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

Pattern Cat with Markers

This project is one of my most pinned art lesson ideas. I think it’s because of the all the simple shapes and rich colors. One of my favorite combinations is Sharpies on fingerpaint paper. The color just glides on and it has a rich shine to it when you are finished. The only catch is that it is tricky to draw on as pencil lines are difficult to erase. For that reason, especially for … Read More

Clothespin Craft Airplanes with Color

Here’s how my students finished up their clothespin planes, with a little color and string to make their airplanes fly.They make a pretty cute assortment! MATERIALS Clothespins, medium Craft sticks, regular size Craft sticks, mini size Woodsie shapes Wooden beads Woodent dowels String Hot glue gun Tape Sharpie markers   DIRECTIONS PREP: Use a glue gun to attach sticks to clothespin. Glue bead to front. Glue propellor pieces together and attach to bead. Students … Read More

How to Draw a Star Banner

My favorite way to show students how to draw a star is to connect the dots. Have the dots touch the edge of a paper to get stars that fill up the page. I describe the star as having a head, two arms and two legs. Yes, much like Patrick Star from Spongebob if that helps. Instruct students to make a head dot at the center top of the paper, two hand dots across … Read More

Fall Tissue Paper Leaf Collage

These are cut out tissue paper leaves outlined with a gold marker, and enhanced with just a bit of watercolor paint. MATERIALS Madras tissue paper Poster board or chip board for templates Scissors White card stock paper Glue stick, purple type may be most helpful Gold Sharpie marker, fine tip Crayola’s Watercolor Mixing Set   DIRECTIONS PREP: I used my “How to Draw a Maple Leaf” post to create a paper template for students. … Read More

Pattern Leaves

Coloring with Brush Sharpie Markers on acetate is pure pleasure, the color just glides on. The only catch is that colors can smudge when they touch, especially with black. My solution is to draw with black on one side and then color on the other so the two never actually touch each other. MATERIALS View and download Acetate Maple Leaf Photo Acetate Acetate Maple printout, see below Fine tip Sharpie Markers Brush Sharpie Markers … Read More

Snowy Winter Landscape

Students finished their snowy landscapes with the perfect tool. Sharpie paint markers allowed all the art to easily get a delicate sprinkling of snow. This art is getting used for annual holiday art fundraiser with Original Works. The goal was to create a colorful, seasonal picture for students of all abilities. This is no small feat to take on every year, but this one worked well for me. The proof will be in the … Read More

Back to School Composition Books

Here’s a fun back to school project from my Sharpie Art Workshop for Kids book. Don’t go back to school with generic composition books, make them as unique as you are! MATERIALS Composition book Black duct tape Sharpie water-based paint markers, assorted colors DIRECTIONS Cut or tear strips of tape that are a bit longer than the composition book. Wrap them carefully on the cover, with the ends tucked inside. Continue applying tape until … 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 arms would take shape, a finished example for inspiration, and the original painting for a … Read More

Outline Hand Drawing

Have students start by tracing their hand, and then add all the details they can see. MATERIALS • Journal Page or Drawing Paper • Pencil • Black Sharpie, ultra fine tip DIRECTIONS 1. With a journal or drawing paper, students to traced their hands in pencil. Unusual placement and cropping was encouraged. 2. Students use either a thin marker or pen and draw in as many line details as they can (nails, wrinkles, etc.) … Read More

Symmetrical Drawing

I actually ran out of drawing paper recently and tried out this food wrap (dry wax paper) that was left over from an old project. MATERIALS • Dry wax paper, 12″ x 12″ size • Black Sharpie, chisel tip • Gold tempera paint DIRECTIONS 1. Students fold their 12″ x 12″ food wrap paper in half and crease. With a pencil, they could draw half of a large vase, preferably using up as much … 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, brush tip recommended for smooth coloring • Finger paint paper (makes a shiny finish) … Read More

Elements of Art, with Sharpies

I made an Elements of Art page for my “Sharpie Art Workshop for Kids” book with super simple illustrations. It seemed to me that if you kept the examples with the same subject matter, a house and tree drawing, the differences would become more apparent. My book has all these examples spread out over two pages, with explanations, but hopefully my illustrations make the point all their own.   Elements of Art PDF Posters My … Read More

Kandinsky Plate Art

How many art projects include art history, Common Core standards AND make something really striking? Not many, and I’ve been at this for quite awhile now. This project was inspired by Kandinsky’s Color Study painting, and involves partitioning a square into four equal areas. To be exact, that is Common Core standard 3.G.A.2 (2nd grade geometry). Start with some inexpensive plastic plates, color them with brush Sharpies, and you have a pretty amazing work … Read More

Pre-K Auction Art

Yes, you can make some really amazing auction art from a room full of 5 year olds. Celebrate all their scribbly drawings by attaching them to a stretched canvas, and you have a pretty amazing collage. MATERIALS • Stretched canvas, 16″ x 20″ • Sharpie markers, brush type recommended • Dry wax paper (found in restaurant supply stores) • Scissors • Yardstick • White glue • Brush • Clear varnish spray DIRECTIONS PREP: Draw … 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″ x 14″ • Brush Sharpie markers • Crayola Glitter markers (optional) DIRECTIONS PREP: Lightly … Read More

My “Sharpie Art Workshop for Kids” Book

There it is, my “Sharpie Art Workshop for Kids” book at my local Barnes & Noble store. Still so surreal after I’ve spent so many hours browsing these bookstore shelves. Life is strange, and sweet, when it circles around that way. If you’re not near a store, then Amazon is the next best thing. Follow this link to get your own copy, and if possible, leave a review to let me know how you … Read More

Color Mixing with Sharpies

Did you know that you can actually blend colors with Sharpies? And that you can do this particularly well with brush Sharpies on canvas? Here’s one of my projects from my “Sharpie Art Workshop for Kids” book. I added darker colors on top of lighter colors, and then went back and forth with each to soften the blend. Don’t worry about damaging the tips, you just clean them off with a little extra coloring … Read More

Collaborative Hearts on Canvas

Looking for a collaborative project that creates a colorful, finished work of art? Try my favorite combo of Sharpies on dry wax paper, decoupaged to a stretched canvas and you are guaranteed some pretty amazing results. Sharpies make the color super bright, and the dry wax paper will hug the canvas in a way that nothing else does. Perfect for school auctions, fundraisers and special gifts.   MATERIALS • Canvas, stretched, 16″ x 20″ … Read More

Mini Canvas Art

I brought back one of my favorites, mini canvas art, for an after school class today. 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 of art without worrying that their drawing had to look a certain way. Also a possible … Read More

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