A Word about the Internet

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Dear Reader, Today, myself and many other bloggers are taking a break from our usual content to take a stand and fight for your right to access our sites. WHY ART PROJECTS FOR KIDS.ORG IS IN DANGER  I’ve been blogging here for 17 years and sadly, I could watch it all die a relatively quick and painful death. This business that supports my family is in jeopardy and so is your access to the … Read More

“How To Draw” Give Away Winner

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Wow, thanks to all those who entered my contest! I loved reading your comments and learning that my tutorials are going to such good use. My winner was chosen with the help of a random number generator that matched up with the comment left by … Adrienne S. of Bakersfield, CA. Congrats Adrienne, I hope your students enjoy making all their new drawings! Meanwhile, I would be remiss to not mention that you can always … Read More

Black Lines on Black Paper

If you have ever tried to make glue drawings for chalk pastel or color stick art, but didn’t love the way the glue dried? Drawing with white glue, letting it dry, and then coloring the paper is a great technique as the lines are set and can be colored over endlessly. The only frustration I have is that the white glue will sometimes dry cloudy, and sometimes not. The good news is that Elmer’s … Read More

Deluxe Leonardo Line Art Template

When you leave a graphic design job to start teaching art, you just might find yourself making your own project materials. And if you get a break in your busy schedule (hello summer!) you might realize that some of those products could really be improved, with just a few changes. Here’s my first example. This photoshopped face of Ginevra de Benci (by Leonardo di Vinci) was originally posted quite awhile ago, but only with the … Read More

Theibaud Cake Mural

Wayne Thiebaud is an American artist best known for his paintings of cakes in light pastel shades. I exaggerated the colors and frostings a bit in this homage, and hope it adds for some extra fun. MATERIALS • PDF Theibaud template, from APFK PDF Shop • Printer • Cardstock paper • Paper cutter • Portfolio pastels • Masking tape • Butcher paper and glue stick (optional) DIRECTIONS PREP: Print Theibaud template on laser print. … Read More

Painting Flowers

Students first “draw” the flowers with their paint brushes, and then trace the edges afterward. My other projects almost always begin with traced drawings so this backwards approach gave the students a different perspective and different results.   MATERIALS • Multimedia or watercolor paper • Liquid watercolor paint • Paper towels • Black marker   DIRECTIONS 1. Students use liquid watercolor paint to paint three flower tops and then a few stems and leaves … Read More

New “How to Draw” eBook

Due to numerous requests to purchase this book I am now offering all of its content, including the cover art, in a condensed (18 MB) PDF e-file, for just $25. Print to create your own 3″ binder or simply download to a flash drive for portability. Use this link to preview and purchase. • How to Draw eBook As per my guarantee, if you have any trouble downloading this or any of my e-files, … Read More

Starving Artist No More Summit

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Have you ever thought about using your talents to bring in extra income? Are you the person that all the family comes to when they have an artsy project? What if your life could have more creativity in it AND earn extra money for you and your family? Well, my friend and fellow artist Heidi Easley has put together a FREE 3-Day Event where artists from all over the world talk about how they use their … Read More

Mini Me Custom Valentines

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I’m a sucker for custom Valentines. They just celebrate the day in a way no store bought card ever could. MATERIALS • Black and white head shot of each student, about 2″ tall • White card stock paper • Scissors • Glue stick • Black marker • Colored pencils DIRECTIONS 1. A black and white head photo should be about 2″ tall and placed about 1/2″ down from the top of a letter-size piece … Read More

Mod Podge at the CHA Show

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I made a friend at the Mod Podge booth at the the CHA Show today. I couldn’t help but share how I use their products all the time with my Sharpie art, and they asked me to share my story on video. The company is turning 50 this year (can you believe it?) and they are looking to work with more educators, so I am more than happy to help. I’ve rely on their … Read More

Craft & Hobby Association Show

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A few months ago I entered and online contest called “Creativations”. Sponsored by Michaels, it was looking for new and creative ideas, all kinds. I submitted my dry wax paper + Sharpie + glue on canvas, and was very happy to be one of the 25 finalists. This is my table for the weekend. I’m having all kinds of fun finding fellow crafting companies like Mod Podge, to make collaborating plans for the future. … Read More

“How to Draw” Book Giveaway Winner!

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Thanks so much to everyone who entered my first-ever “How to Draw” Book Contest! It seems I’ve found the perfect giveaway. I was truly overwhelmed by the 600+ comments that popped up in just two days, many with really nice feedback from followers. It’s so nice to learn that my years of trying new drawings has benefited so many other would be artists out there. I’m sorry I could only pick one winner, but … Read More

Still My Favorite Art Supplies

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I posted this list about three years ago, and they remain with the exception of BIC markers, which seem to have gone the wayside. Too bad, their packs had a lot of good skin colors. Oh well, for those that are stocking up, these are still recommended for any art room, should your budget allow.   Ticonderoga Pencils Cheap pencils are not worth it. They tend to be too light and lopsided so they … Read More


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And with the stroke of the clock, and the emptying of a room, a new schedule begins. This time I get to choose more of what my days will look like, in both cleaning up from the past, and preparing for the fall. I love this time of year as I get to do all those extra creative ideas that I had in busy times, but I didn’t have time to do. Or time … Read More

Podcast with Deep Space Sparkle

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I’m so excited to share my first podcast interview with Patty Palmer of Deep Space Sparkle, a long time blogger / art teacher colleague of mine. I finally had a chance to meet her in person this January, when I participated in the California Kindergarten Association Convention in Santa Clara. She was happy to learn about my after school art program as she is often asked about how to start one. I am only … Read More

Draw a Shop

Here is a very simple plan for drawing a shop, which students can customize to their liking with pets, candy, clothes, toys, etc. MATERIALS Draw a Shop PDF Tutorial Drawing paper Black marker Crayons DIRECTIONS Prep: Print tutorial for each student. Draw guide lines on paper or fold in half to make creases. Students follow the tutorial to draw the shop in pencil. The shop is traced with a black marker. The shop is … Read More

Draw an Abstract Self Portrait

Here is an adaptation of my popular Abstract Face project for older students. It still has simple features that fill the face, but allows for some personalization with hair and shoulders, etc. 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 I see so many students get stuck with. • View and download Abstract Self … Read More

Mosaic Art with Beans

Students can make some beautiful mosaic art with beans, thanks to lots of varieties you can find at your local grocery store. The earliest examples of mosaics have been found at a temple in Mesopotamia, which means this is one of the oldest art forms around. SUPPLIES • Cardboard, 2″ x 2″ • Dried beans, four or five different types • Craft glue • Mod Podge (optional) DIRECTIONS 1. Students spread white glue on … Read More

Close Up Portrait

One way to simplify portrait drawing is to start with a large U instead of an oval. 1. Start with a square drawing paper. With a pencil, follow the steps shown in the diagram to the right. Remind students that our eyes are located in the middle of our heads, but because of this cropping, they will be near the top of the paper. The bottom of the nose is halfway between the eyes … Read More

    Buildings Tutorial


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