Oil Pastel Hearts

This project actually did triple duty last year: continued the student’s study of warm and cool colors, taught them about a Pop artist named Jim Dine, and provided a colorful picture that I think will work for our annual fundraiser with Original Works. 1. After viewing some of Jim Dine’s painting to see his style, students … Read More

Giant Cardboard Glasses

Look at all these adorable glasses made from some old Cheez it boxes. It took a bit of prep work, but I love the creativity that came out with them. • View and download Giant Glasses PDF template PREP: I cut cardboard rectangles, about 8″ x 3.25″, and traced the frame on each. The inside holes … 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

Finish the Wolf Face

When students have a photo to refer to, I think they are often pleasantly surprised at what they can draw. • View and download Wolf Face Template 1.  Students start by looking for the edges of the wolf head, nose and eyes and lightly sketch them in with a pencil. 2. Working in layers, students first … 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

Martin Luther King Template

To support all the upcoming lessons about Martin Luther King, I’d like to offer this 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 … Read More

Matchbox with Mini Pom Poms

My afterschool Matchbox kids did a great job today, as they experimented with adding mini pom poms to their drawings. These two amazing 2nd graders, Rebecca and Violet, made them with both Hanukkah and Christmas in mind. Follow the link below to download the box templates and instructions. • View and download Matchbox Tutorial

Kinder Candle Cards

Making holiday cards with kinders may sound like a fairly simple task, until you factor in all the details. Is it doable with a wide range of abilities? Is it flexible for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or neither? Can students learn a new skill with it? And in the end, will it (hopefully) make a good looking … Read More

Mayflower Map

 Lately I’m finding benefits to creating some tracing projects. It requires focus (so the room gets really quiet!) and I think students find it soothing somehow. This was made by tracing a map onto tissue paper, and then adding info and coloring with watercolor paint. I love how the paint makes the paper wrinkle, just like … Read More

Bone Letters

You could make this a lesson about anatomy and what the different kinds of bones in your body look like – or you could just make some creepy looking name signs for Halloween. 1. Draw examples of some typical bones on the board. They generally look like sticks, but have large bumps on the end. I … 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

A 2nd Paycheck for Haiti Teachers

posted in: Haiti | 0

Here are my friend’s nine teachers who work at his school in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Thanks to you all, they got their first paycheck last month, each $120. It was amazing, and I heard that they were skeptical that my Go Fund Me drive would actually work, and each was happily surprised when they got their money … Read More

Spiders from Santa Maria, CA

This is such a great extension of my posted spider project that I thought I’d share it again. It turns a symmetry exercise into a beautiful work of art. • View and download PDF Half Spider Template “I’ve done this project for the past 2 years when my 4th grade students were learning symmetry. This year … Read More

Cubism Face Fun

Mix Frankenstein with computer illustrated eye drawings and kids can have fun making some very silly faces.  1. Those on a budget could use magazine eyes, but I had too many kids to chance that they could all find some, so I looked for another option online. I found a great set at Pycomall and bought … Read More

Silly Pumpkin Face Collage

posted in: 1st Grade, Halloween | 2

I love this idea of putting “people” teeth in a pumpkin, so whoever thought of it first is pretty genius. I’m using it this week for my kinders and first graders as it’s a great chance to learn about cutting on the fold. The head, mouth and eyes may be cut on folded paper to create … Read More

Haiti Teachers Get First Paycheck

posted in: Haiti | 1

We did it! Thanks so much to the generous donors (Jill Schalet, Denise Matthews, Louee Newton, Crystal Townsen, Jannike Johnsen, Wendy Slepian, Corinne Coe, Kara Sabatella, Elvira Rivera, Julianne Beam, Dana Mayer, Jenni & Nate Ward) who gave to my Go Fund Me drive, the nine teachers at this small school in Haiti got their first … Read More

Animal Head ATCs

Art Trading Cards are simply mini works of art, the size of baseball cards (2.5″ x 3.5″). I’m bringing them back as an afterschool class as I think students enjoy the small size and fun of filling a plastic collector sleeve each week. To start things off, I found these wonderfully simple animal faces to draw … 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

Fund A Haitian Teacher For $120

posted in: Haiti | 0

I’ve started a drive to help my friend Winter, who runs a free school for some of the poorest kids in Haiti. I met him in my travels years ago, and he has rarely asked for help, until now. His nine school teachers have never gotten paid and they say they cannot continue to do so. … Read More

Sept. Newsletter Preview

My September newsletter is going out next week, so sign up now if you want to get my latest drawing tutorial. This Killer Whale drawing is good for students of all ages, and might come in handy for a few school reports too.

Draw an Abstract Self-Portrait

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

Abstract Face Tutorial

Many children have a natural tendency to draw small, so I like to direct them in simple shapes that must touch the sides of the paper. I’ve used this drawing with tempera paint, but thought I’d also post a watercolor version that includes colorful crayon lines and patterns. • View and download Abstract Face Tutorial   … Read More

NEW! Draw More Animals 2 eBook

Just posted to My PDF Shop, my latest How to Draw ebook. In it you’ll find diagrams on how to draw an Armadillo, Baby Chick, Bald Eagle, Bird on Cat, Bunnies, Big and Little, Chickadee Bird, Dolphin, Easter Bunny, Elephant, Fox Sideways, Giraffe Face, Goose, Hippo, Horse, Cartoon, Kangaroo, Koala, Lab Puppy, Lion, Pig, Polar Bear, … Read More

Happy Father’s Day!

posted in: Father's Day | 0

Here’s a combo photo / painting that I made of my amazing dad a few years ago. It’s from his farming days in in rural Indiana, where I was fortunate enough to grow up. The funny thing is that it seemed a rather ordinary life at the time, but only now do I know what a … Read More

Draw Lady Liberty’s Portrait

I’ve used this approach for drawing and painting the Statue of Liberty for years, and even kinders amaze me with how well they do. Just make sure to start with the guide lines shown on the tutorial, as they help keep the head in scale to the page. I also pre-mix the liquid turquoise color as … Read More

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