Faith Ringgold 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

Art Trading Cards with Texture

You can buy texture rubbing plates, but my favorite alternative is using plastic embroidery mesh panels that are made for cross stitching. If you buy them large and cut them up, they are pretty cheap. Give students white cards that measure 2.5″ x 3.5″. Challenge is to think of things that come with a grid-like texture. … Read More

Sailboat on a Lake

This sailboat painting gives students a chance to add interest with elements such as the reflection of the sails and blue sky and the tonal greens across the shoreline forest. 1. Draw the boat and sails. Add a horizon line. Make some zig-zag lines for two layers of trees. 2. Trace all the lines with a black permanent marker. 3. Use a white … Read More

Classroom Doodle Mural

posted in: Markers | 0

My friend Simona shared her daughter’s classroom Earth Day mural with me last year. I think it’s spectacular! I thought it might inspire a few more artists before Tuesday’s Earth Day festivities. My Earth Day Doodle Mural comes in two sizes, one perfect for doors, and can be found at my PDF Shop.

Silent Auction Canvas Art

posted in: Fundraising, Markers | 0

If it’s April then my school’s silent auction can’t be far away. After years of trying different approaches, this art is what I will stay with next year. What’s new is finding value packs of stretched canvas at Aaron Bros and Michaels. A 16″ x 20″ pack of 5 costs just $25. So for $5 plus … Read More

Easter Card

Here’s an idea for a pretty Easter Card. Grid formats are fun to play with so feel free to make your own variation of this drawing. 1. I started by folding a piece of 8.5″ x 11″ watercolor paper in half. To make a quick grid without a lot of measuring, give each student a 1″ … Read More

In Your Face Cow Drawing

This idea comes from a funny painting I found in a home decor catalog. I love how it exaggerates the proportions of the cow. 1. I started with a 11″ x 14″ drawing paper, and folded it in half four times to get a grid of guidelines like those shown on my diagram. Have the students … Read More

Starry Night Skyline

Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” painting has inspired many an art project, and this is just one more. 1. Students to make several large yellow oil pastel circles of various sizes on a sheet of watercolor paper. Next they draw with a blue oil pastel lots of curvy lines that go around all the yellow circles. … Read More

Marker on Sticks Portrait

posted in: Markers | 1

I made this childhood portrait of my sister awhile back, using Sharpie markers on dry wax paper, adhered to popsicle sticks with watery glue. I’m really posting it now though as an excuse to wish her a happy birthday today. She can craft, cook, garden, wallpaper, build and farm like nobodies business, so my hat goes … Read More

Special Needs Art Project

posted in: Painting | 2

I’ve been asked in the past about art lessons for those with special needs, and just recently found this idea to work pretty well. I see a class every week that has mild to severely autistic kids, and it can be a struggle to find projects that cover the range of abilities.1. I used 9″ x … Read More

Burlap Weaving

Weaving lessons can come in many forms, the simplest being with just plain paper. My preference though is using actual fabric, and burlap has the most open and visible weave for beginners to work with. 1. Give each student a rectangle of burlap, about 3″ wide by 9″ tall. They are to pull about 5 threads … Read More

Warhol Art Trading Cards

If you are familiar with Andy Warhol’s art, then you might know that he celebrated repetition that came with popular art images like the Campbell’s soup can. I made a custom ATC template that you can download so students can come up with their own creative soup flavors. • View and download Warhol ATC Template 1. … Read More

California Mission Drawing Guide

Many California students are learning about missions this time of year, so I thought I’d like to share some more details about my drawing guide in my PDF Store. Years ago I discovered that students could draw some amazing buildings if they started with a grid. It really helped them concentrate on architectural features without struggling … Read More

Geometric to Organic Shapes

This is a fun and easy project that shows how you can turn geometric shapes into organic ones.1. Students used cardboard templates to trace many  triangles, circles and squares on their paper. Shapes could overlap, but some space should be left open. 2. All the shapes are to be colored in with a NON-permanent, waterbase marker. … Read More

Cartoon Car by Cassius

posted in: Drawing, Markers | 0

My afterschool Cartoon Class has drawn a lot of characters, but not a lot of vehicles. Today was time for a funny car. Cassius, a 4th grader, drew this cute dog complete with feet sticking up in the back. Too funny!

Jim Dine Inspired Hearts

Jim Dine is considered an important contemporary artist who helped to create the Pop Art movement. He used different popular imagery in his art, but hearts seemed to be his favorite. 1. I started with watercolor paper that had 6 hearts already printed on it (you can download a copy HERE) to make the project move faster. … Read More

Watercolor for Elephants

I tried out this elephant just today and loved the results! Some students went for realism with a muddy landscape background, and others had fun with fancy accessories. Either way, it’s another example of my favorite combination of black Sharpie marker + crayon + liquid watercolor paints. And yes, a step-by-step tutorial may be seen below. • View … Read More

How to Draw an Elephant Tutorial

A stock art drawing inspired this “How to Draw an Elephant” tutorial. I like how it helped students fill their paper, and just focus on the front of the animal. Afterwards, there was lots of room for being creative with adornment as well. MATERIALS • Multimedia or watercolor paper • Sharpie marker, black • Crayons • … Read More

Tiger Drawing

Henri Rousseau was a French artist that lived in the late 1800s. He tried to paint in the schooled manner of the traditional artists, but it was the innocence and charm of his work that won him the admiration of many avant-garde artists such as Paul Klee.  1. If possible, show a poster of Rousseau’s “Surprised! … Read More

Color Wheel Heart

Combine a color lesson with Valentine’s Day and you may end up with a very pretty card too. I love it when students just draw with watercolor paints, and not use any pencil first. One option is to give them a heart-punched card that they can use as a stencil. They fill it in with red … Read More

Divided 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

Martin Luther King Coloring Page

To support all the upcoming lessons about Martin Luther King, I offer this free 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 eyes … Read More

Dry Brush Winter Painting

This lesson was designed to show students how pretty layered colors can be when using opaque paints, such as acrylic or tempera. Some very painterly effects can happen when you just lightly brush one color on top of another. SESSION ONE: Students painted the bottom third of a heavy paper white to create a base. This example … Read More

My Favorite Drawing Products for 2012

Some may think there’s no big difference between brands of markers and papers for kids, but I’ve learned better. My search this year for cartoon drawing tools that would bring the best results led me to the combination of Stabilo Markers and Artist’s Loft Drawing paper. The markers are amazing as they have fat tips that … Read More

Chinese New Year Mural

The 2013 Chinese New Year is celebrated on February 10th, which is the year of the Snake. I made this paper-cut style mural to celebrate this holiday and learn more about the amazing Chinese art culture. To purchase and immediately download this pdf file, click the image and you will be directed to my new PDF … Read More

Mini Matisse Painting

Matisse was a French artist, known for his use of color and organic shapes. You can see his painting that inspired me HERE.  1. Miniature canvases (3″x3″) and easels are available at Aaron Brothers stores and jerrysartarama online. Use a pencil to lightly draw lines on the canvas in the style of any Mondrain painting.  2. Using Sharpie Brush Tip Markers, color the light colors … Read More

Mini Mondrian Sharpie Painting

Piet Mondrian was a compulsive Dutch artist who could never bear to see anything disordered or untidy. It’s not difficult to see that in his artwork, which you can see HERE.  1. Use a pencil to lightly draw lines on the mini canvas in the style of any Mondrian painting. 2. Using Sharpie Brush Tip Markers, color in the rectangles … Read More

Mini Diamond Kandinsky Painting

Imagine the fun of giving your friends a Kandinsky masterpiece – made by you of course. These are too fun and easy to give to everyone on your list.  1. Miniature canvases (2″x4″, 3″x3″) and easels are available at Aaron Brothers stores and jerrysartarama online. 2. Use a pencil to lightly draw two lines on the canvas, evenly … Read More

Mini Kandinsky Masterpiece

I was excited to find these mini canvases and easels online at jerrysartarama, but I noticed that Aaron Brothers sells them now too. At any rate, they are perfect for a little “Mini Masterpiece” project. And Kandinsky’s circle painting is perfect for even very young ones to imitate. 1. Mini canvases come in all different sizes … Read More

Giant Gingerbread Cookie with Tempera Paint

This gingerbread cookie with tempera paint is a good way to turn your average brown construction paper into something cute. The white tempera paint looks a lot like real frosting.   MATERIALS • Brown construction paper, 18″ x 24″ • White tempera paint • Paint brush • Oil pastels • Scissors   DIRECTIONS 1. Each student … Read More

Pieced Snowflake Art Trading Cards

I crossed my Snowflake Resist posting with my Art Trading Card class and came up with this project today. I also tested out my “poor man’s watercolor supplies” which I think give the best results for the least amount of money. All you need is Strathmore Kid Series Drawing paper and Dick Blick Liquid Watercolor Paint, in this case … Read More

Crayon Resist Snowflake

If you go to the holiday decoration section at Michaels, you can find these amazing laser-cut wood snowflake decorations that are cheap (about three for $1) and perfect for making crayon rubbings. These are the same snowflakes I used for my Plaster Paperweight project. 1. I made this picture with a white crayon, but younger students could use … Read More

Close Cropped Snowman

Drawing closeup and cropping out what is unnecessary can make just about any artwork more interesting. Many students tend to draw really small with lots of extra space. If you are trying for dynamic images for special uses like greeting cards, this approach will make a big difference. 1. Students may use a ruler to trace … Read More

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