Marker Line Leaves

1. Start by drawing the center veins of each leaf, which kind of looked like a long main line with an “X” through it. Sketch lightly with a pencil. Continue drawing these until the paper is full. See my small diagram. 2. Still using your pencil, draw the outside curved edge of each leaf as shown … Read More

Draw a Wrap Snake

This snake made for a fun drawing in my afterschool class recently. I made a plan for drawing the snake on top of a branch, and then erasing the parts that wouldn’t show. It guarantees that the snake segments will all line up with each other. 1. Follow the diagram above to draw a snake in … Read More

Op Art Swirl

Op Art is a math-themed form of abstract art, which uses repetition of simple forms and colors to create optical effects. 1. The students make a dot somewhere near the middle of the paper. They draw four or five sets of wavy “triangle” shapes radiating outward. The shapes need to be done in pairs for the … Read More

Tiki Face Drawings

If you want to encourage your students make BOLD art, then try giving them really BOLD markers, as in the fat, chisel tip Sharpie variety. It really makes a big difference. 1. Students fold brown paper in half down the center to help them draw symmetrically. I show them how to draw big eyes at an … 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

Tinted Ugly Bunny

One of the arts standards for elementary students is learning how to tint colors by adding white. My students had fun making bunnies that didn’t have to look perfect and symmetrical.   CLASS ONE: 1. On a large (12″ x 19″) sheet of brown paper, student drew a large “ugly” bunny. The definition of ugly in … Read More

Mosaic Tape Rainbow

My creative curiosity has been peaked with a recent discovery of colored paper tape. It really makes any type of mosaic work a slam dunk, with no messy glue. 1. Beginning with 1″ green tape, cut strips into squares and line up across the bottom of a sheet of black paper. 2. Use purple tape squares … Read More

Laurel Burch 3D Cat

You can use this idea to turn any silhouette into a 3-dimensional shape. Just make sure you use a thick paper so your design will stand up nice and straight. 1. I made a two cardboard templates of a silhouette (see picture) and had the students trace each onto the heaviest watercolor paper I could find. … Read More

Ceramic Planter Face

Making this ceramic planter and then planting seeds for hair makes the growth process a lot more fun. 1.  Use a wire cutter to make about 3/4″ thick slabs cut from a block of clay. Each student uses a plastic drinking glass (about 3.5″ diameter) to cut a circle from one corner of the slab for … Read More

Fun with William Wegman

William Wegman is a photographer famous for his compositions with his Weimaraner dogs. His fascination with humanizing his animals has created hundreds of amazing videos and photographs. I like his book shown here as it shows the dogs in many everyday poses. • View and download Dog Head Template 1. Print Dog Head template and gave … Read More

Dr. Suess Signs

Our school has a Dr. Suess celebration each year, and with our modular classroom set up in California, we have a lot of long outdoor halls without much signage. I had students make up their own to add color and creativity to our school.   1. I started with large sheets of white foam core, and … Read More

Draw a Whale

I found this simple whale drawing to work especially well with younger elementary students, as in kinder through 2nd grade. One of my favorite new media combinations is to have students trace their drawing with a Sharpie, add crayon patterns and decorations, and then cover all with liquid watercolor paint. I think you get definition of … Read More

Escher Lizard

M.C. Escher’s art continues to amaze people all over the world. His many nature-themed tessellations are both lovely and brilliant.I found the repeating pattern in Escher’s Lizard Tessellation, and thought it would be fun as a classroom project. Just print copies of the single downloadable page trim, color, and assemble in groups of four as shown. … Read More

Fractured Heart

Layering oil pastels to make smooth gradations takes practice. This project will let students do just that. 1. Starting with a square paper, students draw a large heart in the middle, and then use a ruler to draw at least four lines completely across the paper. 2. Using smooth oil pastels, like my favorite Portfolio® brand, students color in … Read More

A Glossy Finish

posted in: Paper mache | 0

I learned long ago the value of adding a final gloss to paper mache projects, it makes everything look good. I’ve tried sprays and brush on mediums, but my favorite is a rather new one called Collage Pauge. This is not a paid endorsement, I just think the product does a great job. It is safe, … Read More

Doodle Lettering

There are some really cool new paper-like products out these days. I found YUPO at, which looks like vellum but feels like plastic. It’s great to paint on or trace with markers.   1. Students draw large stick letters for their name on copy paper, and then trace around those lines to make block letters. … Read More

Delaunay Art Journal Page

I love the work of Sonia Delaunay, not only for her colorful abstract circles, but also for her groundbreaking life story. This project is fun and easy for students if you can get transparent circle stencils. I found a really good one at Laurie Speltz, The Creative Coach. She offers a teacher discount so you can … Read More

Kinder Snowman

This is a kinder art + book match that I feel is about as good as you can get. “The Biggest, Best Snowman” by Margery Cuyler not only tells a great story, it involves the actual creation of a snowman. This is helpful to little ones that may have yet to build one of their own. … Read More

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