How to Draw the Grinch

You can learn how to draw the Grinch’s very mischievous face with my step-by-step tutorial. I’m going to see if I can play my favorite “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” song when my students draw him next week. • View and download the Grinch Tutorial MATERIALS • Color print of Grinch tutorial • Multimedia paper … 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

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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

How to Paint a Snowman

You can learn how to paint a snowman that is not small and boring. Make him (or her) much more interesting with close cropping and a few other special touches. To get those white windy lines, students need to draw them with a white crayon before painting over with watercolor paint. • View and download Snowman … Read More

Funky Witch Feet Painting

I found this witch feet painting idea in some stock art Halloween illustrations. It offers colorful seasonal fun, and some good symmetrical drawing practice too with those curvy, funky boots. It’s unique point of view also shows students how their doesn’t always need to fit on the page. You can crop things to just focus on … 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

Water Lily Pond, Monet Style

Claude Monet (1840-1926) painted his water lily pond directly from nature to show that even on the gloomiest of days, a vast number of colors can and do exist. To capture those variations, Monet created a new painting technique using short brushstrokes filled with individual color. The result was a canvas alive with painterly activity, 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

Make a Vegetable Painting, Roots and All

I found this idea about how to make a vegetable painting over at Artsonia.com. It’s a great way to supplement studies about plant life, and makes a very pretty botanical study too. MATERIALS • Watercolor paper • Crayola Crayons • Liquid Watercolor paint DIRECTIONS 1. Students draw a horizontal pencil line across the middle of the … 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

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I’ve been asked in the past for a special needs art project, 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. It seems their needs are more … 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

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

Geometric Winter Trees

This Geometric Winter Trees project will help students focus on making lots of shades of green. I asked mine to make at least three different ones for a simple but colorful abstract landscape.    MATERIALS • Multimedia Paper • Crayola Watercolor Mixing Set • Crayons • Hole Punch • White paper, scraps • White glue   … 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

Winter Birch Trees

This Winter 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

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

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