Read More

Layered Pipes

I used to introduce 3rd and 4th graders to shading and tinting techniques with circles and spheres, but found this week that straight lines worked much better. The students can just concentrate on adding color to lines, instead of dealing with tricky curves. 1. Students were to first draw two parallel lines on their paper, either … Read More

Fireworks Drawing

This is an exercise in radial drawing, but it makes a nice fireworks image when you fill up the page. It would look great on black paper too. 1. You can use either a journal page or similar 6″ x 9″ drawing paper. Ask the students to place about 5 dots random dots on the page … Read More

Jasper Johns Grid

Jasper Johns, a master American artist, was the first to use everyday objects as his subject matter. One of his most famous paintings was just a grid with many numbers. Some math teachers find this art project helpful to have students practice lining up columns of numbers. 1. I printed up sheets of paper that were already divided into three … Read More

Abstract Flower Drawing

This is a little twist on the dissecting and coloring technique. If at the end you shade the corners of each shape you make, you get a softer and more sophisticated abstraction. 1. Students draw a vase that takes up most of the drawing paper. To help with making a symmetrical shape, they may fold scrap … Read More

Paper Weaving

I find that paper is a good way to introduce kids to weaving as the patterns are more visible than with yarn. And I keep running across many 4th and 5th graders who have never tried any kind weaving, so I have concluded that this media gets overlooked way too often. 1. I did myself a … Read More

Collage Name Card

Lately I’ve been inspired by scrapbook artists and the layered-looking collages they often create. This project lets students get creative and colorful with the letters in their name. SESSION ONE 1. Cut enough 9″ x 12″ drawing paper into fourths measuring 4.5″ x 6″ to furnish each student with one page for each letter in their … Read More

Arcimboldo “Fruit Face”

Giuseppe Arcimboldo was an Italian artist from the 1500s who spent years working as an official court painter. He developed a style of composing portraits from fruits, vegetables, etc., which was uniquely his own. There’s a great book about him called “Fruit Face” which is what I used to introduce this lesson. 1. Find lots of … Read More

California Collage

    My experience with collage is that students enjoy them, but often have trouble filling a paper in one class session. I thought that if they all work on one large project, they might stay on task a little better. I’ve made a large multi-page California template that measures about 30″ tall. • View and download California … Read More

Lettering on Acetate

My afterschool students practiced their lettering with acetate tracings, mounted to photo backgrounds.   1. I printed out this quote “Every Child is an Artist’ using Fink Gothic typeface, graying the lines to make the tracing more readable. Students placed a sheet of acetate over it and traced the letters with a black permanent marker. 2. Sharpie … Read More

Popsicle Stick Cabins

These new little popsicle sticks (they’re 2 1/2″ long) that I found at Michael’s remind me of my parent’s log cabin in Tennessee. Here’s one way to make little houses that could serve well as colorful refrigerator magnets. Or add some snow and a string for a holiday decoration? Let your imagination see what it can … Read More

Graffiti Lettering

I wanted to introduce my afterschool kids to some very hip-looking lettering styles and new art supplies, so this was their project today. 1. Students were given a paper printout with bubble-style alphabet (about 2″ high) that I found online, a sheet of acetate, and black Sharpie marker. They traced their name, overlapping the edges as shown. … Read More

Wet-on-Wet Watercolor Flowers

One thing that watercolor paint loves to do is run together. Instead of fighting that tendency, I showed my students how they can make “puddles” their friend by painting lots of irregular spots, some overlapping, which could later be outlined as delicate little flowers. 1. Flower spots of varying sizes and colors are painted on the … Read More

Hundertwasser Portrait on Sticks

I’m hooked on the Vienna artist Hundertwasser, so I thought I would try combining his style with my popsicle portrait project. I think his art has a kind of layered marker look to it so it seemed like a good match. 1. It seems that Hundertwasser had a real aversion to straight lines, so I thought … Read More

Art Trading Cards, or ATCs

Art Trading Cards are miniature works of art (2.5″ x 3.5″) that fit inside standard plastic card sleeves. This type of art was started in Switzerland in 1996 and grew out of an interest in mail art. ATCs are now produced all over the world in various media, including pencils, pens, markers, watercolor, acrylic paints, collage, … Read More

Geometric Print Man

When introducing printmaking to young students, it helps to keep things simple. Sometimes the most striking images are the result. 1. Each student should receive one 9″ x 12″ chipboard, a smaller piece of posterboard for the body, scissors and white glue. Instruct the students to cut geometric shapes from the posterboard to make a figure … Read More

David Hockney Landscape

David Hockney, a contemporary artist living in Los Angeles, created photocollages in the 1980s, compiling a ‘complete’ picture from a series of individually photographed details. You can get a similar effect using one photo, cutting it up and loosely putting it back together again. 1. Start with a magazine photo, nature themes are nice to work … Read More

Homemade “Oscars”

Sometimes unusual requests lead to new discoveries. This time a parent was looking for student-made awards for an event he was hosting. I found a pretty easy way for a class of 2nd graders to make these “Oscars”. PREP: A small amount of clay was stuck in the bottom of a baby food jar. I used … 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

Dino Skeleton Plaster Casts

I believe that kinders in CA are learning about dinosaurs right about now. This project is a great combination of art and science. PREP for each student: • Plastic dinosaurs skeletons from Oriental Trading Company • 5″ square of cardboard • 11″ x 2″ strip of heavy weight white paper • stapler • 2.5″ ball of … Read More

Tinted Ugly Bunny

One of the arts standards for elementary students is learning how to tint colors by adding white. My students had fun making bunnies that didn’t have to look perfect and symmetrical.   CLASS ONE: 1. On a large (12″ x 19″) sheet of brown paper, student drew a large “ugly” bunny. The definition of ugly in … Read More

Sticker Art Trading Cards

Sometimes kid’s creativity just blows me away. I brought round colored stickers to my Art Trading Card class today, thinking that everyone could make art with just circles. Then one very clever boy started cutting up the stickers to make these amazing cards, including this tiger and electric guitar.   1. I passed out 2.5″ x … Read More

1 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15