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

Robert Indiana LOVE Letters

This 3D letter project provides good dimensional drawing practice, and makes a nice Valentine card too. Stencils help but are optional. Robert Indiana made a famous sculpture in the sixties that came to symbolize the peace movement. Students can make a similar image while practicing their 3D shapes and shading. I started with my school’s die cutter and made about a dozen of each letter cut out of chipboard.   MATERIALS Drawing paper, square, 9″ … 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

Radiating Hearts

Students can practice radial symmetry with this Radiating 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

Homemade Valentine Card

If you can get your hands on some fancy colored paper, this plan can make a really pretty homemade Valentine card. Simple hearts in boxes make a sweet and simple layout. I used some rice papers that came from a local paper store. I told them I was an art teacher at a local public school and they happily gave me their damaged papers. Another option is something called a “Black Ink Mulberry Paper … 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

DIY Valentines

You can mass produce some DIY Valentines with some pretty paper, heart punch and hole punch. These stamp edges were made with a hole punch, punching just a half hole all around the outside of an art trading card. After that, you just need some pretty pink paper from your favorite craft store, and maybe a heart punch or two. MATERIALS Card stock paper, in shades of pink and white Paper cutter Hole punch … Read More

Christmas Tree Door Wreath

The last holiday project I’d like to share is my friend Regina’s amazing Christmas Tree Wreath that I spied as I was finishing my family visit in Tennessee. Regina is the owner of Whitney Hill Estates, and the host of my art retreat every summer. She just has more artsy skills in her fingertips than anyone I know. She briefly explained that she made this tree with a collection of little house decorations. Turns … Read More

Gingerbread Cookies on Baking Sheet Trays

Here’s another look at Model Magic project from last year, Gingerbread boys and girls, displayed on their own baking sheet trays. I’ve found that if you want to give your Model Magic creations a bit of a longer life, spray them with a clear gloss when finished. It does make the color last longer, not forever, but at least a few weeks or so. I always tell my parents that if they really love … Read More

Holiday Ornament Project

Here’s a holiday ornament idea that fulfills all the requirements of being easy, inexpensive, flexible, and most important, a little sparkly for the students. To make your life really easy, I recommend getting an industrial craft punch like the one shown above. I use mine all the time, mostly for craft stick projects like this. It can even cut through tin cans! MATERIALS Jumbo craft sticks, 3 per students Craft glue Big Bite Craft … Read More

Drawing Symmetrical Elf Shoes (with a Template!)

This is one of my student’s favorite Christmas drawing ideas, and I think it’s because it’s a new point of view for them, and offers all kinds of color and pattern possibilities. The one issue that I have been meaning to address with this project is the drawing of the elf feet. I first did this with older students (grade 3 – 5) who would often get stuck in drawing the second symmetrical foot. … Read More

Marker Drawings for Christmas Cards

This is one of my favorite Christmas drawings for cards. It uses a little positive / negative space and symmetry lesson too. This is also a good project to bring out the best fine tip markers you have. I love my new Stabilo Fine Lines that were part of my popular Zentangle Snowflake posting. The tips are thin, yet very strong and even withstood elementary school hands. I recommend this project as shown here … 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 •  

How to Make Pom Pom Balls

A simple search will show you many tutorials on how to make pom pom balls. Some take tools and adult-size patience, but these require neither. Every time I bring out this project, kids as young as kinder have a ball making something that is more like a toy than a decoration to them. I’ve just learned that you need an adult to tie the center knot really well, several times, to make sure the … Read More

Paper Mache Holiday House

One of the coolest Christmas craft ideas I’ve recently seen was a simple house painted white with a glitter roof. I made my own version here that cost about $5. I want to share this amazing website that I recently found while looking for after school class ideas. I wanted little paper mache things to paint, as seen often in Michael’s, but was stumped when trying to get 30. I found this site, Consumercrafts.com that has … 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

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

Make Olaf the Snowman

It doesn’t take a genius to see how easily Olaf the Snowman could be made out of Model Magic. Add some googly eyes, twigs, beans and bam, he’s done! I’ve been creating Model Magic with students for years now, and it’s ease of use never ceases to amaze me. The biggest tip I can give to newcomers, is to try to make things that can go inside a plastic cup or food container so … Read More

Zentangle Art Snowflakes

Zentangle art is drawing with repetitive patterns. My snowflakes may look complex, but they are made from just adding lots of arrows to my star template. I tried out some new Stabilo markers for this drawing, and totally love the pointMax set. The tips are nice and firm, so it makes them a pleasure to draw with. The company makes other super fine markers, but I think this size is perfect for trying to … Read More

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