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

Santa Bear in Tempera Paint

This Santa Bear is a great project for those as young as kinder or so. The simple shapes allow for lots of creative additions, especially when choosing what your bear is wearing. • View and download Bear Tutorial MATERIALS • Drawing or multi-media paper, 9″ x 12″ or larger • Black Sharpie marker, black chisel tip … Read More

Holiday Matchbox Art

My Holiday Matchbox Art kids did a great job today, as they experimented with adding mini pom poms to their drawings. These two amazing 2nd graders, Rebecca and Violet, made them with both Hanukkah and Christmas in mind. Follow the link below to download the box templates and instructions. • View and download Matchbox Tutorial MATERIALS … Read More

Model Magic Penguin

If your students are studying penguins, this Model Magic project is a perfect addition. And now there’s a very creative penguin-themed art book to go with it, “Penguins Love Colors” by Sarah Aspinall. It’s cute and perfect for young students learning to form shapes and name colors. MATERIALS • Model Magic: Black, White, Orange and Blue … Read More

How to Draw a Turkey

Looking for some turkey art inspiration? Here are some variations I’ve tried over the years. Marker, watercolor, tempera and poster markers – they all start with this PDF tutorial that I am happy to share below. PREP • View and download Turkey PDF Tutorial MATERIALS • Crayons or paint or markers • Sharpie, black, fine point … Read More

Tree Hand

I love how this shows kids that lines can give dimension to their art. 1. The students first trace their hand on a piece of paper. When finished, they should make the tops of their fingers very pointy. 2. Vertical lines are drawn as shown. The more irregular they are, the better. When complete, the lines … Read More

How to Draw a Bike

I have come across students that are not interested in the least in drawing people or animals or flowers, etc. but could spend hours on buildings or machines. I think that’s an early indication of draftsman-type skills, which could lead to a career in architecture or product design. I think it’s good to offer drawing lessons … Read More

Bone Letters

You could make this a lesson about anatomy and what the different kinds of bones in your body look like – or you could just make some creepy looking name signs for Halloween. 1. Draw examples of some typical bones on the board. They generally look like sticks, but have large bumps on the end. I … Read More

Draw a Monster, Super Close up Style

Quite possibly the world’s simplest how to draw a monster project. Students used a roll of masking tape to draw the eyes, one of which needed to be going off the page. Try challenging older students to add shadows by painting extra layers of color along the edges. MATERIALS • Watercolor paper, try Strathmore for special … Read More

Spiders from Santa Maria, CA

This is such a great extension of my posted spider project that I thought I’d share it again. It turns a symmetry exercise into a beautiful work of art. • View and download PDF Half Spider Template “I’ve done this project for the past 2 years when my 4th grade students were learning symmetry. This year … Read More

Halloween Shapes for Pre-K

posted in: Drawing, Kindergarten | 0

A Pre-K teacher at my school was looking for a fun way for her kids to practice drawing shapes, so I came up with this Halloween worksheet. Students are asked to copy the drawing in the box below, starting with the main square, circle, etc. I’m sharing my pdf, and would love to hear if this … Read More

Pumpkin Face Collage

posted in: 1st Grade, Halloween | 2

I love this idea of putting “people” teeth in a pumpkin, so whoever thought of it first is pretty genius. I’m using it this week for my kinders and first graders as it’s a great chance to learn about cutting on the fold. The head, mouth and eyes may be cut on folded paper to create … Read More

The Scream and Blow Painting

This Scream art project was shared from Washington Elementary School in Michigan, and it was a huge hit with my students as well. It combines Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” face with some blow paint fun for all kinds of expressionist possibilities. WARM UP Look at Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” painting to see how much expression can … Read More

Animal Head ATCs

Art Trading Cards are simply mini works of art, the size of baseball cards (2.5″ x 3.5″). I’m bringing them back as an afterschool class as I think students enjoy the small size and fun of filling a plastic collector sleeve each week. To start things off, I found these wonderfully simple animal faces to draw … Read More

Aura Paintings

So here are two first grade paintings from my “Stick Person” project, now renamed (thank you Ms. B!) Aura Paintings. I adore them and am putting this project on my keeper list. To recap, students drew themselves as stick people, traced with a fat, chisel tip Sharpie marker, and then traced the edges with liquid watercolor. … Read More

Stick Drawing Painting

Say yes to stick figures for a day, and let students just concentrate on their fine motor painting skills. Students draw themselves in stick figure form. The drawing is traced with a chisel tip black Sharpie marker for a bold line. Using a small or medium brush, the body is traced with liquid watercolor paint. The … Read More

Visual Art Instructions

Here is my experiment in diagramming art instructions. Maybe visual projects need visual instructions? It would be interesting to truly test different approaches and see which gets the better overall comprehension. For this class I taped what media was used for each step, and students had to check to see if they had used all the … Read More

Kinder Trees

Kinders are learning about trees at my school, so I created this lesson that lets them paint one, roots and all. PREP: Draw and cut a trunk stencil as shown out of chip board, one for each student. Students trace the trunk stencil with a pencil. The ground line and tree top are added. All of … Read More

Easy Kinder Painting

I’ve tried many projects for new kinders over the past ten years, and this is now my favorite. It’s simply drawing stars with oil pastels and then painting a wash of liquid watercolor over them. There are always a few students who are still figuring out how to draw and hold a brush, so they need … Read More

Air Dry Clay Owl

Here’s one thing I know … kids love to work with clay, yet ceramic clay requires resources that are not always available. There is an alternative air dry Crayola Clay, but it takes some practice to match it to the right project. If you let students do their own thing, shapes are often too fragile and … Read More

Sharpie Scribble LOVE

How about making it “Opposite Day” in art class, one where scribbling is not only allowed, but encouraged? This lesson could tie in Jasper Johns for his textured letter paintings, or Robert Indiana for his LOVE art, and of course, a review of warm and cool colors. Would also look pretty great on a coffee cup, … Read More

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