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A Few of My Favorite Posts from 2016

Another year has come and gone.  Here are some of my favorite posts from 2016.  Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year! My Top 6 Favorite Posts in 2016.. in no particular order. 1. Huge Printable List of “What Artists Do”  The list is two pages long and can be printed and hung in your classroom as a reminder of all the things that artists do!  Click on the image to find the downloadable pdfs. This goes along with a … Read more…

Stitching on Burlap: A Painting & Sewing Experience for Children

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One type of art skill that I haven’t been the best at consistently teaching in my classroom is sewing.  I was reminded of how you can sew on burlap after seeing some painted and stitched leaves at my daughter’s school.  My third/fourth grade classes were often asking me if they could sew and I already had a lot of yarn and a roll of burlap at school. I wanted to share this idea with you quickly without a whole lot of … Read more…

How to Make a Christmas Tree Collage

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Are you looking for a fun art project to try over winter break with your kids?  Here is one that is sure to be festive, fun and creative! What you will need: watercolor paints pencil watercolor paper paint brush cup of water markers.  For my own art, I prefer Micron markers, Sakura Koi markers, and Molotow White markers. stickers of your choice glue magazines assorted paper scraps of your choice 1.  Begin by drawing a Christmas tree shape on a piece of … Read more…

Animal Cloth Paintings inspired by Korhogo Cloths

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My 3rd grade classes learned about African Korhogo Cloth paintings. They had been studying Africa in their Social Studies class.  Here are some of the resources we used:  information about the cloth paintings and a couple of YouTube videos– Take a Look at African Korhogo Cloth and Senufo Art (although I do caution you that there is some tribal nudity at the beginning of this documentary in the intro, so start it after 20 seconds in).  There is a really cool tribal dance portion … Read more…

Duncan Tonatiuh: Author/Illustrator Visit

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On Friday, we had a visit to our school by author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh.   See his artwork here.  He is both Mexican and American. He grew up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York City. His artwork is inspired by Pre-Columbian art, particularly that of the Mixtec codex. His goal is to create images and stories that honor the past, but that are relevant to people, especially children, nowadays.  His books are … Read more…

“Emily’s Blue Period” Art Project: Personal Collages

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Personal Collages:  4th and 5th Grade   We read the book Emily’s Blue Period, which is about a girl whose parents are divorcing and now she has two homes. Emily was learning about Pablo Picasso, his Blue Period and his collages in her art class. She goes through her own “blue period” of sadness.  Her art teacher asks the class to make personal collages about their homes.  She doesn’t know what to do because she has two homes now.  She ends up … Read more…

3 Fun and Easy Kindergarten Art Lessons

3 Easy Art Projects for Kindergarten

For me it is always a challenge to keep up with Kindergarten art projects. I see my classes twice per week for 40 minutes, so they get to do a lot of art!  They go through lessons and projects quickly, their attention spans are short and they have difficulty sometimes with very basic skills.  Here are three Kindergarten art lessons that are fairly easy to prepare for, teach important art concepts and use the same selection of materials. The first … Read more…

Color Theory and Rhythm Drawings by 3rd Grade

Color Theory Rhythm Drawings

This is a project I love to do with the 3rd graders.  Their drawing all turn out so unique and fun.  First, we talk about what rhythm in art is.  Rhythm is like a visual beat in a picture, created by lines, colors, shapes and space.  Rhythm can be made by repeating certain elements of art.  Here is a good handout about rhythm. Here is another handout about rhythmic line designs.   The students each drew their own line drawing showing … Read more…

Huge Sale on Art Teacher Resources

Cyber Monday Sale

Hi friends! Thank you all for your amazing support of my blog and my shop.  You have no idea what it means to me!  I love reading your comments on my blog posts. Like I mentioned earlier this week, I am part of the huge sale at Teachers Pay Teachers this MONDAY and TUESDAY– Nov. 28 and 29 ONLY.   Many sellers are participating and nearly all of my products are 20% (the only thing not included is the Growing Art … Read more…

Abstract Shape Collages and Artist Reggie Laurent

Shape Collages Reggie Laurent

Reggie Laurent:  Contemporary Artist Reggie Laurent is a self-taught artist living in Georgia.  He creates very intricate abstract shape paintings.  I saw his paintings online and I was immediately drawn to all of the fun patterns and colors. My first graders learned about his abstract pictures. They are filled with lots of different shapes, fitted together like a puzzle.  His artworks are highly detailed and very colorful. Student Shape Collages The students learned about and used organic (freeform) and geometric shapes … Read more…

Letter Painting with Kwik Stix

Create Letter Painting

I love Kwik Stix and so do my students.  “It’s like drawing with lipstick!”  I posted a video review of the product because I liked them so much.  Then, the Kwik Stix company saw it and contacted me about trying out their metallic and neon colors.  I tried them out to share with you and I also came up with a fun project you could try using them.  (Disclosure: I received these as a gift from the company.  I am … Read more…

Published Article in Arts & Activities Magazine

I have a new article in Arts & Activities magazine this month!  I am very excited.  I encourage you to submit articles to magazines if you have ideas you’d like to share.  It is very rewarding to see your words in print!  Arts & Activities and School Arts magazines are always looking for new articles. You can read the full article here: http://pubdev.ipaperus.com/ArtsandActivities/AADecember2016/?page=16

A Great Way to Communicate with Parents in Art Class

This year I have started using a new way to communicate with parents.  After receiving some feedback last year that parents didn’t know quite what we were learning about with each project, I decided to type up description statements that would explain artists we learned about, skills and techniques practiced and any other goals of the art project. After the projects are completed I have a student helper tape the descriptions to the back for the younger classes.  The older … Read more…

Blogging with Students: A Guest Post

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Hi friends!  I have a treat for you today.  My very intelligent and dedicated co-worker Katie McEnaney is guest posting for Art is Basic today.  She was previously our 3rd grade Language Arts/Social Studies/Drama teacher and this year she moved to the 6th/7th grade level.  She also created the blog The Logonauts, which focuses on a variety of literature related topics. Many readers have asked me for advice about blogging with students.  Since my time is so limited with my students, I … Read more…

Painted and Doodled Stars Tutorial

Doodled and Painted Stars Tutorial

I feel like I have stumbled upon my newest art series for my own art.  Earlier I wrote a blog post about how to make watercolor doodled flowers.  Using a similar technique, I made watercolor mandalas.  I have a new painting to show you with watercolor and doodled stars.   These were all made by starting with watercolor paints and then doodling on top with thin markers. Products I Use (Amazon Affiliate links are used) Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections: Tropicals Prima Marketing … Read more…

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