Fish Tessellation

Tessellations for kids have much to teach about art and math, but need clear guide lines to keep students from jumbling up their cut out shapes. My tessellation process shown in my diagram comes from many hours of figuring out how to work with a large group (35 or more) students and have as many as possible understand that they … Read More

NEW Recycled Art Journal eBook

I have developed an art journal for kids that is based on creating artwork in a 6″x 9″ format. I have combined and updated two past recycled books to create a new jumbo version, packed with 25 projects, tailored to this specific page size. PURCHASE RECYCLE EBOOK PDF FILE INCLUDES 25 Art Journal Projects, including many templates Binder cover art, … Read More

Self Portraits, Modigliani Style

This Modigliani self portrait project seems to work surprisingly well every time I try it. Something about the distortion frees students up from getting overly fussy with their drawing. MATERIALS • Black construction paper, 18″ x 24″ • Oil pastels • (See below for a marker version drawn on 7″ x 12″ drawing paper) DIRECTIONS 1. Cut the paper to … Read More

Scream Art Project

This Scream art project was shared from Washington Elementary School in Michigan, and it was a huge hit with my students as well. It combines Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” face with some blow paint fun for all kinds of expressionist possibilities. WARM UP Look at Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” painting to see how much expression can be created with lines … Read More

Miro Watercolor Painting

Joan Miro was a Spanish artist who developed a very whimsical style back in the 1930s. His painting called “People and Dog in Sun” is  fun to imitate by drawing stick figures, stars and circles.   MATERIALS Watercolor paper Black crayon Liquid watercolor paint   DIRECTIONS Draw one large stick figure in the middle of a sheet of watercolor paper, preferably in … Read More

Robert Indiana LOVE Letters

This 3D letter project provides good dimensional drawing practice, and makes a nice Valentine card too. Stencils help but are optional. Robert Indiana made a famous sculpture in the sixties that came to symbolize the peace movement. Students can make a similar image while practicing their 3D shapes and shading. I started with my school’s die cutter and made about a … Read More

David Hockney Photo Collage

David Hockney created photo collages in the 1980s, compiling a ‘complete’ picture from a series of individually photographed details. You can get a similar effect using one photo, cutting it up and loosely putting it back together again. MATERIALS Drawing paper Old magazines Rulers Scissors Glue sticks DIRECTIONS Start with a magazine photo, nature themes are nice to work with. … Read More

Picasso Style Self Portrait

Picasso’s Blue Period paintings are great for seeing the power of color. A side self-portrait with lowered eyes in blues and greens makes for a great study. MATERIALS Picasso Blue Period PDF Tutorial Watercolor paper, 6″ x 9″ art journal size Black Sharpie marker Liquid watercolor, blue and green Brush   DIRECTIONS This project asks students to draw themselves looking … Read More

Magritte Art Project

René Magritte was famous for paintings that challenge how we see. Have your students to express themselves with a magazine circle turned into an eye. MATERIALS Download Rene Magritte Project PDF tutorial Drawing paper, 9″ x 12″ Old CD for tracing Old magazines Scissors Glue stick Black marker Crayons, skin color DIRECTIONS PREP: Cut 9″ x 12″ in half to … Read More

Picasso Monsters

Mix a little Picasso art history and Halloween fun by drawing a cubism face with clip art eyes. Mismatched eyes, that is. MATERIALS Pycomall, sheet of Cartoon Eyes $8 Color printer Color printing paper for the eyes Drawing paper Black Sharpie marker, chisel tip Crayons DIRECTIONS Those on a budget could use magazine eyes, but I had too many kids … Read More

Kandinsky Circle Painting

This Kandinsky project worked really well with my last after school watercolor class which includes kinder through 5th grade. MATERIALS Watercolor paper (I used Strathmore) Crayons Liquid watercolor paint DIRECTIONS PREP: pre-print grid lines on watercolor paper.  With Kandinsky’s original painting in view, students drew concentric circles in each square with a crayon (no need to start with pencils). They … Read More

Deluxe Mona Lisa Template

Here’s another line art project, this time based on the very famous painting of Mona Lisa. This photoshopped face of Mona Lisa was originally posted quite awhile ago, but only with the one main page to draw on. When I taught this project, I realized students needed more references to “fill in the blanks”. They needed to see how the … Read More

Surrealism and Magritte

René Magritte was a Belgian surrealist artist who became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images. He wanted to challenge viewers to think about what they were looking at and to ask themselves, “What does this painting mean?”   MATERIALS Old CD for tracing Drawing paper Black marker Pencil crayons   DIRECTIONS Take an old CD and … Read More

Paul Klee Castle

Paul Klee was one of the great colorists in the history of painting. I developed this project that imitates his abstract “Castle and Sun” painting by having students trace cardboard shapes and fill them in with colored pencils. MATERIALS • Black paper, card stock is preferred • Chip board for cutting squares and triangles • Colored pencils DIRECTIONS PREP: I made lots … Read More

Deluxe Van Gogh Line Art Template

Here’s another line art project, this time with Van Gogh’s amazing self-portrait. This photoshopped face of Van Gogh was originally posted quite awhile ago, but only with the one main page to draw on. When I taught this project, I realized students needed more references to “fill in the blanks”. They needed to see basically how the suit might look (as a … 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 … Read More

Organic Matisse Shapes

An overlapping lesson with Matisse-like shapes makes a colorful drawing exercise. Matisse didn’t start painting until he was about 20 years old, but then would paint morning, noon and night for pretty much the rest of his life. He eventually became a key figure in the world of modern art. MATERIALS • Sample Matisse Shapes • Chip board • Drawing … Read More

Protractor Art

Frank Stella is an American painter who fully embraced the idea that sometimes a painting can just be flat. In the 1960s he created some paintings titled the “Protractor Series” which you can see HERE. For students learning how to use protractors with their math, it’s perfect tool to play around with in art class.   MATERIALS • Sharpie Markers, … Read More

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