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 8″ x 18″. Fold the paper in half three times to make 8 equal … Read More

Free Earth Day Mini Mural

Try one of my free earth day activities and see how easy it is to make one of my murals. This mini Earth Day mural has just nine pages, but it will show you how my larger ones work. Just print out the pages, trim to the art, color and tape together to make a 24″ x 30″ mural. To get your mural, just sign up for my email list below and you can … Read More

Pastel and Pattern Eggs

My kids really enjoyed mixing paint colors by using just yellow, red, orange and white. • Egg Template jpg (Drag to desktop) MATERIALS Multimedia paper, printed with egg template Tempera Paint Oil Pastels DIRECTIONS SESSION ONE: I made an egg template page and gave one to each student along with white, yellow, red and orange tempera paint. They were instructed to see how many different colors they could make – all were to have … Read More

Growing Grass in a CD Case

You can recycle CD jewel cases and turn them into gifts instead. Here’s a few ideas for a birthday or Mother’s Day. They make great little terrariums, especially with a message for special occasions. You can watch your plants grow and make a special gift at the same time. MATERIALS • CD case, the kind that is about 1/4″ thick • Potting soil • Container of water • Grass seed • Rubber band • … Read More

Free “We Can Do It!” Mini Mural

March is the month to celebrate both women AND student art, so I’ve decided to support both with a free mini mural. “We Can Do It!” was a famous American wartime poster produced by J. Howard Miller in 1943 as an inspiring image to boost morale. This mural will measure about 30″ x 40″ when complete, and I hope it inspires lots of little girls to see what they can achieve.  After entering your … Read More

Newsprint Cat Collage Instructions

I’ve been making various versions of this cat collage lesson all week long. I found my original cat template needed some tweaking for TK’s and kinders, so here is the update. I decided that the original template I posted about a week ago with the separate head and body actually make it difficult to make a collar that didn’t go across the cat’s chin. The new template linked below has the cat as an … Read More

Paint a Terrarium

Here’s a simple flower painting project, one that is pretty AND educational for students studying plant life. I’ve used it for years with kinders, when they study root systems in the spring. The jar makes a nice frame for the artwork, and the root technique is a nice introduction to what I call, the “white crayon trick”. Terrarium Template Pattern View and download Terrarium Tutorial   MATERIALS Watercolor paper, 9″ x 12″ Terrarium template, … Read More

Drawing a Leprechaun

Here is a step by step leprechaun drawing tutorial for St. Patrick’s Day, coming up on March 17th. He’s kind of a simple cartoon character, with mostly symmetrical parts which help most students when they are learning how to draw. • View and download Leprechaun Tutorial MATERIALS • Print of Leprechaun Tutorial • Multimedia paper • Black Sharpie marker • Watercolor paint DIRECTIONS PREP: Print, fold or draw guide lines on paper. These will … Read More

Draw a Romero Britto Cat

Romero Britto was born in Brazil and had a modest childhood. Today he is an internationally renowned pop artist. Here is a pop art project in his fun and unique style. MATERIALS View and download Britto Cat Tutorial Paper (Finger paint paper recommended for brightest colors) Pencil Markers (Mr. Sketch recommended) Marker, Black chisel tip Sharpie   DIRECTIONS Draw cat in pencil. It will be a little difficult to erase on the finger paint … Read More

Mini Clothespin Craft Cars

This mini clothespin craft project makes little cars with wheels that really spin, even if they are a bit wobbly. The best part is that you don’t need any glue to put them together. My toothpicks were the perfect fit for the button holes. MATERIALS Mini clothespins Wooden buttons Toothpicks Utility scissors DIRECTIONS Stick one toothpick into a button. It should fit firmly (try other little mini dowels if not). For the back wheel, stick … 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 and color. MATERIALS • Drawing or multimedia paper • Sharpie marker • Crayons • … Read More

Coffee Filter Art with Hot Air Balloons

My favorite new coffee filter art is this hot air balloon project. These were made by kinder and 1st graders this week. MATERIALS Watercolor paper (necessary for making the clouds) Coffee filter Liquid watercolor paint Brown card stock paper Glue stick Sharpie marker Paper towels Scissors Plastic sleeve Templates for balloon shape, optional   DIRECTIONS CLASS ONE: Students placed coffee filter on a plastic sleeve and paint with watercolor. The filter is allowed to … Read More

Draw a Squishy Caterpillar

Here’s how to make a caterpillar drawing with very “squishy” sections. I saw it in a book years ago, and wish I could credit the genius who thought it up. It’s a great way to make a pretty realistic looking insect. • View and download Draw a Caterpillar PDF Tutorial MATERIAL • Drawing paper • Crayons • Watercolor paint DIRECTIONS 1. Make or print guide lines. Draw the caterpillar as shown. 2. Trace the … Read More

Dr. Seuss’ Truffula Tree

This Dr. Seuss craft was inspired by his colorful Lorax Truffula Trees, which I recreated with a few simple art supplies. MATERIALS Yarn, pink Yarn, orange Yarn, yellow Twigs Clay Acrylic paint, white, black, green Scrap corrugated cardboard, 3″ x 5″ Scissors Old brush DIRECTIONS 1. Collect thin twigs that are fairly straight and mount them in a small amount of clay. Let dry overnight. 2. Paint twigs with white and gray acrylic paint … Read More

Overlapping in Art

This ring project is a great lesson about overlapping in art. A roll of masking tape makes for the perfect stencil. I’ve tried it with those as young as second grade as that seems to be the time when most students can “see” the layers. Use new rolls of masking tape for tracing – they are easy to hold and grip the paper really well. MATERIALS • Drawing paper, 12″ x 18″ • Masking … Read More

Van Gogh Value Pack $15

If you are looking for Van Gogh children’s art activities, no need to look any further. My new value pack contains all three of my most popular Van Gogh templates, each in two sizes, for a total of six murals. Buy this set once and you will have all kinds of mural options for years to come. MATERIALS • Van Gogh Value Pack PDF templates • Heavy card stock paper • Paper Cutter • … 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 action pose. Miro often repeated shapes in his work so add more shapes … Read More

Class Self-Portrait Collage

This class self-portrait collage, a collection of all my 5th grade students and their teachers, has been one of my favorite art fundraiser ideas for years. I don’t know who had more fun, the kids tracing and coloring their pictures or me pasting it together to see the final effect.    MATERIALS • Stretched canvas • Printed headshots on copy paper • Carbon paper • Dry wax paper • Sharpie markers • BIC markers … Read More

Draw a Hot Air Balloon

When looking for simple things to draw, try a hot air balloon. Find how easy it is to make a flat circle look like a ball, just by adding some lines.  • View and Download Hot Air Balloon Tutorial MATERIALS • Print of Hot Air Balloon Tutorial • Drawing paper • Black Sharpie • Oil pastel or crayons DIRECTIONS PREP: Draw or print grid lines on paper. 1. Draw the balloon according to the … Read More

Chinese New Year Snake Tutorial

Did you know Chinese New Year crafts can come from office supplies? They helped me make this project with about 400 first through fourth graders for about $45. For the advanced origami lover, my sample snake above was made with two long strips that had nine 11″ lengths glued together as shown in the photo. If you like the gradated color, this how it is achieved. This length though is rather long for little … Read More

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