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

Dutch Windmills

This amazing idea comes from Dream, Draw, Create. An uncoated paper plate takes the watercolor really well, and the border makes for an instant frame. My sample is drawn in pencil, traced with a marker, and then painted with watercolors. With all the multicultural projects goring on at my school right now, I may find more … Read More

Starting Paper Mache Ice Cream Cones

Time for one last paper mache project after school. Here’s a photo that explains how these ice cream cones are started. The flower pots from Michaels (about $1) offer a great heavy base so tall cones don’t fall over. Aluminum foil sheets are wrapped (about 5 per scoop) to make balls that can be stacked as … Read More

Mother’s Day Tissue Hearts

Here’s my solution this year for student’s Mother Day gift. It’s revisiting an old tissue paper technique that’s been around forever, and can really look nice if done well. PREP: I used our school’s die cut to make a heart for each student. I actually switched to heavy watercolor paper when my chipboard ran out. Also … Read More

Canvas Covered Journals

posted in: Art Journal, Painting | 0

This is basically a piece of painted canvas glued to a pad of 6″ x 9″ paper with chip board covers. I love how the students, especially this kinder Zac, just got experimental with making designs. Wish I could keep this one for myself! CLASS ONE: Students paint an over sized piece of canvas that is … Read More

New Discovery, Kuttlefish

posted in: Recycle | 0

I think I just found a HUGE resource for recycled art ideas, a new site called Kuttlefish. It’s like Etsy meets recycling artists meets social good. You can’t get much better than that. Please share it with your friends and family as I love to support endeavors like this.

Tissue Paper Flower Tutorial

This tissue flower project has been pretty popular, so I thought I’d repost it with the tutorial that I made awhile back to help get the proportions right. It’s a great sprint time project that costs very little, so you don’t need to wait until Mother’s Day to make one. • View and download Tissue Paper … Read More

Monarch Butterfly Mural Preview

posted in: Earth Day | 0

Here’s a screenshot of my new Monarch Butterfly mural that will be up for sale in a few days. I understand these beautiful creatures are diminishing rapidly, so I am only too help spread the message that they need our support.

Popsicle Flag

posted in: Craft Sticks, July 4th | 0

The red sticks for these flags are made with just a little liquid watercolor. And if you color them ahead of time, the rest is an easy assembly project for kids of all ages. See my “Folk Art Flag” for a full photo tutorial.

Shapes into Forms

Students used a hexagon template to start their drawings of cubes. Adding a in and out string made the drawing even more dimensional. 1. Use a hexagon punch from a craft store to create templates for students. They fill their page with rotating hexagons, and then add the needed lines inside. 2. String shapes are added, … Read More

Jamie’s Giacometti Drawing

Here’s one of my favorite Giacometti Project drawings by a young 3rd grader named Jamie. While most other students opted for one or two color backgrounds, she colored hers in a crazy-quilt kind of style. I think it’s just perfect. For those that are interested, these drawings were made with Elmer’s glue on black card stock, … Read More

Draw Amsterdam Buildings

My students have drawn lots of traditional American style homes, so now I’d like them to try something different. Specifically, Amsterdam style buildings. They have very different profiles and details, not to mention water canal surroundings. Here’s a tutorial that includes many of these details, without getting too intricate. • View and download Amsterdam Building tutorial

Draw the US Capitol

The United States Capitol is among the most architecturally impressive buildings in the nation. It has housed the meeting chambers of the House of Representatives and the Senate for two centuries. I’ve made a tutorial that includes graph paper to help students align all of its beautiful features. • View and download US Capitol Building Tutorial … Read More

MLK Art from Gaithersbury, MA

I thought I’d share this really nice email I recently received. I love how creative the students got with a simple posterized print of Martin Luther King, Jr., and thought others might find it inspiring too. I run a nonprofit called Color A Heart and we teach free art lessons to low-income kids along with other … Read More

LOVE Lines

Students can practice using a ruler with this drawing project, and do some very basic measuring, which is a 2nd grade Common Core Standard. 1. Students start with a square piece of drawing paper. (I recommend one about 6″.) They measure and mark the center of each side and draw lines connecting them to make the … Read More

Boxed Butterfly

Art can cross with science in this boxed butterfly project. 1. Fold an origami box lid that is about 4″ in diameter. 2. Draw a folded butterfly to fit in the box. Heavy cardstock paper will work best. 3. Cut butterfly out and color with markers. 4. Glue a small piece of foam core in the … Read More

Chinese Paper Dragon

Here’s a peek at an Chinese origami-style dragon project. The body is made of 2″ wide paper strips, and it turns out the Staples brand is the perfect weight, not to mention the perfect package of colors. I think the head could be dressed up or down, depending on the student’s ability.

Cutout Christmas Card

There’s nothing like a homemade holiday card. I tried this method to make a quick “quilted” card that didn’t actually call for any sewing. 1. Start with giving each student 3 colored cards that measure 4.5″ x 6.5″. Next, they each need 3 sheets of contrasting card stock that measure 4″ x 6″ (I used a … Read More

Watercolor, Salt and Snowflakes

posted in: Christmas, Painting | 0

Here is a really simple way to add texture to a watercolor painting. Just sprinkle salt while it’s still wet and let sit for a few minutes. All kinds of cool shapes will develop from the salt absorbing the water. 1. Paint a sheet of watercolor paper generously with several shades of blue liquid watercolor paint. … Read More

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