Painting King Tut

Here’s a combo made in art heaven — gold tempera paint and King Tut. Works great for history lessons, or even an excuse to use the paint. It’s inexpensive and adds a bling that students all seem to love. MATERIALS • Multi media paper, 9″ x 12″ • Black Sharpie makers, chisel tip • Gold tempera … Read More

Watercolor Sheep Painting

Here’s a simple sheep painting project, with bodies made of crayons, and then a painted background. The crayons will resist the paint, so you can paint right over them. Just be sure to color their bodies really well with the white crayon so that none of the paint sticks. MATERIALS • Watercolor paper • Crayons • … Read More

Old Fashioned Winter House

Old buildings are the stuff of storytelling, so this Old Fashioned Winter House is a perfect for young students this time of year. This painting was made by a kinder student named Ruby awhile back. I love how colorful her home is. Thanks Ruby for letting me share it! MATERIALS • Watercolor paper • Sharpie, black, … Read More

Watercolor Birch Trees

This Watercolor Birch Tree project uses tape to block off the tree shapes, and watercolor paint and salt to make the textured midnight sky. MATERIALS • Watercolor paper • Masking tape • Scissors • Watercolor paint, blue • Table salt • Acrylic paint DIRECTIONS 1. Tape a border around the edge of a square of watercolor … Read More

Snowflake Painting

Here’s a simple snowflake painting project that was inspired by an illustration on a stock art website. I’ve found some amazing ideas at istockphoto.com and shutterstock.com, and gettyimages.com, just to name a couple. Search vector illustrations for a topic and you can find literally thousands of drawing ideas. MATERIALS • Watercolor Paper, 9″ x 9″ (recommended … Read More

Watercolor Resist Snowflake Art

This watercolor resist snowflake art is easy to create with laser-cut wood decorations that are found at craft stores. They make perfect crayon rubbing material because they are so decorative, yet perfectly flat. SUPPLIES • Multimedia Paper • Wooden Laser Cut Snowflakes • Chipboard, about 8″ x 10″ sheet for each snowflake • Craft glue • … Read More

Sharpie Winter Landscape

To wrap up my Sharpie Blog Roll, here is a Sharpie Winter Landscape project that I found works well for a wide range of students. The black permanent marker allows for liberal painting over the trees, and the white marker creates easy dots of snow to finish things off. • View and download Winter Landscape Tutorial … Read More

Draw a Cartoon Turkey

For something new, draw a cartoon turkey and then make up a funny story about him or her. This guy is pretty simple, and I’ve even tried it successfully with kinders. At the very least, you will get something far better than just tracing your hand. • View and download PDF Turkey tutorial MATERIALS • Color … Read More

Halloween Boxes with Sharpies

My favorite part of these little Halloween boxes is the color combination. I love the soft orange and matte black and shiny silver. Fortunately, they all come from supplies that are very easy for kids to use too. MATERIALS • White paper jewelry boxes • Sharpie marker, black, fine tip • Sharpie marker, black, brush tip … Read More

How to Draw a Haunted House

When students learn how to draw a haunted house, they can practice their architectural drawing while changing just a few elements to make their houses extra spooky. • View and download Haunted House Tutorial MATERIALS • Color print of Haunted House tutorial • Multimedia paper • Black Sharpie • Liquid watercolor paint   DIRECTIONS 1. You … Read More

Tree Silhouette Art

This tree silhouette art is a multimedia project using chalk pastel and tempera cake paint. Each media does what they do best – make fuzzy backgrounds and opaque coloring. MATERIALS • Multimedia paper • Old CD for tracing • Chalk pastels (blue and purple recommended) • Tempera cake paint, black • Paint brush, water DIRECTIONS 1. … Read More

Bat Painting, Silhouettes on Coffee Filters

A fun way to make a bat painting as the permanent marker makes it easy to draw and color, and the coffee filters and watercolors never fail to amaze me with their vivid color. There’s a reason why I call them the “poor man’s watercolor paper”. MATERIALS • Jumbo coffee filters, from restaurant supply store • … Read More

Batik Pumpkin Art

This batik pumpkin art is meant to imitate the real thing, a resist-dyeing process that originated in Indonesia. Children can simulate the look of cracked wax and color by working with crayons and watercolor.  MATERIALS • Drawing paper • Black Sharpie marker, fine tip • Crayola crayons • Liquid watercolor paint, black or blue   DIRECTIONS … Read More

Easy Snowflake Art with Paint and Paper

Here is one way to make easy snowflake art with paint and paper. Try blending several shades of blue on good watercolor paper and sprinkle salt to add more texture. Brush it off when dry and glue down punched out paper snowflakes. Super simple and gets amazing results every time.  MATERIALS • Watercolor paper (try Strathmore … Read More

Torn Winter Tree Art

This winter tree art landscape makes use of a simple idea, namely that torn paper looks a lot like the bark edges of a tree, but needs to be done neatly for maximum impact. I first did this with a mixed class that included first graders, and while they painted and tore the paper just fine, … Read More

Overlapping Art, with Architecture

One of the steps to go from drawing flat landscapes to ones with depth is to create overlapping art. This project plays with the idea, and need not follow any perspective rules. Young artists can just have fun making lots of 3D looking buildings that completely fill their page. MATERIALS • Drawing or multi-media paper • … Read More

How to Draw an Owl

Learn how to draw an owl, and then finish it of with some pretty paint and metallic markers. Their shimmery color will look extra pretty against the matte paint colors. PREP • Print Easy Owl PDF template MATERIALS • Liquid watercolor paint • Sharpie, black, fine point • Crayola Metallic Markers DIRECTIONS 1. Print a tutorial … Read More

Coffee Filter Trees

It turns out that it’s easy and inexpensive to make some amazing coffee filter trees. Put them on some nice card stock paper and you have all the makings of a beautiful fall collage. MATERIALS • Coffee filters • Plastic embroidery canvas • Recollections card stock paper, blue • Recollestions card stock paper, black • Crayons … Read More

Veteran Flag from Georgia

In honor of Memorial Day, here’s one of my favorite posts from a few years ago. Claire L., a volunteer who works regularly with the seniors, planned this project that I hear was a huge success. In fact, here is what she wrote about the completion of the flag: “When I went to Southland Nursing Home … Read More

Mister Seahorse

Eric Carle’s wonderful book “Mister Seahorse” is perfect for kinders that are studying amazing animals, such as mine in the Los Angeles School District. This project has been on my keeper list for years now, and I even have a previous tutorial I will add below. Pictured here is the plastic embroidery mesh panels that I … Read More

Easy Statue of Liberty Tutorial

I created this easy Statue of Liberty tutorial for 1st graders, who study US symbols in the spring of each year. If you simplify the clothes, it really helps students concentrate on the very unmistakable pose of Lady Liberty. • View and download Statue of Liberty Tutorial MATERIAL • Watercolor paper • Sharpie marker, fine tip … Read More

Green Monsters

When great books can be matched with kinder painting projects, you might just get some really amazing art. Here are two adorable examples. Materials: • Drawing or multi-media paper, 9″ x 12″ or larger • Black Sharpie marker, black chisel tip • Tempera cake paints Read “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. Direct students … Read More

Coffee Filter Watercolor Hearts

If you paint and cut out coffee filters, you just might get some really pretty Valentine cards. My students let them sit on plastic canvas mesh while painting and drying, so sometimes the grid bleed through, which was kinda cool too. Happy almost Valentine’s Day everyone! MATERIALS • White round coffee filters • Old steam iron … Read More

Watercolor Jewels

Here’s what my Art Trading Card students did last week, a series of jewel shapes that were painted with watercolor and topped with glitter paint. I diagrammed on the board how to draw each jewel first, mostly starting with the inside shapes and then working out. I keep seeing that most students handle drawing straight lines … Read More

Martin Luther King Silhouette

Here’s a start to a MLK project that children can customize however they want. It begins with coffee filter, template and black Sharpie, and ends with an added message and watercolor paint. • View and download MLK Dream PDF template PREP: Press 9.5″ wide coffee filters with a steam iron. Print out a template for each … Read More

George Washington Quarter

As a followup to the Penny Project, here is a template for making a George Washington Quarter. Just download the template below, trace onto a flattened coffee filter, and paint with gray watercolor paint. Try making a little darker gray paint and adding it to shadowy areas. Happy President’s Day! • View and download Quarter PDF … Read More

Victorian House

This old-fashioned Victorian House is the stuff of storytelling. It’s tall shape and old windows are fun for children to draw. MATERIALS • Multimedia Paper • Sharpie, black • Liquid watercolor paint • Crayons DIRECTIONS 1. Draw the tall house in pencil. 2. Trace the drawing with a black marker. 3. Draw snowflakes in the sky … Read More

Santa Bear in Tempera Paint

This Santa Bear is a great project for those as young as kinder or so. The simple shapes allow for lots of creative additions, especially when choosing what your bear is wearing. • View and download Bear Tutorial MATERIALS • Drawing or multi-media paper, 9″ x 12″ or larger • Black Sharpie marker, black chisel tip … Read More

Map Tracing

posted in: Drawing, Painting | 2

I’ve found another use for my supply of dry wax paper, which is my staple for canvas portrait art. The paper is perfect for tracing, painting and crumbling, as in making “old” maps. Lots of possibilities for Columbus Day and Thanksgiving art projects. 1. A class was studying ancient Greece, so I googled for a line … Read More

Make Your Own Glitter Paint

I was happy to stumble across the joys of glitter watercolor paint this week with lots of Day of the Dead artwork, but sad to read that my supplier was discontinuing it. I had a McGyver moment though, and discovered how to make my own. I mixed this glitter paint found at Michaels and my liquid … Read More

Draw a Monster, Super Close up Style

Quite possibly the world’s simplest how to draw a monster project. Students used a roll of masking tape to draw the eyes, one of which needed to be going off the page. Try challenging older students to add shadows by painting extra layers of color along the edges. MATERIALS • Watercolor paper, try Strathmore for special … Read More

The Scream and Blow Painting

This Scream art project was shared from Washington Elementary School in Michigan, and it was a huge hit with my students as well. It combines Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” face with some blow paint fun for all kinds of expressionist possibilities. WARM UP Look at Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” painting to see how much expression can … Read More

Aura Paintings

So here are two first grade paintings from my “Stick Person” project, now renamed (thank you Ms. B!) Aura Paintings. I adore them and am putting this project on my keeper list. To recap, students drew themselves as stick people, traced with a fat, chisel tip Sharpie marker, and then traced the edges with liquid watercolor. … Read More

Stick Drawing Painting

Say yes to stick figures for a day, and let students just concentrate on their fine motor painting skills. Students draw themselves in stick figure form. The drawing is traced with a chisel tip black Sharpie marker for a bold line. Using a small or medium brush, the body is traced with liquid watercolor paint. The … Read More

Miro on Coffee Filters

If you’ve ever painted on a flat coffee filter, you’ll know how fun it is to watch the color seep and spread and grow. That’s what got me started with trying to find a fun new way for pre-K students practice drawing shapes. The fact that it looks a lot like Miro’s artwork is just a … Read More

Visual Art Instructions

Here is my experiment in diagramming art instructions. Maybe visual projects need visual instructions? It would be interesting to truly test different approaches and see which gets the better overall comprehension. For this class I taped what media was used for each step, and students had to check to see if they had used all the … Read More

Kinder Trees

Kinders are learning about trees at my school, so I created this lesson that lets them paint one, roots and all. PREP: Draw and cut a trunk stencil as shown out of chip board, one for each student. Students trace the trunk stencil with a pencil. The ground line and tree top are added. All of … Read More

Easy Kinder Painting

I’ve tried many projects for new kinders over the past ten years, and this is now my favorite. It’s simply drawing stars with oil pastels and then painting a wash of liquid watercolor over them. There are always a few students who are still figuring out how to draw and hold a brush, so they need … Read More

Draw an Abstract Self Portrait

Here is an adaptation of my popular Abstract Face project for older students. It still has simple features that fill the face, but allows for some personalization with hair and shoulders, etc. I think it might make a good early self portrait project for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders as it bypasses all the fussy eye … Read More

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