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

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

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

Abstract Winter Trees

A simple illustration I came across in a website inspired this project. 1. Give the students 2 different sizes of narrow triangle cardboard templates, and ask them to draw 3 triangles (trees) across the middle of a sheet of paper. 2. Instruct the students to draw a curvy ground line, and then connect the ground with … Read More

Pastel Tigers

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 the innocence and charm of his work eventually won admiration of many avant-garde artists. 1. Students trace a 6″ circle in the center of a 9″ x 12″ sheet of paper. 2. … Read More

Fall Oil Pastel Tree

I found this project on Artsonia.com. I love how it makes students think of trees as a series of branches, and not just a fluffy shape that sits on a stick. 1. Students draw a large “Y” on their paper. 2. They add smaller “Y”  on each side, alternating as they go up each branch. To make the “Y”  the … Read More

Mosaic Tape Rainbow

posted in: 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Mosaic | 2

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

Mosaic Tape Pumpkin Journal

This is basically my Mosaic Michaels Pumpkin project applied to paper. But rather than make a picture that just goes in a folder, students decorated the front of a folded cardstock paper with writing paper inside so they could have a “Halloween Journal.” 1. Black cardstock paper like this Recollections brand from Michaels makes this project work. … Read More

Kandinsky by Matson

If you need a simple oil pastel project that works for many grade levels, try my “Kandinsky Colorweaver” project. I had prepared the paper with the center horizontal and vertical pencil lines so the students could jump right in making the colored diamonds. Thanks to Matson, a talented 1st grader for letting me share this beautiful artwork.

Leaves with Lines

This is a good exercise for those small motor skills. I’ve found students have a lot of fun just losing themselves in their patterns. 1. Cardboard templates of leaves may help young artists get started, but drawing their own is always best. Students draw at least two of their favorite leaves, and then draw the veins … Read More

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

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