Annual 4th Grade Mission Project

Here’s a wall of finished 4th grade mission project drawings, just to show how much help a drawing guide and grid can offer. I believe that the drawing guides from my California Mission Drawing Guide and the brown graph paper are a powerful combination that bring out the best in what students are able to do with architecture drawings each year. MATERIALS • Warm brown construction paper, 12″ x 18″ • PDF Grid for … Read More

Martin Luther King Mural Template

A Martin Luther King history project can easily include a mural, if you start with my PDF template. These students from the Bronx show how even simple pencil crayons can make a striking image. This photo was sent to me years ago by a teacher in the Bronx. I love how you can see all the coloring lines, yet they make a distinct portrait when done. MATERIALS Martin Luther King PDF Mural ($5 in … 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 trace it in the center of an 8.5″ x 11″ paper. Add lines around the … Read More

Legos and Self Portraits

I have used this as a first project of the year quite often the template helps all skill levels get off to a good start, and still has lots of room for creative interpretation. My template is left empty in the middle so students can alter the clothing pretty easily.   MATERIALS LEGO Template (see below) Printer Drawing paper Black Sharpie marker Crayons or Colored Pencils DIRECTIONS Print or copy a template for each … Read More

Paul Klee Castle

Paul Klee was one of the great colorists in the history of painting. I developed this project that imitates his abstract “Castle and Sun” painting by having students trace cardboard shapes and fill them in with colored pencils. MATERIALS • Black paper, card stock is preferred • Chip board for cutting squares and triangles • Colored pencils DIRECTIONS PREP: I made lots of shapes that were all based on 1″ proportions. My sample uses 2″ squares, … Read More

How to Draw Fireworks

This example of radial symmetry is also a great way to learn how to draw fireworks. MATERIALS • Journal page or drawing paper • Pencil crayon or crayons   DIRECTIONS 1. Students to place about 5 dots random dots on the page with a crayon or pencil crayon. Starting with one dot, they draw squiggle lines around it which radiate outwards. It should look like a small flower. 2. Next they switch colors and … Read More

Draw an Adobe Landscape

Diversity Day is approaching, so I’m trying to integrate each classroom’s chosen country into their art lessons. No small task, but for some reason I enjoy the challenge. A second grade class made this drawing today, which was an exercise in architecture and perspective.   MATERIALS • Drawing paper, gold • Black Sharpie marker • Pencil crayons   DIRECTIONS  1. I started with colored paper so that the houses could be colored a nice, … Read More

Lois Mailou Jones Drawing

This Lois Mailou Jones-inspired drawing is in honor of Black History month. During Lois’ remarkable life, she painted, designed masks, textiles and stained glass windows, traveled the world and never stopped learning. Her “Les Fetiches” art has a style that is fun to imitate. MATERIALS • Black card stock paper • Colored pencils DIRECTIONS 1. Starting with a black sheet of paper (I prefer art paper, not construction paper as it often is just dark gray) … Read More

Radial Hearts Drawing

Students can practice radial symmetry with this Radial Hearts drawing. It takes time to fill in the entire paper, but the results can be really amazing. And once someone gets good at the process, it can be applied to many other shapes as well. MATERIALS • Colored Card stock paper, 8.5″ x 11″ • White card stock paper, cut to 5″ x 8″ • Heart Punch, 2″ • Pencil crayons • Glue stick DIRECTIONS … Read More

Draw Your Neighborhood

Learn how to draw your neighborhood by focusing on three main areas. This stacked arrangement is my solution for encouraging students to draw LARGE and fill their papers. I am fortunate in that I have a tabloid printer and can print a large graph that has three obvious sections, but the idea could still be done with blank paper. The main idea is that students draw three “snapshots” of things around them, and let … Read More

Draw a Framed Bear

Here’s a super easy way to draw a frame on your artwork with this fun, precut paper. Add a few swirly black lines and you have a wood grain look that adds a nice finish to any drawing inside. I would like to add that I was recently sampled a Crayola Class Pack of colored pencils by Oriental Trading Company, which I used to color in this bear. You can see that the colors … Read More

Draw Santa’s Face

Looking for an easy way to draw Santa’s face? If so, here’s a simple approach drawing just his head. And if you work on brown kraft paper, you will get a nice old-fashioned look, along with the chance to color a nice white beard and fuzzy hat brim. • View and download Santa PDF Tutorial MATERIALS • Color print of Santa tutorial • Drawing paper (my sample used brown kraft paper) • Black marker … Read More

Travel Journal Page

I used two laws of perspective to help give this travel journal page drawing some depth. With distance, similar shapes appear to get smaller, and colors in general get lighter. MATERIALS • Art Journal page or paper • Black marker • Colored pencils DIRECTIONS 1. Draw a border around the edge. Add a horizon line about 2/3  down the page. Draw a road and trees that got smaller and smaller. 2. With the lettering, … Read More

Dissected Flower Drawing

This is a little twist on the dissecting and coloring technique. If at the end you shade the corners of each shape you make, you get a softer and more sophisticated abstraction.  MATERIALS • Drawing paper • Ruler • Pencil crayons (quality brands work best for shading) DIRECTIONS 1. Students draw a vase that takes up most of the drawing paper. To help with making a symmetrical shape, they may fold scrap paper in half, … Read More

Cat in the Hat Template

Here is a blank hat template to help celebrate Dr. Seuss’ upcoming birthday. I once used it as an art history lesson by reviewing a couple of famous artists (Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh, etc.) and then asked students to create a hat in their style. MATERIALS • View and download Cat in Hat Template • Drawing paper • Sharpie marker, black • Crayons or colored pencils DIRECTIONS PREP: Print a Cat in the Hat … Read More

Mission Drawings on Brown Paper

I’d like to share these samples of student mission drawings from a fourth grade class today. I believe that the drawing guides from my California Mission Drawing Guide and the brown graph paper are a powerful combination that bring out the best in what students are able to do with architecture drawings each year. They never cease to amaze me! MATERIALS Warm brown construction paper Epson printer Art Projects for Kids Mission Drawing Guide … Read More

Draw Amsterdam Buildings

My students have drawn lots of traditional American style homes, so now I’d like them to try something different. Specifically, Amsterdam style buildings. They have very different profiles and details, not to mention water canal surroundings. Here’s a tutorial that includes many of these details, without getting too intricate. • View and download Amsterdam Building tutorial MATERIALS Drawing paper Black marker Crayons DIRECTIONS Prep: Print tutorial for each student. Draw guide lines on paper … Read More

Finish the Valentine Face

Start with a print of heart glasses, and draw a face around it. Could be boy or girl or cat or dog? The large size forces students to draw big.   MATERIALS • View and download Heart Glasses PDF Drawing paper Color printer Black marker Crayons   DIRECTIONS Prep: Print a Heart Glasses page for each student. Students draw the face above and below the glasses. The drawing is traced with a black marker. … Read More

Glowing Cat Eyes

These glowing cat eyes are made from blending a few layers of pencil crayons. White on the bottom, then yellow, and for those interested in more detail, a bit of brown. Please note though, that the average pencil crayon and black construction paper won’t deliver these results. The projects works best on black art paper with good soft, pencil crayons to get the rich color layered color. MATERIALS • Black card stock paper, square … Read More

Draw a Dreaming Story

Give your tessellation project a language arts twist by adding a story to your work. 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 • Crayons or colored pencils   DIRECTIONS 1. Students follow the … Read More

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    Buildings Tutorial

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