Veggie Painting

I found this idea for painting vegetables over at 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

Mom Pop Out Flower Card

My students are learning how to make pop out flowers this week, which make a pretty nice Mother’s Day card. Last year I did this with hearts, but I like this flower for this time of year, for all the obvious reasons. Supplies: • 12″ x 12″ solid cardstock scrapbook paper • 12″ x 12″ print … 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. 1. To help cut swatches, I gave the students a template to follow, printed on 8.5″ x 11″ cardstock. I passed out several old magazines to have them cut out swatches of red, and … 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

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

Draw a Doberman

Maybe it’s the oversized nose or the dark coloring. Something about this drawing had my students create some really great looking dogs a few weeks back. The symmetry probably helps too, that always seems to make things easier. • View and download Doberman PDF Tutorial

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

NEW! Create with Clay eBook

posted in: Ceramics | 0

I am so proud to share a brand new ebook that is a collaboration with my friend, Jenni Ward, a renowned ceramic artist who lives near Santa Cruz, CA. She has been teaching classes to children for years, and has documented five of some of her favorite clay projects. If you are looking for some new … 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

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 press large coffee filters to make them flat, cut them into 2.5″ x 3.5″ rectangles, and paint them with liquid watercolor paint, you just might get some really pretty cards. My students let them sit on plastic embroidery mesh while paiting and drying, so sometimes the grid bleed through, which was kinda cool too. … 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 Hearts

This 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. 1. After viewing some of Jim Dine’s painting to see his style, students … 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

Sophia’s Collage

posted in: artist Beardon, Collage | 0

This has to be one of my most favorite collages ever. Fourth graders were challenged to make a new person or animal by combining at least two magazine photos. Sophia was drawing a blank for most of the class, and then I turn around to see this. I just can’t get over how perfect it is, … 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

Matchbox with Mini Pom Poms

My afterschool Matchbox 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. Materials: • White card stock paper • Glue … Read More

Kinder Candle Cards

Making holiday cards with kinders may sound like a fairly simple task, until you factor in all the details. Is it doable with a wide range of abilities? Is it flexible for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or neither? Can students learn a new skill with it? And in the end, will it (hopefully) make a good looking … 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

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