Overlapping Drawing Project

  This Overlapping Drawing project is a fun, yet educational lesson. It focuses just on one repeating shape that is easy to draw. 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″ … Read More

Stained Glass Tree

This can really look like a stained glass tree if you use bright colors in the negative space around the tree. I love the combo of black Sharpie trees and then soft oil pastels to fill in, but I have discovered that the marker will bleed in time to make a fuzzy line. If you want to avoid that, either use a black pastel or scan the original so that it looks perfect forever. … Read More

Abstract Tree

This abstract tree project can really look like stained glass if you use really bright colors. I love the combo of black Sharpie trees and then soft oil pastels to fill in, but I have discovered that the marker will bleed in time and make a fuzzy line. If you want to avoid that, either use a black pastel or scan and print the original so that it looks perfect forever. MATERIALS • Multimedia … Read More

Finish the Wolf Face

When students have a photo to refer to, they are often surprised at what they can draw. In this case, if you have half of a black and white image actually pre-printed on the paper, students can really focus on matching lots of shades of gray. The goal is to see how closely they make the two blend together. MATERIALS • Download Wolf Face Template • Drawing paper • Printer or copy machine • Pencil, … Read More

Lots of Logs Painting

I was inspired by a print at “Geninne’s Art Blog” and turned it into a study using neutral colors. In third grade, students can start to learn about colors that are not on the basic color wheel, like the neutral colors brown, black, white and gray. I like to associate them with nature, so this log painting helps to make that connection. 1. Give the students a square piece of paper. They are to … Read More

Clothespin Horse

This wooden horse is made from clothespins and jumbo craft sticks, and makes a good balancing project too. MATERIALS • Craft sticks, jumbo • Clip clothes pins • Utility scissors • Craft glue DIRECTIONS 1. I started with a couple of jumbo popsicle sticks and cut out two 3″ strips. These were overlapped just a bit and glued together to make the belly. 2. Next I cut a round end about 2.5″ long for … Read More

Nutcracker Drawing on Black Paper

Here is a breakdown of my Nutcracker Drawing project, this time using oil pastels on black construction paper. MATERIALS • Black construction paper, 18″ x 24″ size cut to 8″ x 24″ panels • Cardboard template, 7″ x 4″ • Oil pastels DIRECTIONS 1. Following the steps shown in my diagram, the students first placed the rectangle in the middle of the black paper, and traced it with a pencil. 2. Two vertical lines … Read More

Leaf Art Project with Texture

You can make a pretty leaf art project with just some paper towels, glue and paint. Learning how to add texture to your art will open up all kinds of new possibilities. MATERIALS • Watercolor paper or other heavy stock • Paper towels • White glue • Crayola crayon • Watercolor paint DIRECTIONS 1. I used Bounty paper towels (I like the spongy look to them) and cut out about 3 large leaves and … Read More

Three Circle Lion Face

I saw this basic idea for drawing a lion in an Ed Emberley book. I love how just three overlapping circles turn into a very cute lion. MATERIALS Drawing paper Circle template (masking tape roll works well) Black Sharpie marker Oil pastels DIRECTIONS Find a circle shape to trace and make two overlapping circles as shown. A third circle is centered below the first two. All of the circles need to overlap to create … Read More

Chuck Close Portraits with Squares

This project is inspired by the amazing art of Chuck Close. He added grids to portraiture to create some very stunning artwork. MATERIALS • Headshot photos, scaled and laser printed to on 8.5″ x 11″ paper • Drawing paper, 9″ x 12″, with 3/4″ grid • Carbon paper • Black marke • Colored pencils   DIRECTIONS 1. I started by shooting large head shots of students against a white wall. The photos were opened … Read More

First Flower Painting

This project makes for a great introduction to painting. Give students just the primary colors or red, yellow and blue, they can mix their own green. MATERIALS Multimedia paper, 12″ x 18″ Tempera paint: Blue, Red and Yellow Brush Water DIRECTIONS 1. Fold a tabloid or larger sheet of paper in half. Paint a blue vase in the center of the bottom half. 2. Paint 5 – 6 yellow dots in the top half … Read More

Magazine Color Collage

This magazine color collage project can make some really beautiful works of art, but ONLY if students take care to collect images with the same theme, and then cut and glue them down with care. Like anything else, it will be as good as the effort is going into it. MATERIALS • Old magazines • Drawing paper • Scissors • Glue sticks DIRECTIONS 1. I’ve found this to be a really good project for … Read More

Pastel and Pattern Eggs

One arts standard for elementary students is to learn to tint colors. My kids seemed to really enjoyed seeing how many colors they could make by just mixing yellow, red, orange and white together. 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

La Boca House Collage

La Boca is a neighborhood, or barrio of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires. It is a popular destination because of its colorful houses. The basic history is that years ago, shipyard workers used left over metal and paint to create homes. There was never quite enough for an entire house, hence the patchwork neighborhoods.    MATERIALS • Card stock paper • Fiskars Paper Crimper • Scissors • Black Sharpie • White glue • Glue … Read More

Draw and Paint a Turkey

To paint a turkey with some lovely shades of brown, just have students use dissolved instant coffee grounds for their paint. • View and download PDF Turkey tutorial MATERIALS • Multimedia paper • Black Sharpie marker • Instant coffee • Water • Paintbrush DIRECTIONS 1. Draw or print guidelines on paper. 2. Draw the turkey according to the tutorial. 3. Trace the art with the thin black marker. 4. Mix varying amounts of water … Read More

Witch Hat Drawing

A Halloween stock art image inspired this witch hat drawing.   MATERIAL • Black card stock paper • Prismacolor Colored Pencils   DIRECTIONS 1. Start with a 6″ x 9″ piece of black drawing paper. Make a dot on the top center, and draw a hat that touched it and the two bottom corners. A band and star are drawn in pencil. 2.Trace all the lines with a white Prismacolor pencil, and then shade in the … Read More

Watercolor Resist Patterns

This Watercolor Resist Patterns project works well for kinders as an introduction to painting. By making lines and stacks of patterns, students can just concentrate on making the paint go where they want. MATERIALS • Multimedia or watercolor paper • Crayons • Watercolor paint DIRECTIONS PREP: I recommend watercolor paper be used, if possible, as it really does make a difference in the color brightness. Prep 9″ x 12″ sheets by drawing marks on … Read More

Ceramic Planter Face

Avoid the messy painting that often happens with kid’s ceramics and have them just use one color. MATERIALS • Ceramic clay • Wire cutter • Plastic drinking glass • Drinking straw • Kiln • Glaze, skin color • Potting soil • Grass seeds   DIRECTIONS 1.  Use a wire cutter to make about 3/4″ thick slabs cut from a block of clay. Each student uses a plastic drinking glass (about 3.5″ diameter) to cut … Read More

Mexican 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 • Pencil crayons   DIRECTIONS  1. I started with colored paper so that the houses could be colored a nice, bright white. With a … Read More

Boat Collage and Writing

This boat collage and writing project encourages students to make layered pages in their art journals. I ask them not to write entries NEXT to their pictures, but to write OVER them to make the entry part of the art.   MATERIALS • Journal page or multimedia paper • Old maps • Scissors • Glue sticks • Crayons • Permanent marker or ball point pen   DIRECTIONS 1. I had some old maps on … Read More

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