Butterfly Leaves

This project was inspired by Lois Ehlert’s beautiful book “Leaf Man”. A little technology, namely stock photography and a color printer, helped me make dozens of flat, easy to cut and glue leaves. 1. If you are so fortunate as to live near some fall foliage, you can take the real thing to a color copier and … Read More

Dimensional Magic Mod Podge

Here’s another new craft product that I’ve been turned on to, courtesy of Michaels and their 2012 Holiday Preview they invited me to last month. It’s called Dimensional Magic Mod Podge, and it looks like just glue until it dries, then “wow!”   1. Follow the steps posted in my “Creativity and Michaels Stores” post to … Read More

Creativity & Michaels Stores

Last month, fourteen bloggers and I were invited by Michaels to their 2012 Holiday Showcase in Dallas. We were all in arts and crafts heaven, spending time with Jo Pearson (above), Michael’s creative expert and judge of TLC’s “Craft Wars”, and previewing some of the coolest new products around. But most of all, we learned that … Read More

Miro Watercolor Painting

Joan Miro was a Spanish artist who developed a very whimsical style back in the 1930s. His painting called “People and Dog in Sun” is  fun to imitate by drawing stick figures, stars and circles. 1. Draw one large stick figure in the middle of a sheet of watercolor paper, preferably in some action pose. Miro often repeated … Read More

Positive / Negative Flower

This is a simple exercise that uses positive and negative shapes and lines. 1. Students start with a 6″ x 9″ sheet of white drawing paper, and a 4.5″ x 4.5″ sheet of black paper. 2. They place a 3.5″ x 3.5″ cardboard template on the black paper, centered on the top edge, and trace.  The … Read More

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

Scratch Art Leaf

A Scratch Art Drawing class calls for a different plan than a regular drawing class. Erasing is not an option, and I’d like the kids to focus on drawing lots of patterns, so I’m going to give them the outline of this leaf to start with.  • View and download Leaf for Scratch Art Template 1. … Read More

Torn Magazine Duck Collage

I adore torn edges. They have a way of making shapes that would never happen if you started cutting away with a pair of scissors. 1. Find two magazine pages with similar shades of yellow, and two with similar shades of orange. 2. Tear small shapes from both sheets of yellow and glue to make up … Read More

Draw like Renoir

Auguste Renoir, a French Impressionist painter, was famous for his use of vibrant light and saturated color. This scratch art project is one way to play simulate that look of bright light on a sunny day. 1. I used the 24 pack of Portfolio brand oil pastels as they provide the soft covering needed for scratching away layers … Read More

Layered Paper Weaving

I’ve found the “over and under” concept of weaving is easiest to learn when using strips paper. Yarn gets tangled too easily and takes time to show patterned results. 1. This sample was made from Strathmore “Smooth Bright Construction Paper” tablet as it has sturdy paper in great colors. To create the “warp” paper, have an … Read More

Drawing a Shaded Swan

I’m finding that many readers are interested in my drawing tutorials, I would just like to find a standard way to present them across Blogger, Pinterest, Facebook and Google +. I like this tall stacked layout with the finished art above, does that work well for everyone? Or do you have any suggestions? I plan to … Read More

Cat Head Pencil Shading

I’ve yet to meet a student that doesn’t like to draw a cat, so this shading exercise should work well for most classrooms.   1. Fold an 8.5″ x 11″ paper in half twice and sketch the outline of the cat as shown. 2. Medium gray tones are added, with a few spots left white to … Read More

Drawing Animals Book

posted in: Drawing | 0

I’ve collected 25 of my favorite animals drawings in my second step-by-step Drawing Book. Included are easy diagrams on how to draw a Bear Face, Walking Bear, Snow Bear, Bunny, Long Ear Bunny, Ugly Bunny, Bush Baby, Scaredy Cat, Cat Face, Sitting Cat, Folk Art Cat, Dog, Close Up Cow, Dubuffet Cow, Stegasaurus, Giraffe, Peacock, Reindeer, … Read More

Welcome Sign Template

posted in: Oil Pastel | 0

The countdown to a new school year is not far away. And since no self-respecting art teacher would buy a pre-made “Welcome” sign (just kidding!) I made one of my own. It’s a 4-page pdf file with large outlined letters that you can print and color any way you wish. I used my favorite Portfolio® pastels … Read More

“My Favorite” Collage

posted in: Collage, Painting | 0

This could be called “My Favorite” page, which could include food, pets, flowers, clothes … anything that is easy to find in your average magazine. 1. I found my photo first, and glued it to the center of the page. 2. I wrote in curved lines, “My Favorite” on top and then “Oatmeal Cookies” below with … Read More

Layered Pipes

I used to introduce 3rd and 4th graders to shading and tinting techniques with circles and spheres, but found this week that straight lines worked much better. The students can just concentrate on adding color to lines, instead of dealing with tricky curves. 1. Students were to first draw two parallel lines on their paper, either … Read More

Jasper Johns Grid

Jasper Johns, a master American artist, was the first to use everyday objects as his subject matter. One of his most famous paintings was just a grid with many numbers. Some math teachers find this art project helpful to have students practice lining up columns of numbers. 1. I printed up sheets of paper that were already divided into three … Read More

Paper Weaving

I find that paper is a good way to introduce kids to weaving as the patterns are more visible than with yarn. And I keep running across many 4th and 5th graders who have never tried any kind weaving, so I have concluded that this media gets overlooked way too often. 1. I did myself a … 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

Arcimboldo “Fruit Face”

Giuseppe Arcimboldo was an Italian artist from the 1500s who spent years working as an official court painter. He developed a style of composing portraits from fruits, vegetables, etc., which was uniquely his own. There’s a great book about him called “Fruit Face” which is what I used to introduce this lesson. 1. Find lots of … Read More

California Collage

    My experience with collage is that students enjoy them, but often have trouble filling a paper in one class session. I thought that if they all work on one large project, they might stay on task a little better. I’ve made a large multi-page California template that measures about 30″ tall. • View and download California … Read More

Woven Cup Holder Tutorial

I experimented with an idea from my “Crafts for Kids” magazine, and came up with this recycled magazine cup holder. It’s created by weaving around a water bottle, so a good fit is pretty much guaranteed. And you probably already have all the supplies to make one … or more. 1. Tear out seven pages from … 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

3D Paper Mache Letter

If you like those cool Pottery Barn letters but not the price, make your own. 1. My son’s letter is about 9″ tall. Start by drawing a big block letter on corrugated cardboard and cut out. Trace a second letter and cut it out also. 2. Get some styrofoam or similar cups and cut at least … Read More

Wet-on-Wet Watercolor Flowers

One thing that watercolor paint loves to do is run together. Instead of fighting that tendency, I showed my students how they can make “puddles” their friend by painting lots of irregular spots, some overlapping, which could later be outlined as delicate little flowers. 1. Flower spots of varying sizes and colors are painted on the … Read More

Hundertwasser Portrait on Sticks

I’m hooked on the Vienna artist Hundertwasser, so I thought I would try combining his style with my popsicle portrait project. I think his art has a kind of layered marker look to it so it seemed like a good match. 1. It seems that Hundertwasser had a real aversion to straight lines, so I thought … Read More

Art Trading Cards, or ATCs

Art Trading Cards are miniature works of art (2.5″ x 3.5″) that fit inside standard plastic card sleeves. This type of art was started in Switzerland in 1996 and grew out of an interest in mail art. ATCs are now produced all over the world in various media, including pencils, pens, markers, watercolor, acrylic paints, collage, … Read More

Geometric Print Man

When introducing printmaking to young students, it helps to keep things simple. Sometimes the most striking images are the result. 1. Each student should receive one 9″ x 12″ chipboard, a smaller piece of posterboard for the body, scissors and white glue. Instruct the students to cut geometric shapes from the posterboard to make a figure … Read More

Tissue Paper Collage

This is really good for young kids (age 5 and 6) who may not have used a paint brush before. The only catch is finding liquid starch, which seems to have been replaced by new products. 1. Students make a collage with just warm colors: red, yellow and orange. Give them a few dozen tissue paper … Read More

Tinted and Shaded Circles

Once students know how to mix basic colors, they can learn how to tint (add white), and shade (add black) to a color. 1. Each student gets a paper plate with white and black tempera, a brush, water, and the circled paper. I pre-printed circles on 9″ x 12″ paper. 2. Students chose just one other … Read More

Dino Skeleton Plaster Casts

I believe that kinders in CA are learning about dinosaurs right about now. This project is a great combination of art and science. PREP for each student: • Plastic dinosaurs skeletons from Oriental Trading Company • 5″ square of cardboard • 11″ x 2″ strip of heavy weight white paper • stapler • 2.5″ ball of … 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

How to Draw a House

I had great success with this project for kinders recently. Several even came back later saying they went home to draw more houses. Love it when that happens. 1. I printed out 1/4″ graph paper on 17″ x 11″ paper to help the students draw straight lines. Using just plain white paper would probably be fine … Read More

How to Draw a Cow

Here is a pretty simple way to draw a cow, starting with just some very familiar shapes. This one was done with crayon and watercolor, but white tempera paint on blue paper would look great too. •View and download How to Draw a Cow

Homemade St. Patrick’s Day Card

posted in: Painting | 0

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I’ve made a tutorial of my Shamrock project. If you can draw lines and hearts, then you can make this beautiful painting in honor of the holiday. Just save a few dollars for a gold paint marker because they really add a special touch.  

Ceramic Fish

This fish could be made with many different types of clay. I am partial to ceramics and the layering of color, for obvious reasons, I think. 1. The students will need a stylus or wooden tool, a cup of water, and a lump of clay about the size of their fist. To begin, they should just … Read More

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