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

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

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

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.

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

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

Tissue Paper Leaves

Fall leaves are made of lots of fun curvy shapes, so I had my art journal students trace them today to make a tissue paper collage of maple, white oak, elm and maple leaves. 1. Download my leaf line art and print a page for each student. Pass out lots of rectangles of tissue paper that … Read More

Recycled Turkey on a Stick

This ingenious idea for making turkeys from old food boxes comes from My Plum Pudding. It’s a great use of those colorful coated boxes that I love to collect. This turkey is made entirely from cut up boxes that are attached to a 1/4″ wooden dowel from Michael’s. This bird may look fairly simple, but I … Read More

Glowing Cat Eyes

These glowing cat eyes are made from blending a few layers of pencil crayons. White on the bottom, then yellow, and for those interested in more detail, a bit of brown. Please note though, that the average pencil crayon and black construction paper won’t deliver these results. The projects works best on black art paper with … Read More

Black Paper Cat

The credit for this super cute paper cat idea goes to an old Family Fun Craft book. I just worked out a few details about the size and materials, that I am happy to share. 1. Cut body from black cardstock paper (most construction paper is too soft). Fold back and cut out legs. Make slits … Read More

Fractured Heart

Layering oil pastels to make smooth gradations takes practice. This project will let students do just that. 1. Starting with a square paper, students draw a large heart in the middle, and then use a ruler to draw at least four lines completely across the paper. 2. Using smooth oil pastels, like my favorite Portfolio® brand, students color in … Read More

Valentine Kids

I’m a sucker for personalized Valentines. The most time intensive part of this project is getting every student’s face printed or glued on a heavy sheet of paper. 1. A black and white head photo should be about 1 1/2″ tall and placed about 1/2″ down from the top of a letter-size piece of card stock … Read More

Robert Indiana Art Journal Page

There’s nothing like covering several topics with one art lesson. This one turns shapes into forms (art elements) and art history (Robert Indiana) and Valentine’s Day. Not bad! To see the entire series of Art Journal lessons compiled to date, search for “2014 Art Journal Project”. • View and download Indiana LOVE Journal Page

Happy New Year’s Card

I’ve collected a variety of decorative letters from clipartETC.com and arranged them on a jpeg file that you can print and hand color for a quick but fancy Happy New Year sign. 1. Download my prepared pdf file. Print on a sheet of heavy 8.5″ x 11″ paper with the landscape setting. 2. Use ultra fine point markers … Read More

Stick Drawing Halloween Costume

posted in: Halloween | 0

This is me in my Stick Drawing costume this morning. Can’t say I’d want to walk down the street very long with the mask I made, but I was proud to be the ONLY stick drawing in our school’s parade. Thank you Pinterest for coming through with another costume idea that was quick and inexpensive. Hope … Read More

Make a Paper Pumpkins

This project turned out to be a very quick and easy way to make a 3D shape out of strips of paper. 1. I used orange construction paper in the standard 9″x12″ size, and then used a paper cutter to make a pile of orange strips that were 1″ wide by 12″ tall. The students were … Read More

Gilded Halloween Portrait

I found a great book simply called “Halloween” by Joanne O’Sullivan, which has a ton of creative ideas. This is an adaptation of a portrait project, which I am including in an after-school class next month. 1. I started with one of those super-inexpensive unfinished frames from Michael’s. had some iron-on appliques in my stash of … Read More

Halloween Cardboard Signs

A Pinterest posting inspired this idea for my afterschool Cardboard Crafts class today. There is something about torn tape that just makes the coolest looking letters. The more uneven and lopsided they are, the better. 1. I chopped up old corrugated cardboard boxes with a paper cutter, and offered kids either square or rectangular shapes. They … 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

Spiderweb Art Trading Cards

I never realized how much spiderwebs have in common with zentangles, which are basically repeated shapes. Try some fine tipped white poster markers on black scrapbook paper to make some like these. 1. Cut black paper to 2.5″ x 3.5″ standard ATC size. Draw about 8 straight lines radiating out from a center point on a … Read More

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