Kandinsky Circles with Oil Pastels

Kandinsky pretty much invented abstract art back in the early 1900’s. His “Study of Abstract Squares” is a fun and easy painting to imitate. MATERIALS • Multimedia paper, 9″ x 12″ • Oil pastels (I recommend Portfolio brand) DIRECTIONS 1. Start with a 9″ x 12″ paper, and have the students fold it in half; and then in thirds so … Read More

Jim Dine Heart

Jim Dine is an American pop artist, famous for his series of heart paintings. Coloring over wrinkled paper with oil pastels is an easy way to get that rough look that he is famous for. For a great follow up project, make a large Jim Dine Mural with my collaborative coloring project in my PDF Shop. MATERIALS View and download Jim Dine … Read More

Craft Stick Easels

I brought back one of my favorites, popsicle stick art for mini canvases for an after school class. Mini canvases, brush Sharpies and homemade craft stick easels. My lesson was about making art with letters, so they just drew their first initial in block form and decorated it with lots of patterns. A nice, simple way to make a work … Read More

Maple Leaf Drawing, Kandinsky Style

Here’s a maple leaf drawing idea that uses colors, Kandinsky-style. He was one of the first artists to make abstract paintings that celebrated ideas as simple as rings of color.   I followed my Maple leaf drawing lesson seen in the diagram below and then used some new Prang crayons for the vivid color. They really do have all the … Read More

Van Gogh Wheat Field with Crows

Van Gogh’s “Wheat Field with Crows” painting shows a dramatic, cloudy sky filled with crows over a wheat field. His simple layout is perfect for practicing layers of oil pastels so students can imitate his wonderfully sketchy look. I recommend using the paste brand I have linked to below. They happen to come in the perfect shades needed for this … Read More

Klimt Patterns

Gustav Klimt made elaborately patterned paintings, as in “Adele Bloch-Bauer’s Portrait.” One way for students the appreciate Klimt is through this pattern art lesson. • View and download Adele Head Template MATERIALS • Color print of Adele Head Template • Black Sharpie marker, fine tip DIRECTIONS 1. Students sketch the main body shapes in pencil. 2. The lines are traced with … Read More

Miniature Cakes with Model Magic

So it turns out can make really cute food sculptures for kids with Model Magic. It comes in just the right cake and frosting colors. MATERIALS • Cardboard, 3″ cut round circles • Plastic cups, small, shot size for cake stand • 3″ plastic souffle cup from Smart & Final • Craft glue • Aluminum foil • Glue stick • … Read More

Chagall Surrealism Painting

Marc Chagall, one of the most successful artists of the 20th century, created many paintings that were a dreamlike, surreal tribute to his native village of Vitebsk. In order to have students connect with the idea of Surrealism, I’m going to have them create a painting that has some elements upside down, and some out of scale with each other. … Read More

Miro on Coffee Filters

  If you’ve ever painted on a flat coffee filter, you’ll know how fun it is to watch the color seep and spread and grow. That’s what got me started with trying to find a fun new way for pre-K students practice drawing shapes. The fact that the end result looks a lot like Miro’s artwork is just a bonus. … Read More

Sharpie Scribble LOVE

How about making it “Opposite Day” in art class, one where scribbling is not only allowed, but encouraged? This lesson could tie in Jasper Johns for his textured letter paintings, or Robert Indiana for his LOVE art, and of course, a review of warm and cool colors. Would also look pretty great on a coffee cup, if you ask me, … Read More

Draw an Abstract Self Portrait

A variation on one of my abstract self portrait ideas. Use large features to divide your face into separate areas that can be filled with a variety of bright colors. I think it would make a good early self portrait project for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. It allows for some personalization, but bypasses some of the the fussy eye … Read More

Color Study, Paul Klee Style

  Paul Klee was an modern art master who fell in love with color after a visit to Tunisia. His “Ancient Harmony” painting inspired this Paul Klee art lesson. Students can follow Klee’s idea for a fun color study by choosing two groups (light/dark, warm/cool colors) and have one encircle the other. It’s fun to arrange the colors in a … Read More

Tessellation Story

Give your tessellation art project a language arts twist by adding a story. If you keep the tessellation to a simple shape that creates a quilt, then you have a great set up for writing about sleep and dreams. MATERIALS • Draw a Dreaming Story Tutorial • Drawing paper, 12″ x 18″ • Chip board • Scissors • Black marker … Read More

M.C. Escher Eye Drawing

M.C. Escher was one of the world’s most famous graphic artists. He created many visual riddles, and an amazingly detailed piece titled “Eye” that offers lots of detail. Students may use either soft drawing pencils or black charcoal pencils. Whichever media, they need to be able to sharpen their tools to make fine detailed lines. MATERIALS • Drawing paper • … Read More

Fun with William Wegman

William Wegman is great inspiration for fun projects for kids. He is a  photographer famous for his compositions with his Weimaraner dogs. Wegman is fascinated with humanizing his animals and has created hundreds of amazing videos and photographs. I like his book shown here as it shows the dogs in many everyday poses. • View and download Dog Head Template … Read More

Escher Lizard Template

M.C. Escher’s art continues to amaze people all over the world. His many nature-themed tessellations are both lovely and brilliant. I found the repeating pattern in Escher’s Lizard Tessellation, and thought it would be fun as a classroom project. Just print copies of the single downloadable page trim, color, and assemble in groups of four as shown. Make a small … Read More

Paul Klee City on Acetate

Paul Klee’s City Painting is the perfect picture to try with acetate and oil pastels. Simple shapes yet rich colors on a dark background. A pretty potent combination. MATERIALS • Acetate, 8.5″ x 11″ • Copy paper • Download Grid Paper • Black Sharpie marker • Black card stock paper • Oi pastels (I prefer the Portfolio brand for their … Read More

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Art Projects for Kids