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

Mother Giraffe and Baby Painting

I wish I could draw like this little girl does. Nola is only in kindergarten, and everything she does just oozes child-like charm. Filling the space between the two heads with pink hearts was her idea, which I think is just brilliant. MATERIALS • Multimedia or watercolor paper • Black Sharpie marker • Crayons • Liquid watercolor paint DIRECTIONS 1. Start by drawing a line down the middle of the paper, which will turn … Read More

Watercolor Resist Hearts

These watercolor resist hearts use rubber cement to lock in a paint color while the surrounding areas soak it up. I recommend it for a home project as it works best with some patient drying time in between steps. It’s a great way to show kids how rich their art can be if they just focus on adding lots of layered color, both when coloring with crayons and then painting with watercolors. • View … Read More

Collaborative Hearts on Canvas

Looking for a collaborative project that creates a colorful, finished work of art? Try my favorite combo of Sharpies on dry wax paper, decoupaged to a stretched canvas and you are guaranteed some pretty amazing results. Sharpies make the color super bright, and the dry wax paper will hug the canvas in a way that nothing else does. Perfect for school auctions, fundraisers and special gifts.   MATERIALS • Canvas, stretched, 16″ x 20″ … Read More

Valentine Kids from Nebraska

Here is some Valentine art that is just too cute not to share. Lisa H. wrote,“We live in Nebraska and every Friday my younger kids and my older grand kids get together to craft. We love your inspirational ideas!” I love how well her kids made their little figures, all lined up and holding their hearts. Thank you so much Lisa for sharing this! To see my original project that they were following just … Read More

Heart Trees

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright told his students, “Limits are an artist’s best friend.” That’s because they force us to find answers we might not otherwise have discovered. Students are to draw a picture with only one tree, one simple hill, and hearts that may be any size, and any place on the picture. No sun, no clouds, no flowers – just a tree on a hill with as few or many hearts as they … Read More

Valentine Tissue Paper Flowers

This technique for making tissue paper flowers is not new, but I have a new appreciation for its simplicity. If your students have had an overload of 2D work lately, try this crafty 3D one that will give them practice on folding, twisting, cutting and pulling. Oh, and make a pretty Valentine gift while they are at it. MATERIALS • Tissue Paper. 20″ x 30″ sheets • Paper cutter or scissors • Pipe cleaners, … Read More

Jim Dine Heart

Jim Dine is an American pop artist, famous for his series of heart paintings. This project uses tissue paper, glue and oil pastels to create a heart in his very textured style. Coloring over wrinkled paper with oil pastels is a guaranteed way to get that rough look that Jim Dine is famous for. • View and download Jim Dine PDF tutorial MATERIALS • Card stock paper • Tissue paper • White glue • … Read More

Flying Heart Balloons

My goal with this flying heart balloon painting was to keep things really simple so kids could experiment with their wet-on-wet painting. This fourth grader, Lola, did an impeccable job, using the colors to make shadows. I’m in love with that center balloon, which blends fuschia and red. MATERIALS • Watercolor paper • Pencil • Crayons • Liquid watercolor paint • Heart stencil, optional DIRECTIONS 1. Students could free draw a random arrangement of … Read More

Color Mixing Hearts

There are times when it is good to plan with a pencil, and then there are times when you just need to draw with a brush. You can’t go wrong with these rows of delicate hearts, even if they do get crooked and lopsided. In fact, I think hat makes them look even better. Who wants a painting that looks like a computer made it?   MATERIALS • Watercolor paper • Crayola Mixable Watercolor … Read More

Cubist Heart

If you know how to tint and shade with oil pastels, then try testing your skills on this Cubist style heart. MATERIALS • Multimedia or card stock paper, square • Pencil • Ruler • Oil pastels, soft variety works best, like Portfolio brand DIRECTIONS 1. Starting with a square paper, students draw a large heart in the middle, and then use a ruler to draw at least four lines completely across the paper. Random … Read More

Mini Me Custom Valentines

I’m a sucker for custom Valentines. They just celebrate the day in a way no store bought card ever could. MATERIALS • Black and white head shot of each student, about 2″ tall • White card stock paper • Scissors • Glue stick • Black marker • Colored pencils DIRECTIONS 1. A black and white head photo should be about 2″ tall and placed about 1/2″ down from the top of a letter-size piece … Read More

Ceramic Heart Bowls

The Dollar Tree store scores again. Some ceramic heart bowls seen on Pinterest started my search for rounded plastic bowls to use as forms. The only problem was that bowls all had indents on the bottom, which would take away from the smooth look. I found the perfect solution with these colanders from the local dollar store. They are absolutely smooth and round, and even add a dot texture. Students may add a textured … Read More

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