Haring Mural

What a difference a little paint makes, right? My school has a wonderful volunteer working on a “Buddy Program” right now, so when I was asked for some ideas for a mural, this Keith Haring “Best Buddies” was an obvious solution. The process was pretty simple, which is easy for me to say as I didn’t … Read More

New Ebook, Create with Clay 2

Here are five more creative ceramic projects from my friend, Jenni Ward, a renowned ceramic artist from Santa Cruz. She has been working with children for years, and has collected five more of her favorite clay projects. If you are looking for some more clay project ideas with clear visual instructions, then this is the book … Read More

USA Flag Collage

Faith Ringgold, an African-American artist, is best known for her large story quilts. In 1985 she made a piece titled “Flag Story Quilt” which inspired this collage. 1. To help cut swatches, I gave the students a template to follow, printed on 8.5″ x 11″ cardstock. I passed out several old magazines to have them cut out swatches of red, and … Read More

More Gold Rush People

I just had to share a few more Gold Rush figures made recently by 4th graders. Aren’t they adorable? They are shaped over clothes pins that were glued to wood bases I found at Michaels. They worked great and created a place for some accessories too, like bags of gold and little pick axes. A quick … Read More

Dissected 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

Model Magic Miner

Here’s another idea of something to try with Model Magic. Just keep in mind that this figure was made by a ridiculously talented 4th grader, and is not what should be expected of a elementary school student, or even middle school. I expect to see Aidan S.’s art in a museum some day. He made this … Read More

Painting a Peacock

There’s little reason to wonder why peacocks are a popular art subject, but I have never found an approach that I liked until I saw this layout at That Artist Woman’s blog. I love that you can easily see the face and feathers. I also tried finishing it off with a silver Sharpie marker for some … Read More

Student’s Cast Tissue Tiles

Here they are, my student’s cast tissue paper tiles, taped on to some chipboard to make book covers. They look amazing with all the colors that bled together. To recap, I was first inspired by this Cast-Tissue post at dickblick.com. I ordered the black plastic rubbing plates and students simply applied 1″ squares of cheap bleeding … Read More

Draw a Britto Cat

Romero Britto was born in Recife, Brazil in 1963. He grew up with eight brothers and sisters in a modest home. He used newspapers, cardboard or any scraps that he could find to paint his artwork. Today he is is an internationally renowned pop artist. This tutorial shows how to draw a cat in his style. … Read More

Miniature Cakes

So it turns out that Model Magic comes in just the right colors to make some dandy looking tiny cakes. This may be one of my favorite projects so far. PREP: Glue 3″ cardboard circles (from my school’s diecut collection) to a small thimble size plastic cup from Smart & Final. Let dry. 1. Students used … Read More

Cardboard Buildings

This craft project proved to be a good combination of art supplies: LOTS of 5″ corrugated cardboard squares, rolls of masking tape, black Sharpies and white water-based Sharpie paint markers. Students made lots of cubes by taping together 5 squares on the inside, then decorating the outside. Some made two story buildings, a few made 4 … Read More

Coffee Filter Watercolor Hearts

If you press large coffee filters to make them flat, cut them into 2.5″ x 3.5″ rectangles, and paint them with liquid watercolor paint, you just might get some really pretty cards. My students let them sit on plastic embroidery mesh while paiting and drying, so sometimes the grid bleed through, which was kinda cool too. … Read More

Paper Mache Cartons, Painting Day

These beautiful cartons started off as old plastic Model Magic containers two weeks ago. After two layers of paper mache, they were ready for some paint. I encouraged them to paint a solid background, and then add decorations on top. Next week they will add more lines with paint markers, and finally some Mod Podge to … Read More

Oil Pastel Hearts

This project actually did triple duty last year: continued the student’s study of warm and cool colors, taught them about a Pop artist named Jim Dine, and provided 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, students … Read More

Watercolor Jewels

Here’s what my Art Trading Card students did last week, a series of jewel shapes that were painted with watercolor and topped with glitter paint. I diagrammed on the board how to draw each jewel first, mostly starting with the inside shapes and then working out. I keep seeing that most students handle drawing straight lines … Read More

Finish the Wolf Face

When students have a photo to refer to, I think they are often pleasantly surprised at what they can draw. • View and download Wolf Face Template 1.  Students start by looking for the edges of the wolf head, nose and eyes and lightly sketch them in with a pencil. 2. Working in layers, students first … Read More

Martin Luther King Silhouette

Here’s a start to a MLK project that children can customize however they want. It begins with coffee filter, template and black Sharpie, and ends with an added message and watercolor paint. • View and download MLK Dream PDF template PREP: Press 9.5″ wide coffee filters with a steam iron. Print out a template for each … Read More

Martin Luther King Template

To support all the upcoming lessons about Martin Luther King, I’d like to offer this 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 … Read More

George Washington Quarter

As a followup to the Penny Project, here is a template for making a George Washington Quarter. Just download the template below, trace onto a flattened coffee filter, and paint with gray watercolor paint. Try making a little darker gray paint and adding it to shadowy areas. Happy President’s Day! • View and download Quarter PDF … Read More

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