Scratch Art Designs for Valentine’s Day

I brought out my old stash of oil pastels and showed students how to make scratch art designs for Valentine’s Day. Messy, but really beautiful! This is what you save that old broken batch of pastels for. Choose a simple shape for students to draw, layer with color, and then scratch away. The fun part is that if they don’t like their design, they can “erase” by coloring over and scratching again. MATERIALS Heavy … Read More

Draw an Easy Rose

This “Draw a Rose” tutorial has long been one of my most popular. I like how it has enough detail to make the flower look dimensional, but not so much to make it difficult for young artists. I hope it encourages a few more handmade cards, and a few less run-of-the mill, pre-made ones. • View and Download Rose Tutorial MATERIALS • Print of Rose Tutorial • Drawing paper • Black Sharpie • Oil … Read More

Cow Face Drawing

This exaggerated cow face drawing was inspired by a funny painting I found in a home decor catalog. I think I first posted this about seven years ago, before I decided to make PDF tutorials a regular option to download. Enjoy everyone, this has long been a favorite project of mine for 4th and 5th graders.  • Cow Face Drawing PDF Tutorial MATERIALS • Drawing paper, 11″ x 14″ • Black Sharpie marker • … Read More

Black History Month Artist: Lois Mailou Jones

Black history month art projects are a great way to learn about some amazing people who had to forge their own way in the world. Lois Mailou Jones (1905 – 1998) had an impressive career, but do you know how she got started? She had been working as a textile designer and often sold her bold fabric creations to department stores. One day a decorator told her that a colored girl wasn’t capable of … Read More

Free Christmas Wreath Mural

Here’s a thank you to hard-working teachers and parents everywhere, a free Christmas Wreath coloring project. May it add a little extra cheer to your home or classroom. PDF FILE INCLUDES: • 4 Coloring Pages (8.5″ x 11″) • Coloring Guide • Single Page Version FINISHED DIMENSIONS: 15″ x 15″ RECOMMENDED MEDIA: Portfolio Oil Pastels, 24 pack • Download Christmas Wreath PDF •  

Oil Pastel Candle Drawing

If you need Christmas drawing ideas for kids, this one is works for many different religions. It’s made of simple shapes that are easy for all to draw. I recommend drawing the candle and tracing all the lines several times with a black pastel so they are really thick. When you color in the shapes at the end, you will probably get smudges of black, but in this case it only adds to the … Read More

Harvest Banners from Willits, CA

 Thanks so much to Baechtel Grove Middle School in Willits, CA for sharing their work-in-progress Harvest banners. They look amazing! I recently made this new Harvest Banner template for my PDF shop after seeing how popular my hand drawn post was. I know that not everyone can sketch out giant ears of Indian corn, or even has time to, so I thought a template might be helpful. What want to thank this teacher for is … Read More

New Harvest Banner, $5 PDF Template

Now you can make your own Indian corn harvest banners for home, school or festivals with my latest PDF mural template. Buy it once and create as many giant ears of Indian corn that you could every possibly need. My sample has pretty realistic colors, but you could go abstract too with bright random colors. The simple corn shape will lend itself to all kinds of possibilities. Two template versions are included: one that … Read More

Happy Haunted House Mural

A new Haunted House mural has just gone up in my store, just in time for Halloween. I added some fun scary details to this one, but feel free to add more of you own (ghosts, owls, etc.). Color each of the 25 pages, tape them together, and you end up with a 36″ x 48″ mural. • Purchase Happy Halloween Haunted House Mural for $5

Winter Landscape

If you draw a landscape with layers, your art with naturally have more depth to it. Follow this formula to make a simple winter drawing that creates all three layers in a very simple format. MATERIALS • Layered Landscape PDF Tutorial • Multimedia Paper • Pencil • Oil Pastels, I prefer the Portfolio brand DIRECTIONS 1. Each student draws three lines that tilt a little to each side on a horizontal sheet of paper. … Read More

Gold Rush PDF Package, $10

I am happy to release my new Gold Rush package. It includes 3 sizes of my new San Francisco Niantic Hotel mural (6, 15 and 28 pages) and a new “Wanted” Poster ebook that I filled with everything you could possibly wish for to make amazing outlaw self portraits. My “Wanted” Poster started out as just an idea for a new and improved border, but I quickly realized how much better it would look … Read More

Father’s Day Scratch Art

This is my favorite way for students to make a scratch art picture, first a black marker drawing, then layers of oil pastel on top.   MATERIALS • Card stock paper • Black Sharpie marker, chisel tip • Wood stylus or skewer • Oil pastels, I prefer the Portfolio brand   DIRECTIONS 1. Students wrote D-A-D in either block letters or very fat stick letters on their card stock paper with a permanent black … 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 paper • Oil pastels DIRECTIONS 1. I had a lot of scrap chip board … Read More

Earthworm Art

I knew there was a way to mix scratch art and earthworm studies. Just make your own scratch art paper with oil pastels and you can fill your page with all the lovely lines that go with these creatures. MATERIALS • Heavy paper, 6″ x 9″ • Oil pastels, I recommend the Portfolio brand • Scratcher stick DIRECTIONS 1. I use 6″ x 9″ paper for my student’s journals, but also like the size … Read More

Draw a Simple Cat

Two circles get this simple cat drawing off to a good start. If you begin by tracing a roll of masking tape, kinders especially will be more likely to draw a cat that is nice and large and fills their paper. Circles are one of the harder shapes for them to draw, and I’ve found that a roll of masking tape is the perfect template for them to hold and trace. MATERIALS • Download … 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 like the Portfolio brand) • Masking tape DIRECTIONS PREP: Print the Van Gogh Iris … Read More

Modigliani Self Portrait Tutorial

I’ve made a Modigliani self portrait tutorial in hopes that it encourages more to try it out. Something about the distortion frees students up from getting overly fussy with their drawing, and thick pastels are the perfect media for imitating Modigliani’s rich dark paintings. • View and download Modigliani Tutorial MATERIALS Black construction paper, 18″ x 24″ Oil pastels DIRECTIONS Cut the paper to 8″ x 18″. Fold the paper in half three times … Read More

Theibaud Cake Mural

Wayne Thiebaud is an American artist best known for his paintings of cakes in light pastel shades. I exaggerated the colors and frostings a bit in this homage, and hope it adds for some extra fun. MATERIALS • PDF Theibaud template, from APFK PDF Shop • Printer • Cardstock paper • Paper cutter • Portfolio pastels • Masking tape • Butcher paper and glue stick (optional) DIRECTIONS PREP: Print Theibaud template on laser print. … Read More

Abstract Cat Drawing

This cat project was inspired by a talented artist named Laurel Burch, who sadly passed away recently. She had a wonderful style of drawing abstract cats with large eyes that always met in the middle. MATERIALS • Drawing paper • Black Sharpie • Oil pastels (I prefer the Portfolio brand) DIRECTIONS 1. Students make three dots (in pencil) across the center of a paper. The 3 dots are connected to make the eyes. A … Read More

Draw a Clown

My clown tutorial seems to be pretty popular over at Pinterest, so here is an update. My recommendation? Start with black paper so your clown can truly have the white face that makes him or her so fun to color. • View and download Draw a Clown tutorial   MATERIALS • Black construction paper • Oil pastels DIRECTIONS 1. Draw the clown in pencil. 2. Trace the drawing with a black pastel. 3. Color … Read More

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