Boxed Butterfly

Art can cross with science in this boxed butterfly project. 1. Fold an origami box lid that is about 4″ in diameter. 2. Draw a folded butterfly to fit in the box. Heavy cardstock paper will work best. 3. Cut butterfly out and color with markers. 4. Glue a small piece of foam core in the … Read More

Purple Headed Robots

posted in: Kindergarten, Painting | 0

It was time for a color mixing lesson for the pre-K kids today, so at the teacher’s request, we made it very simple and geometric. Templates were used for the body and head, but the rest was free drawn. 1. Students traced a 7″ square box that had a heart cut out (thanks to a standard … 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

Drawing Cartoon Faces

posted in: Cartoon Drawing | 0

Happy New Year everyone! Here’s a cartoon face tutorial that I made up awhile back, and seemed to work well for my students. I wanted to encourage them to start their faces with something other than an oval, but they needed some inspiration to do so. • View and download Cartoon Heads Tutorial

Recycled Coffee Cups for Paint

I wouldn’t guarantee that these are “spill proof” cups, but they will beat a totally open cup any day. I needed to distinguish between some similar watercolor paints today, and these washed out coffee cups with holes cut in the lids helped to keep the blue-green from getting confused with the plastic-cupped blue. One more reason … Read More

Watercolor, Salt and Snowflakes

posted in: Christmas, Painting | 0

Here is a really simple way to add texture to a watercolor painting. Just sprinkle salt while it’s still wet and let sit for a few minutes. All kinds of cool shapes will develop from the salt absorbing the water. 1. Paint a sheet of watercolor paper generously with several shades of blue liquid watercolor paint. … Read More

Matchbox Art Template

Finally, my promised Matchbook Art Template and instructions. I tried this on several different papers and ended up liking a heavy 110 lb. card stock the best. Here’s how I dealt with a large group of afterschool students, ages kinder through 5th grade. • View and download Matchbox Tutorial PREP: Print and trim a tray, insert … Read More

Glue and Color Sticks

posted in: Drawing | 0

This abstract landscape was drawn with Elmer’s glue on black cardstock paper, and later filled in with Crayola Color Sticks. I promise this is not a paid endorsement, I just wanted to share how well these three supplies work together. I don’t find Elmer’s great for most gluing projects, but it is perfect for drawing because … Read More

Super Scratch Art Mitten

Making scratch art with oil pastels is not new, but have you tried making different color combos on one piece of art? Or tried coloring three layers to see what happens? Many different textures are possible, including this fuzzy-looking mitten that was first colored yellow, then purple, then scratched with a stylus, then colored again with … 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

Sticker Snowman Card

Office stickers make these snowmen a breeze to put together, so students can concentrate on creating a short story. And with just a few adjustments to the placement of the eyes, nose and buttons, all kinds of body positions are possible. PREP: Cut lots of 2.25″ x 4.25″ rectangles (with a paper cutter) from multicolored card … Read More

Tissue Paper Leaves

Fall leaves are made of lots of fun curvy shapes, so I had my art journal students trace them today to make a tissue paper collage of maple, white oak, elm and maple leaves. 1. Download my leaf line art and print a page for each student. Pass out lots of rectangles of tissue paper that … Read More

Abstract Winter Watercolor Trees

posted in: Painting, Winter | 0

If students concentrate on making a very simple geometric drawing, they can just focus on seeing how precise their painting can be. 1. Have students make tall, skinny triangle templates, or for kinders or 1st graders, make them ahead of time. About three triangles are traced in the middle of the paper. 2. Students to draw … Read More

Lettering on Acetate

My afterschool students practiced their lettering with acetate tracings, mounted to photo backgrounds.   1. I printed out this quote “Every Child is an Artist’ using Fink Gothic typeface, graying the lines to make the tracing more readable. Students placed a sheet of acetate over it and traced the letters with a black permanent marker. 2. Sharpie … Read More

How to Doodle Your Name

posted in: Drawing | 0

Here’s a few simple steps to follow to make anyone’s name look super hip and hand drawn. It works great for any kind of heading you may need or want to have that popular doodle look. • View and download my Doodle Name Tutorial

Fundraiser Painting for Little Artists

posted in: Kindergarten, Painting | 0

I tried one more watercolor project with my T-K class this week, one that I wanted to be successful with as many students as possible for our school’s art fundraiser. Many are still just learning their alphabet, so I made a page with the letters and grid printed very lightly so that they could just concentrate … Read More

Sara’s Cartoon Faces

I had so much fun watching all these faces come to life in my Cartoon Class this afternoon. I saw many students, from kinder through 5th grade, make drawings full of character and charm. Every week I’m loving more and more how the funky cartoon distortions of things are a great match for children just learning … Read More

Glowing Cat Eyes

These glowing cat eyes are made from blending a few layers of pencil crayons. White on the bottom, then yellow, and for those interested in more detail, a bit of brown. Please note though, that the average pencil crayon and black construction paper won’t deliver these results. The projects works best on black art paper with … Read More

White Marker Drawings

I started with one of my favorite poems, “The Wise Owl” for this 2-page spread layout. 1. I really love the look of white on dark journal pages I have been coming across, so I splurged on a white DecoColor marker from Aaron Brothers. To prepare the pages, I painted them with a dark blue watercolor … Read More

Collage Name Card

Lately I’ve been inspired by scrapbook artists and the layered-looking collages they often create. This project lets students get creative and colorful with the letters in their name. SESSION ONE 1. Cut enough 9″ x 12″ drawing paper into fourths measuring 4.5″ x 6″ to furnish each student with one page for each letter in their … Read More

Paper Mache Owl

posted in: Paper mache | 0

I have to say that new art products available today sometimes make all the difference. These owls were decorated with poster markers and they just kind of came to life in little hands. Detailed eyes, feathers, patterns and more kept the kids engaged in their creations much longer than usual. Here’s an overview of the four … Read More

Recycled Rooster

Save all those clean packing boxes, such as for cereal and pasta, and you can make some really colorful collage roosters. For a lead in story, “Farmyard Beat” is perfect and actually the inspiration for this project. 1. Most 1st graders have trouble drawing large sizes, so I made templates for them to trace. They just … 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

Clover’s Doodle Bird Drawing

I’m trying to encourage my students to do more doodle drawing, which I define as just very simple shapes that may be random or may make a picture. The goal is simply for them to have fun, and work independently. I’m not against helping someone who is struggling, but some students turn asking for help into … Read More

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