Layered Pipes

I used to introduce 3rd and 4th graders to shading and tinting techniques with circles and spheres, but found this week that straight lines worked much better. The students can just concentrate on adding color to lines, instead of dealing with tricky curves. 1. Students were to first draw two parallel lines on their paper, either … Read More

Nutcracker Drawing on Black Paper

Here is a breakdown of my Nutcracker Drawing project, this time using oil pastels on black construction paper. MATERIALS • Black construction paper, 18″ x 24″ size cut to 8″ x 24″ panels • Cardboard template, 7″ x 4″ • Oil pastels DIRECTIONS 1. Following the steps shown in my diagram, the students first placed the … Read More

Pin Flowers

This project came from an Arts and Activities magazine, and I loved how well it worked with kinders. 1. The students are to draw in pencil near the outside edge of the paper a rounded box (kind of like a TV screen). A zig-zag grass line follows near the bottom of the paper. For the flowers, … Read More

Fruity People Collage

One CA Visual Art Standard centers around how to create feelings with one’s own artwork. This book “How Are You Peeling?” is full of some very creative photographs of fruit and vegetables, all made to reflect a wide variety of emotions. Reading it first helps to make connections that certain shapes can look a lot like … Read More

La Boca House Collage

La Boca is a neighborhood, or barrio of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires. It is a popular destination because of its colorful houses. The basic history is that years ago, shipyard workers used left over metal and paint to create homes. There was never quite enough for an entire house, hence the patchwork neighborhoods.    MATERIALS … Read More

Contour Tree Drawing

I’m stilling enjoying the artwork of Friedensrich Hundertwasser, who inspired this contour drawing of a tree trunk. 1. I used a square paper and drew the outline of a tree trunk with a few finger-looking shapes pointing down. After adding a few vertical lines for definition, I made a series of curved, or “jumping” lines going … Read More

Bandage Halloween Head

Halloween can offer lots of creative drawing opportunities, some even with valuable art principals. I got this drawing idea from a piece of clip art, and found that it helped to teach students how to make a round head look more dimensional, simply by adding curves instead of flat straight lines. 1. I made cardboard head … Read More

Watercolor Resist Patterns

This Watercolor Resist Patterns project works well for kinders as an introduction to painting. By making lines and stacks of patterns, students can just concentrate on making the paint go where they want. MATERIALS • Multimedia or watercolor paper • Crayons • Watercolor paint DIRECTIONS PREP: I recommend watercolor paper be used, if possible, as it … Read More

Collage Figure Study

This project makes learning figure proportions fun, while still allowing room for creativity. Many poses are possible when your figure can bend in so many ways. 1. Background collage: Each student needs a background piece of 9″ x 12″ construction paper, and then 2 other panels that were roughly 5″ x 12″ (I used green and … Read More

Ceramic Planter Face

Making this ceramic planter and then planting seeds for hair makes the growth process a lot more fun. 1.  Use a wire cutter to make about 3/4″ thick slabs cut from a block of clay. Each student uses a plastic drinking glass (about 3.5″ diameter) to cut a circle from one corner of the slab for … Read More

Tissue and Marker Flowers

This tissue and marker flower project is designed to let kids embrace the loose, accidental art that can happen when you let yourself just create. Fourth and fifth graders especially tend to get more judgmental about their abilities, so I hope this un-fussy journal page will let them have some fun.   MATERIALS • Art journal … Read More