Endangered Animals Earth Day Mural

Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22nd. My Endangered Earth Day collaborative art project is great for schools and any group that wants to create something special by working together. Color each page and then tape together to end up with a 48″ x 48″ mural. The endangered species shown are: Sandhill Crane, Gorilla, Macaw, … Read More

Draw a Clown

My clown tutorial seems to be pretty popular over at Pinterest, so here is an update. My recommendation? Start with black paper so your clown can truly have the white face that makes him or her so fun to color. • View and download Draw a Clown tutorial   MATERIALS • Black construction paper • Oil … Read More

Kandinsky Circles with Oil Pastels

Kandinsky pretty much invented abstract art back in the early 1900’s. His “Study of Abstract Squares” is a fun and easy painting to imitate. Encourage students to lay in on thick, so they will have lots of rich colors. MATERIALS • Multimedia paper, 9″ x 12″ • Oil pastels (I recommend Portfolio brand) DIRECTIONS 1. Start … Read More

Lois Mailou Jones Drawing

This Lois Mailou Jones-inspired drawing is in honor of Black History month. During Lois’ remarkable life, she painted, designed masks, textiles and stained glass windows, traveled the world and never stopped learning. Her “Les Fetiches” art has a style that is fun to imitate. MATERIALS • Black cardstock paper • Colored pencils DIRECTIONS 1. Starting with a … Read More

Clay Cactus

My quest for finding easy clay projects that create sturdy little sculptures has led me to this, working with little plastic cups. I found that a little cactus formed in a plastic cup will help keep the arms in place while they dry. The cups also helped some of my very young students make their art … Read More

Celebrate Black History with W. H. Johnson

In celebration of Black History month, I’ve created this mural in the style of William H. Johnson (1901-1970), a very talented painter who had a difficult life. He came to be widely admired for his primitive style and bright colors, but sadly, only after he had passed away. I love the rural scenes that he often painted, so … Read More

Collaborative Hearts on Canvas

Looking for a collaborative project that creates a colorful, finished work of art? Try my favorite combo of Sharpies on dry wax paper, decoupaged to a stretched canvas and you are guaranteed some pretty amazing results. Sharpies make the color super bright, and the dry wax paper will hug the canvas in a way that nothing … Read More

Valentine Tissue Paper Flowers

This technique for making tissue paper flowers is not new, but I have a new appreciation for its simplicity. If your students have had an overload of 2D work lately, try this crafty 3D one that will give them practice on folding, twisting, cutting and pulling. Oh, and make a pretty Valentine gift while they are … Read More

Mini Canvas Art

I brought back one of my favorites, mini canvas art, for an after school class today. Mini canvases, brush Sharpies and homemade craft stick easels. My lesson was about making art with letters, so they just drew their first initial in block form and decorated it with lots of patterns. A nice, simple way to make … Read More

Cubist Heart

If you know how to tint and shade with oil pastels, then try testing your skills on this Cubist style heart. MATERIALS • Multimedia or card stock paper, square • Pencil • Ruler • Oil pastels, soft variety works best, like Portfolio brand DIRECTIONS 1. Starting with a square paper, students draw a large heart in … Read More

Cake Collage

Try finding a stationary store that is willing to donate damaged specialty paper for a real treat in supplies. This is the image that started it all. I was volunteering in my son’s 2nd grade class and two students went off to a corner to make a birthday card for a friend. I turned around to … Read More

Liberty Bell Art

To honor it’s history, here’s a Liberty Bell art project that uses sgraffito, an ancient scratch art technique. • View and download Liberty Bell line drawing MATERIALS • Cardstock paper • Oil pastels (I prefer the Portfolio brand) • Stick for scratching DIRECTIONS Print Liberty Bell artwork for each student.   2. Students color in the … Read More

“How to Draw” Book Giveaway

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Well, it’s the last day of my holiday break, so I thought I’d make it a fun one by offering up a GIANT “How to Draw” book giveaway. This baby contains all 204 of my tutorials that I have created over the years, all in sleeve protectors and a 3″ heavy-duty binder, just ready and waiting … Read More

Old Fashioned Winter House

Old buildings are the stuff of storytelling, so this Old Fashioned Winter House is a perfect for young students this time of year. This painting was made by a kinder student named Ruby awhile back. I love how colorful her home is. Thanks Ruby for letting me share it! MATERIALS • Watercolor paper • Sharpie, black, … Read More

Watercolor Birch Trees

This Watercolor Birch Tree project uses tape to block off the tree shapes, and watercolor paint and salt to make the textured midnight sky. MATERIALS • Watercolor paper • Masking tape • Scissors • Watercolor paint, blue • Table salt • Acrylic paint DIRECTIONS 1. Tape a border around the edge of a square of watercolor … Read More

Draw a Cardinal

I’ve been on the lookout for a new way to draw a cardinal. This one, inspired by a stock art illustration is built on some very simple shapes that I think young children can draw. • View and download Cardinal Tutorial   MATERIALS • Multimedia Paper • Sharpie marker, black • Oil Pastels   DIRECTIONS 1. … Read More

Snowflake Painting

Here’s a simple snowflake painting project that was inspired by an illustration on a stock art website. I’ve found some amazing ideas at istockphoto.com and shutterstock.com, and gettyimages.com, just to name a couple. Search vector illustrations for a topic and you can find literally thousands of drawing ideas. MATERIALS • Watercolor Paper, 9″ x 9″ (recommended … Read More

Watercolor Resist Snowflake Art

This watercolor resist snowflake art is easy to create with laser-cut wood decorations that are found at craft stores. They make perfect crayon rubbing material because they are so decorative, yet perfectly flat. SUPPLIES • Multimedia Paper • Wooden Laser Cut Snowflakes • Chipboard, about 8″ x 10″ sheet for each snowflake • Craft glue • … Read More

Giant Nutcracker Drawings

     My art room is filled with giant Nutcracker drawings right now, waiting to be lined up in our auditorium for our upcoming holiday show. I took a que from my Harvest festival decorations on butcher paper sketched one master nutcracker and have been tracing him in pencil for days. The kids love to trace and … Read More

Ornament Christmas Card

To make this ornament Christmas card, try filling the shapes with lots of with lines and patterns and watch the edges appear all by themselves. MATERIALS • White cardstock paper, 5″ x 7″ • Scrap paper • Scissors • Pencil • Sharpie markers, assorted, ultra fine tip DIRECTIONS 1. Cut ornament shapes from scrap paper. To … Read More

Free Thanksgiving Mural

In the spirit of giving this holiday week, I’d like to offer this free Thanksgiving Mural PDF template. The five-page file that you can download below has the four pages needed to color and tape together as shown, and single coloring sheet as well. When complete, it will make a charming 16″ x 16″ mural that … Read More

Draw a Turkey

Here’s my popular “Draw A Turkey” tutorial in a format that is more computer friendly. If you prefer something you can print and pass out to students, try my PDF tutorial linked below.  Either way, I’ve found this front view of a turkey doable even by kinders as I have found they respond well to large … Read More

Beginner Weaving Project

I found my new favorite beginner weaving project that takes very little prep work, is inexpensive, and still makes a very pretty little work of art. The best part? It kept two very talky 4th grade classes engaged for a full 45 minutes today. In fact, it was even a couple of boys who were begging … Read More

Sharpie Winter Landscape

To wrap up my Sharpie Blog Roll, here is a Sharpie Winter Landscape project that I found works well for a wide range of students. The black permanent marker allows for liberal painting over the trees, and the white marker creates easy dots of snow to finish things off. • View and download Winter Landscape Tutorial … Read More

Draw a Cartoon Turkey

For something new, draw a cartoon turkey and then make up a funny story about him or her. This guy is pretty simple, and I’ve even tried it successfully with kinders. At the very least, you will get something far better than just tracing your hand. • View and download PDF Turkey tutorial MATERIALS • Color … Read More

How to Draw an Alpaca

In case you need to learn how to draw an Alpaca, here’s the perfect tutorial for you. Alpacas have been domesticated for thousands of years by the people of northern Peru. • Draw an Alpaca PDF Tutorial MATERIALS • Color print of Alpaca tutorial for each student • Drawing paper • Sharpie marker • Crayons DIRECTIONS … Read More

Easy Ceramic Cupcake

This easy ceramic cupcake project is my very favorite, which I save every year for Mother’s Day for kinders. I’m pretty sure though that it has lots of appeal for any holiday gifts too. It is so simple which helps all the students feel successful when they complete it, and makes a keepsake that my parents … Read More

Halloween Boxes with Sharpies

My favorite part of these little Halloween boxes is the color combination. I love the soft orange and matte black and shiny silver. Fortunately, they all come from supplies that are very easy for kids to use too. MATERIALS • White paper jewelry boxes • Sharpie marker, black, fine tip • Sharpie marker, black, brush tip … Read More

How to Draw a Haunted House

When students learn how to draw a haunted house, they can practice their architectural drawing while changing just a few elements to make their houses extra spooky. • View and download Haunted House Tutorial MATERIALS • Color print of Haunted House tutorial • Multimedia paper • Black Sharpie • Liquid watercolor paint   DIRECTIONS 1. You … Read More

Draw a Bat, and the Perfect Book

My first graders were shown how to draw a bat, but only after learning some more about them in this amazing new book I found “Nightsong”. It beautifully illustrates how they use their radar to see at night, and tells of a young bat’s first flight by himself. Really one of those special books, and a … Read More

Tree Silhouette Art

This tree silhouette art is a multimedia project using chalk pastel and tempera cake paint. Each media does what they do best – make fuzzy backgrounds and opaque coloring. MATERIALS • Multimedia paper • Old CD for tracing • Chalk pastels (blue and purple recommended) • Tempera cake paint, black • Paint brush, water DIRECTIONS 1. … Read More

Draw a Vampire Bat

You can draw a Vampire bat without it being scary. In fact, they can be downright funny like this guy. Here’s a tutorial on how to draw this very friendly looking bat. Oversized heads and symmetrical shapes always seem to work better for young artists, so this one is great for even kindergartners. • View and … Read More

Bat Painting, Silhouettes on Coffee Filters

A fun way to make a bat painting as the permanent marker makes it easy to draw and color, and the coffee filters and watercolors never fail to amaze me with their vivid color. There’s a reason why I call them the “poor man’s watercolor paper”. MATERIALS • Jumbo coffee filters, from restaurant supply store • … Read More

Batik Pumpkin Art

This batik pumpkin art is meant to imitate the real thing, a resist-dyeing process that originated in Indonesia. Children can simulate the look of cracked wax and color by working with crayons and watercolor.  MATERIALS • Drawing paper • Black Sharpie marker, fine tip • Crayola crayons • Liquid watercolor paint, black or blue   DIRECTIONS … Read More

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