Scratch Art Paper

You don’t have to buy expensive scratch art paper. If you have some good oil pastels, you can make your own.   MATERIALS • Card stock paper • Sharpie, black, chisel tip • Oil pastels (I recommend Portfolio) • Wooden skewers   DIRECTIONS 1. With a pencil, students draw at least 3 simple upside-down curves to … Read More

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

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

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

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

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

Abstract Art Cat

Turn a simple drawing into an Abstract Art Cat by just dividing the page into quarters, and changing colors accordingly. Neat coloring is called for, as even a little bit scribbling will not have the same effect as this amazing young student’s art. Not up for the messiness of pastels? Markers are another option, if you … Read More

Maple Leaf Drawing, Kandinsky Style

Here’s a maple leaf drawing idea that uses colors, Kandinsky-style. Kandinsky was one of the first artists to make abstract paintings that celebrated ideas as simple as rings of color. I followed my Maple leaf drawing lesson seen in the diagram below and then used some new Prang crayons for the vivid color. They really do … Read More

Modigliani Self Portrait

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Nelson Mandela Mural

Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa in 1994, serving until 1999. A symbol of global peacemaking, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. I made this mural to honor his incredible life and accomplishments. To purchase this PDF template for just $5, please visit My PDF Shop.

Cheap Scratcher Sticks

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I’ve found some of the best art supplies at my local Smart & Final (restaurant supply) store. If you ever need scratcher sticks, be it for scratch art paper or clay projects, etc., try using wooden skewers instead. You can get 500 for about $8, versus 25 wooden stylus for $4. I’m sure Amazon carries them … Read More

Color Study, Paul Klee Style

Paul Klee (1879 – 1940) was an modern art master who fell in love with color after a visit to Tunisia. I love his “Ancient Harmony” painting that twinkles with light and dark patches of color. Students can follow his idea for a fun color study by choosing two groups (light/dark, warm/cool colors) and have one … Read More

Scratch Art Mitten

Making a scratch art mitten with oil pastels can be rather basic, but have you tried making different color combos on one piece of art? Or coloring three layers to see what happens? Many different textures are possible, including this fuzzy-looking mitten. Please note that I used Portfolio pastels, which are really soft and rich in … Read More

Patterned Mitten

I often see students use oil pastels like crayons, as in lightly coloring and shading with them. Unfortunately, that doesn’t let pastels show their “true colors” (sorry!) which come about with pressure and density. Here’s a very simple winter-theme drawing that has lots of pattern possibilities. Older students should be able to draw their own, but … Read More

Turkey Art

This scratch turkey art technique is called “sgraffito’, and it works great for turkey feather lines and more. • View and download Line Turkey Template MATERIALS • Print of Line Turkey Drawing • Black Sharpie, fine tip • Oil Pastels (I recommend the Portfolio brand) DIRECTIONS 1. I made a simple line drawing of a turkey … Read More

Draw a Cute Fox

Here’s how to draw a cute fox that includes a little perspective lesson too. Students can just focus on the cute face and tail, and then add simple trees in the background to add even more space. Keep the shapes simple and the coloring neat and might be surprised at what you can do. • View … Read More

Kandinsky Leaves

Here’s an idea for mixing art history with the season, filling in a leaf drawing with Kandinsky-style circles. I followed my leaf drawing lesson HERE, and then used these great crayons that Prang let me sample. They are called Color Wands, are a pleasure to color with, and keep little fingers from getting really messy. I … Read More

Student Gallery of Murals

I’d like to thank Ms. Sterling’s 5th and 6th grade class at Orangevale Adventist School for sharing their amazing artwork with me. They have used my murals for the past three years with these beautiful results. The finished art is mounted on a canvas with Modge Podge before hanging them in the art room (which looks … Read More

Indian Symbols

Brown packing paper and oil pastels are great for making a simulated rawhide drawing. I never throw my paper away after I get art supplies. The pre-wrinkled surface works too well, and it’s free. 1. Tear a 20″ or so section from the packing paper. Draw an Indian symbol in pencil. 2. Trace the art with … Read More

Jim Dine Style Hearts

This project is actually doing triple duty this week: continuing the student’s study of warm and cool colors, teaching them about a Pop artist named Jim Dine, and providing 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, … Read More

Ode to Picasso Mural

Pablo Picasso was born in 1881 in Malaga, Spain. He created thousands of paintings, prints, sculptures and ceramics during his lifetime. Many consider Picasso the greatest art genius of the twentieth century. This mural is compilation of some of his most famous paintings. It has 25 pages and measures 36″ x 48″ when complete. To purchase … Read More

NEW Matisse Mural $5

The Dessert: Harmony in Red is a painting by French artist Henri Matisse and considered by many to be his masterpiece. You can make your own large mural (48″ x 36″) by purchasing my pdf template, coloring in all 24 pages, and taping them back together. Visit my PDF Shop to purchase and download for just … Read More

How to Draw a Klee Portrait

Here’s another project that I believe works well with a kindergarten Common Core Math Standard. This continuous line drawing is made by following the “up” and “down” and “over” directions shown on my diagram page. The fact that the finished art will look a lot like a famous Paul Klee painting means a little art history … Read More

Drawing Frida Kahlo

A few key features will help you learn how to draw artist Frida Kahlo like a pro. She was a Mexican self-portrait artist and feminist icon who was married to Diego Rivera. Draw her hair up, with flowers and classic heavy eyebrows, and there’s not much mistaking whose portrait you are drawing. • View and download … Read More

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