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

Color Lesson for Kindergarten

Color lesson plans for kindergarten can be so much more fun than just painting a color wheel. I opted to split my primary mixing lessons into three separate classes, and this one was perfect for making orange. Art Teacher’s Tip: Rolls of masking tape make the best templates for drawing circles. They are easy to hold, don’t slip on the paper, and make perfect circles when you run your pencil around the inside. MATERIALS … Read More

Self Portrait Drawing for Kids

I found a simple aid in assisting self portrait drawing for kids. Start them with a circle template for their head and the rest of the body is more likely to fall in place. These drawings were made for an art fundraiser, and I love how they all turned out. Colorful, creative and unique. MATERIALS Watercolor paper 2″ Circle template Black Sharpie marker Crayons Liquid watercolor paint   DIRECTIONS Students use the template to … Read More

How to Draw a Shamrock

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here’s how to draw a Shamrock. And if you have the budget, add a little sparkle with a gold paint marker. If you can draw lines and hearts, then you can make this beautiful painting in honor of the holiday. Just save a few dollars for a gold paint marker because they really add a special touch. • View and download Shamrock Tutorial MATERIALS • Watercolor Paper, 9″ … 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

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

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

How to make a Rose Doodle

Here’s a really fun way to make a rose doodle, just in time for Valentine’s Day. I found the original idea posted on Flickr. It’s a genius way to draw some super simple roses that look like they are about to bloom, and I wish I could thank the artist who thought them up. • View and download Rose Doodle Tutorial MATERIALS • Print of Rose Doodle tutorial • Watercolor paper, I used Strathmore … Read More

Ant Drawing and Painting

This ant drawing and painting tutorial is a sample from one of my newest eBooks “Drawing and Painting Insects”. Try adding a little crayon and watercolor to your study of ants and see what happens. • Draw and Paint Ant PDF Tutorial MATERIALS Watercolor paper (I used Strathmore for my sample) Ruler, pencil (for making guide lines) Crayons Liquid watercolor paint (I used Sargent®)   DIRECTIONS Lightly draw guide lines down the center of … Read More

Abstract Art with Alma Woodsey Thomas

This abstract art lesson let my students choose which painting format they wanted to try out — a circular or an vertical stripe one. By the way, this artist, Alma Woodsey Thomas, developed her signature style—large, abstract paintings filled with patterns of bright colors—in her 70s. She also was the first African American artist to have a show at the famous Whitney museum in New York.   MATERIALS Multimedia paper Liquid tempera paint Circle … Read More

How to Draw a Poinsettia

Here’s how to draw a poinsettia, which my students are turning into decorations for our holiday show in a couple of weeks. We’re making em big, on 12′ square heavy paper, and cutting the poinsettias out so they can be arranged on the wall of the auditorium. I’m proud that I was able to sneak in a little bit of math and measuring as it really helped to draw the center guidelines before drawing. … Read More

Picasso Style Self Portrait

Picasso’s Blue Period paintings are great for seeing the power of color. A side self-portrait with lowered eyes in blues and greens makes for a great study. MATERIALS Picasso Blue Period PDF Tutorial Watercolor paper, 6″ x 9″ art journal size Black Sharpie marker Liquid watercolor, blue and green Brush   DIRECTIONS This project asks students to draw themselves looking down and off the page to increase the forlorn look that Picasso’s art had … Read More


Teach kinders and up how to draw a face with LOTS of crankiness, thanks to this very funny new children’s book, “Crankenstein”, by Samantha Berger. Crankenstein can be drawn with some very simple shapes, and show students how to create a very expressive face. MATERIALS “Crankenstein” book, by Samantha Berger Watercolor paper, if you can afford it, or multimedia paper Old cardboard for templates Sharpie chisel tip marker, black Crayons Liquid watercolor paint, green … Read More

Fall Pickup Truck

  I wanted to do something different with my last watercolor class, but still keep it with the fall season, so I combined a simple truck and pumpkins. • View and download Pickup Truck Tutorial MATERIALS Print of Pickup Tutorial for each student Watercolor paper Sharpie marker Crayons Liquid watercolor paint   DIRECTIONS PREP: Draw or print guidelines on the paper Students follow the tutorial to draw their truck. Pumpkins are added in the … Read More

Draw a Robot

This is a fun combination for painting a robot – silver tempera and black watercolor paint. The matte look of the black makes the silver really stand out. My first graders used a 3″ square template to get the body drawing started. They added geometric shapes as desired. MATERIALS Draw Robot PDF Tutorial Drawing paper Black marker Silver tempera paint Black watercolor paint, liquid works best DIRECTIONS Prep: Print tutorial for each student. Draw … Read More

Kandinsky Circle Painting

This Kandinsky project worked really well with my last after school watercolor class which includes kinder through 5th grade. MATERIALS Watercolor paper (I used Strathmore) Crayons Liquid watercolor paint DIRECTIONS PREP: pre-print grid lines on watercolor paper.  With Kandinsky’s original painting in view, students drew concentric circles in each square with a crayon (no need to start with pencils). They pressed hard to make a “wall” that would help keep colors from running together. … 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

Layered Cats

Try giving young students a cat head template and challenge them to fill the page. This young 2nd grader, Benjamin, made an adorable painting as a result. MATERIALS Download Cat head PDF template Chip board Watercolor paper (Strathmore used here) Black Sharpie marker Crayons Liquid watercolor paint (I used this Sargent brand now) DIRECTIONS Prep: Trace cat head onto chip board and cut a copy for each student. It makes it much easier to … Read More

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