Veggie Painting

I found this idea for painting vegetables over at Artsonia.com. If anyone would like to take credit for creating it, please let me know. I’ve painted plant roots before, but never colorful vegetables – it’s a great idea. MATERIALS • Watercolor paper • Crayola Crayons • Liquid Watercolor paint DIRECTIONS 1. On watercolor paper, students draw … Read More

Mister Seahorse

Eric Carle’s wonderful book “Mister Seahorse” is perfect for kinders that are studying amazing animals, such as mine in the Los Angeles School District. This project has been on my keeper list for years now, and I even have a previous tutorial I will add below. Pictured here is the plastic embroidery mesh panels that I … Read More

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. I love how the bright colors and irregular pieces look like a homemade flag. • View and download PDF Flag template   MATERIALS • Card stock paper • Old … 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

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

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

Easy Statue of Liberty Tutorial

I created this easy Statue of Liberty tutorial for 1st graders, who study US symbols in the spring of each year. If you simplify the clothes, it really helps students concentrate on the very unmistakable pose of Lady Liberty. • View and download Statue of Liberty Tutorial MATERIAL • Watercolor paper • Sharpie marker, fine tip … 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

If the Dinosaurs Came Back

A post on Pinterest inspired this drawing and collage, which comes from a classic book named “If the Dinosaurs Came Back”. I’d love to credit whoever first thought of this combination of line drawing and colored paper as it looks just like the book, and my kinders loved it. MATERIALS • Large drawing paper, 12″ x … Read More

Spiral Snake Pattern

A tip from a teacher led me to this coil snake project, which I have recreated on my computer. The original called for drawing on paper plates, but I prefer to print my pattern shown 110 lb. stock to save a whole lotta time. • View and download Pattern Snake PDF file 1. Kinder students and … Read More

Green Monsters

When great books can be matched with kinder painting projects, you might just get some really amazing art. Here are two adorable examples. Materials: • Drawing or multi-media paper, 9″ x 12″ or larger • Black Sharpie marker, black chisel tip • Tempera cake paints Read “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. Direct students … 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 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

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, fine tip • White Sharpie paint markers, water-based, fine tip Students made lots of cubes by taping together 5 squares on the inside, then decorating the outside. Some made … Read More

Coffee Filter Watercolor Hearts

If you paint and cut out coffee filters, you just might get some really pretty Valentine cards. My students let them sit on plastic canvas mesh while painting and drying, so sometimes the grid bleed through, which was kinda cool too. Happy almost Valentine’s Day everyone! MATERIALS • White round coffee filters • Old steam iron … 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

How to Draw the Eiffel Tower

I’ve found that most How to Draw the Eiffel Tower tutorials out there are either overly simple or overly complex. This tutorial worked amazing well with my after school drawing class. I think it offers those that are more architecturally inclined to practice their sketching skills. I’ve seen many students that aren’t in the least interested … Read More

Oil Pastel Heart

This oil pastel heart 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. MATERIALS • Multimedia paper • Oil pastels, I prefer the … 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

Victorian House

This old-fashioned Victorian House is the stuff of storytelling. It’s tall shape and old windows are fun for children to draw. MATERIALS • Multimedia Paper • Sharpie, black • Liquid watercolor paint • Crayons DIRECTIONS 1. Draw the tall house in pencil. 2. Trace the drawing with a black marker. 3. Draw snowflakes in the sky … Read More

Draw the Grinch

You can learn how to draw the Grinch’ with a very mischievous face with my step-by-step tutorial. I’m going to see if I can play my favorite “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” song when my students draw him next week. • View and download the Grinch Tutorial MATERIALS • Color print of Grinch tutorial • … Read More

Poinsettia Art

Make some pretty poinsettia art by just tearing shapes from tissue paper. The torn shapes just naturally look a lot like the flower petals. MATERIALS • Multimedia paper • Tissue paper: green, red and yellow • White glue • Water and container • Brush • Oil pastels DIRECTIONS 1. Rectangles of red, green and yellow tissue … Read More

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