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President’s Day Painting Project

President’s Day PennySo it turns out that a coffee filter, Sharpie and watercolor paint can make a pretty great President’s Day painting project.

You can even try some shading by adding an extra layer of brown to Abe so that he stands out from the background. Make a traditional penny, or go crazy and make a pop art, tie dye version. Either way, you have a fun way to mix art with a little history.

• View and download Penny Template PDF

White coffee filters, 9.5″ diameter
• Steam iron
• Penny Template, print on letter copy paper, one per student
• Masking tape
• Sharpie marker, black, fine tip
Liquid watercolor paint, brown
• Paint brush
Mesh plastic canvas, optional

PREP: Flatten white coffee filters with a steam iron. Tape filter on top of a Penny Template. The missing side lines need to be added by the student.
1. Students trace the Penny Template line art onto the filter with a Sharpie marker.
2. With the filter still taped to the copy paper, I had students place a plastic mesh sheet underneath for support in later carrying it to the drying rack.
3. The filter is painted entirely with one layer of brown watercolor paint. Let dry about 10 minutes and then paint the shadow areas with another layer.
4. When filter is dry, carefully remove the back paper and tape. Light press with a steam iron (you can do many at once in a layer) to make them nice and crisp.

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