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

Recycled Art Journal for Kids

If you make art with students very often, sooner or later you’ll get this urge to have them collect it and keep it all in one place. I struggled with this for years, until I discovered a two-hole punch. It led to this art journal for kids book ring system that worked so well, even other teachers started to copy … 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 Blow 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 some … 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. A great Robert Indiana for kids project is practicing drawing 3D shapes and shading. I started with my school’s die cutter and made about a dozen of each letter cut out of chipboard. MATERIALS Drawing paper, square, 9″ Letter stencils, about … 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

Kandinsky Circle Painting

This Kandinsky project worked really well with my 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 pressed hard to … 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

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

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

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”. For students learning how to use protractors with their math, it’s perfect tool to play around with in art class.   MATERIALS • Sharpie Markers, brush tip recommended for smooth … Read More

Van Gogh Iris Mural from Canada

This amazing Van Gogh Iris mural comes from Coral Schober in Ontario, Canada. She’s a volunteer Art Image Teacher at the Kortright Hills Public school, and made this Van Gogh Iris Mural with Mr. Keunen’s 4th grade class. Aren’t the colors amazing? MATERIALS • Van Gogh Iris Mural template • Card stock paper • Paper cutter • Oil Pastels (I … Read More

Modigliani Self Portrait Tutorial

My Amedeo Modigliani for kids art lesson shows students how to distort a portrait, much in the way that he elongated necks and faces. Something about this process seems to free students up from getting overly fussy with their drawings. The best medium for this? Thick pastels on black paper to imitating Modigliani’s rich dark paintings. • View and download Modigliani … Read More

Kandinsky Plate Project

Proof that Kandinsky art projects can include art history and math AND make something really striking. Start with some inexpensive plastic plates, color them with brush Sharpies, and you have a pretty amazing work of art that is ready for display. MATERIALS • Yoshi Plates, 6.5″ square • Marker, water based such as Crayola • Brush Sharpie markers DIRECTIONS 1. … Read More

Klimt Collage

Try adding some gold to your collage to make a really decorative work of art. Austrian painted Gustav Klimt lived in the early 1900’s, started his career as a decorator and is probably most famous for his painting named “The Kiss”. You can imitate his style with of color photos on black paper, decorated with gold marker. MATERIALS • Card … Read More

Kandinsky on Canvas Panels

This is a match made in heaven, Brush Sharpie markers and Kandinsky on canvas. The brush markers just glide on the canvas and leave a brilliant color. Makes for a very fun project for all ages and all abilities. It’s not often you can so easily simulate an original masterpiece, as with Kandinsky’s “Farbstudie Quadrate” MATERIALS • Canvas panels, 11″ … Read More

Abstract Numbers

Charles DeMuth was an American artist who lived in the early 1900’s, famous for his abstract paintings. Here’s a simple way to imitate one of his paintings for a great abstract art for beginners project. MATERIALS • Drawing paper • Ruler • Black marker • Crayola Color Sticks or crayons DIRECTIONS DeMuth’s “Figure 5 in Gold” is a wonderful abstract … Read More

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Art Projects for Kids