Draw Amsterdam Buildings

My students have drawn lots of traditional American style homes, so now I’d like them to try something different. Specifically, Amsterdam style buildings. They have very different profiles and details, not to mention water canal surroundings. Here’s a tutorial that includes many of these details, without getting too intricate. • View and download Amsterdam Building tutorial

MLK Art from Gaithersbury, MA

I thought I’d share this really nice email I recently received. I love how creative the students got with a simple posterized print of Martin Luther King, Jr., and thought others might find it inspiring too. I run a nonprofit called Color A Heart and we teach free art lessons to low-income kids along with other … Read More

Boxed Butterfly

Art can cross with science in this boxed butterfly project. 1. Fold an origami box lid that is about 4″ in diameter. 2. Draw a folded butterfly to fit in the box. Heavy cardstock paper will work best. 3. Cut butterfly out and color with markers. 4. Glue a small piece of foam core in 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

Pom Pom Yarn Balls

I’m in love with these pom poms! Save all those scraps of yarn – you can make these large or small with tons of different colors. I always thought I needed to buy a gadget to make them, but just found out (thank you internet!) that’s not true. 1. I used a square of matte board … Read More

Recycled Coffee Cups for Paint

I wouldn’t guarantee that these are “spill proof” cups, but they will beat a totally open cup any day. I needed to distinguish between some similar watercolor paints today, and these washed out coffee cups with holes cut in the lids helped to keep the blue-green from getting confused with the plastic-cupped blue. One more reason … Read More

Matchbox Art Template

Finally, my promised Matchbook Art Template and instructions. I tried this on several different papers and ended up liking a heavy 110 lb. card stock the best. Here’s how I dealt with a large group of afterschool students, ages kinder through 5th grade. • View and download Matchbox Tutorial PREP: Print and trim a tray, insert … Read More

Super Scratch Art Mitten

Making scratch art with oil pastels is not new, but have you tried making different color combos on one piece of art? Or tried coloring three layers to see what happens? Many different textures are possible, including this fuzzy-looking mitten that was first colored yellow, then purple, then scratched with a stylus, then colored again with … Read More

Patterned Mitten

I often see students use oil pastels like crayons, as in lightly coloring and shading with them. Unfortunately, that doesn’t let pastels show their “true colors” (sorry!) which come about with pressure and density. Here’s a very simple winter-theme drawing that has lots of pattern possibilities. Older students should be able to draw their own, but … 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

Recycled Turkey on a Stick

This ingenious idea for making turkeys from old food boxes comes from My Plum Pudding. It’s a great use of those colorful coated boxes that I love to collect. This turkey is made entirely from cut up boxes that are attached to a 1/4″ wooden dowel from Michael’s. This bird may look fairly simple, but I … Read More

Matchbox House

I started a Matchbox Art class today, after getting inspired by adorable little boxes I found on Pinterest. I ended up folding the little matchbox trays myself, which measured 2.25″ x 3.25″ x .75″ deep. Students colored the outside wrap while it was still flat, and then colored the insert. Everything was folded and taped and … Read More

George Washington, Pop Art Style

You can give Mr. Washington a contemporary look by only using three colors on my downloadable coloring page. Just follow the directions below. 1. View and download Washington Coloring Page. 2. Use a black marker to fill in the darkest gray area. 3. Use two other similar colors (dark blue / light blue, or dark green … Read More

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