Delaunay Art Journal Page

I love the work of Sonia Delaunay, not only for her colorful abstract circles, but also for her groundbreaking life story. This project is fun and easy for students if you can get transparent circle stencils. I found a really good one at Laurie Speltz, The Creative Coach. She offers a teacher discount so you can … Read More

Kinder Snowman

This is a kinder art + book match that I feel is about as good as you can get. “The Biggest, Best Snowman” by Margery Cuyler not only tells a great story, it involves the actual creation of a snowman. This is helpful to little ones that may have yet to build one of their own. … Read More

Snowflake Art Trading Cards

I think my favorite thing about art trading cards and plastic sleeves, is that they instantly look laminated. Everything looks better when it’s smooth and shiny, if you ask me. 1. Students use liquid watercolor paints on watercolor paper cut to the ATC size: 2.5″ x 3.5″. Random “blobs” were overlapped just a bit until the … Read More

Diya’s Snowman Painting

posted in: Painting | 0

A little birdie recently shared this cute painting with me, created by a young Canadian girl named Diya. I believe Diya took my idea of drawing a snowman with a long carrot nose, and added a full moon for him to look at on a snowy winter night. It’s such a sweet composition that I wanted … Read More

Witch Feet Painting

Another idea that originated from stock Halloween illustrations. I think it offers some colorful seasonal fun, and some good symmetrical drawing practice too with those curvy, funky boots. 1. Students start drawing the boots in very simple steps. For instance, two centered lines for the backs of the boots, then the right and left heel, then … Read More

Kandinsky Art Trading Cards

Kandinsky was one of the first creators of pure abstraction in modern painting. Students can have fun imitating his color style, and for a change, hope their colors “run” into each other a bit. 1. Draw concentric circles on a 2.5″ x 3.5″ watercolor paper, in the style of Kandinsky’s Farbstudie Quadrate painting. 2. Fill in … Read More

Blowing Leaves Fall Tree

The basic concept behind perspective is learning that the further away objects are, the smaller they appear. This painting idea comes from one of the Usborne art books, all of which I am very fond of. 1. Students start by painting an off-center tree, with trunks and branches. A thick trunk with thinner branches work best. … Read More

Monet’s Water Lilies

Claude Monet (1840-1926) painted directly from nature and revealed that even on the gloomiest of days, an infinite number of colors can and do exist. To capture these fleeting hues, Monet created a new painting technique using short brushstrokes filled with individual color. The result was a canvas alive with painterly activity, the opposite of the … Read More

Oil Pastel Stars

It’s only taken me about six years to learn that kinder projects at the beginning of the school year need to be SUPER simple. Many are just learning how to control their pencil, let draw specific shapes. 1. I read a book called “Stars” by Mary Lyn Ray that has a nice message. Students wrote their … Read More

Tumbling Crayons

My afterschool watercolor class is filled with a few kinders, a lot of 1st through 3rd graders, and a few 4th and 5th graders. Rather than separate them, because grade is often irrelevant to ability, I choose projects that are adaptable. In my class today, the “beginners” practiced just drawing several separate crayons, the “mid levels” … Read More

Painted Light Switch

I saw this project in an Arts and Activities magazine. When your fridge and walls are already filled with your child’s art, have them paint your switch plates! 1. Your local hardware or home improvement store carries plastic switch plates for every need and they’re quite inexpensive. Provide the students with lots of acrylic paint and … Read More

Maud Lewis Cat Painting

Renowned Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis (1903 – 1970) painted colorful scenes of rural Nova Scotia using random art supplies and painful hands as a result of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.   1. Wet a 12″ x 9″ piece of watercolor paper, and paint the background bright yellow. Let dry. Using watercolor pencils (like Prismacolor), draw … Read More

Ancient Maps

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. 1. A class was studying ancient Greece, so I googled for a line drawing of a map and found THIS. I printed it … 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

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

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

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

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

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 paint, … 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

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

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

1 2 3 4