Mayflower Map

 Lately I’m finding benefits to creating some tracing projects. It requires focus (so the room gets really quiet!) and I think students find it soothing somehow. This was made by tracing a map onto tissue paper, and then adding info and coloring with watercolor paint. I love how the paint makes the paper wrinkle, just like … Read More

Map Tracing

posted in: Drawing, Painting | 2

I’ve found another use for my supply of dry wax paper, which is my staple for canvas portrait art. The paper is perfect for tracing, painting and crumbling, as in making “old” maps. Lots of possibilities for Columbus Day and Thanksgiving art projects. 1. A class was studying ancient Greece, so I googled for a line … 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

Make Your Own Glitter Paint

I was happy to stumble across the joys of glitter watercolor paint this week with lots of Day of the Dead artwork, but sad to read that my supplier was discontinuing it. I had a McGyver moment though, and discovered how to make my own. I mixed this glitter paint found at Michaels and my liquid … 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

Cubism Face Fun

Mix Frankenstein with computer illustrated eye drawings and kids can have fun making some very silly faces.  1. Those on a budget could use magazine eyes, but I had too many kids to chance that they could all find some, so I looked for another option online. I found a great set at Pycomall and bought … 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

Miro on Coffee Filters

If you’ve ever painted on a flat coffee filter, you’ll know how fun it is to watch the color seep and spread and grow. That’s what got me started with trying to find a fun new way for pre-K students practice drawing shapes. The fact that it looks a lot like Miro’s artwork is just a … 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

Circle Pastel Sun

If I’ve learned one thing about oil pastels, it’s that the best results come from working with very simple shapes. They also allow for more experimenting with layering, which most students tend to overlook. And when that happens, all the lovely possibilities of overlapping colors are lost.

Self Portraits on Display

Here’s my canvas project from last year, finally on display at the local library in Studio City, CA. Each 18″ x 36″ canvas has self portraits from an entire grade level, representing kinder through 5th grade. It’s funny that it started off as a project with another destination in mind, but now seems custom made for … Read More

New Strathmore Cover Art

I had a chance to collaborate recently with the marketing department at Strathmore Paper, and really enjoyed developing this cover artwork for a new product that will be released in the fall. It’s a wonderfully thick, crisp black pad of paper that is perfect for dried glue and pastel projects. No more curly grayish construction paper, … Read More

Mission Paper Giveaway Contest

posted in: Drawing, Uncategorized | 0

For all the CA Mission Drawing teachers out there, here’s a chance to win some of the brown paper that I make myself for my students. It’s 12″ x 18″ Tru-Ray Pacon paper that is run through my Epson printer to add a light grid. It works wonders for aiding with architectural details, and the white … Read More

Delaunay Circles

Sonia Delaunay was the first living female artist to have a retrospective exhibition at the Louvre in 1964. My goal was to have students imitate her use of repeating shapes and colors so they could see the rhythm that is created. 1. Using circle templates, or misc. round shapes, students first draw two different sized circles … Read More

Draw an Abstract Self-Portrait

Here is an older student adaptation of my popular Abstract Face project. It still has simple features that fill the face, but allows for some personalization with hair. I think it might make a good early self portrait project for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders as it bypasses all the fussy eye and mouth details that … Read More

Abstract Face Tutorial

Many children have a natural tendency to draw small, so I like to direct them in simple shapes that must touch the sides of the paper. I’ve used this drawing with tempera paint, but thought I’d also post a watercolor version that includes colorful crayon lines and patterns. • View and download Abstract Face Tutorial   … Read More

NEW! Mini Master Murals 2

This Mini Mural Set consists of three smaller versions of these popular murals: “Sunflowers” by Van Gogh, “Red Room” by Matisse, and “Tree of LIfe” by Klimt. FINISHED DIMENSIONS: • Sunflowers: 23″ x 31″ • Red Room: 31″ x 24″ • Tree of Life: 30″ x 30″ To purchase and download for just $5, visit My … Read More

Camouflaged Hands

Here’s an idea I tried awhile back when students were learning about camouflage. I loved that they had a chance to be fully immersed in their art, messy hands and all. PREP: Tape a sheet of white paper to a larger piece of corrugated cardboard. 1. Students choose one tempera color and cover their entire paper. … Read More

Mona Lisa Coffee Filter Portrait

It’s possible to make really brilliantly colored paintings without expensive watercolor paper. Start with liquid watercolor paints, and paint on coffee filters, which hold the color amazingly well. 1. Print out one Mona Lisa template for every student. Iron 9″ coffee filters to make them flat. Tape one to the front of each face. Trace and … Read More

NEW! Draw More Animals 2 eBook

Just posted to My PDF Shop, my latest How to Draw ebook. In it you’ll find diagrams on how to draw an Armadillo, Baby Chick, Bald Eagle, Bird on Cat, Bunnies, Big and Little, Chickadee Bird, Dolphin, Easter Bunny, Elephant, Fox Sideways, Giraffe Face, Goose, Hippo, Horse, Cartoon, Kangaroo, Koala, Lab Puppy, Lion, Pig, Polar Bear, … Read More

Draw Lady Liberty’s Portrait

I’ve used this approach for drawing and painting the Statue of Liberty for years, and even kinders amaze me with how well they do. Just make sure to start with the guide lines shown on the tutorial, as they help keep the head in scale to the page. I also pre-mix the liquid turquoise color as … Read More

NEW Patterned Hands Project

If your students enjoyed my Warm Hands project, then they probably will like this one too. My pdf file includes the lined background paper for both the horizontal and vertical versions, and lots sample patterns so they can break away from the usual hearts, stars, etc. They also have a choice in coloring positive or negative … Read More

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