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Fun and Easy Mandalas with Metallic Gel Pens

One day this summer, my daughter came home from camp with a circle design drawn using metallic gel pens.  I thought it looked so cool, I wanted to try it with my students in 3rd/4th grade.  I usually teach about mandalas and radial balance at this age level. Mandalas have religious and spiritual significance around the world.  They have been used for meditation and relaxation.  I showed the students mandalas including Tibetan and Navajo sand paintings, ancient Aztec and architecture.  … Read more…

Washi Tape Art Creations

Washi tape is so much fun to use!  You can pick up decorative tape at office supply stores, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby or other craft stores.  I also have bought washi tape online from various places.  Amazon has a lot of designs. The concept is simple.  Peel off the tape, stick to paper and color in the sections!  Here is my description statement we glued on the back: Students made colorful designs with tape as a short exploration in color and … Read more…

Free Holiday Coloring Mandala

While I never think coloring pages should be used in place of more in-depth art projects in art class, I know that you might work with kids in all different types of settings… whether it be an after school daycare, a church group, your own kids, indoor recess or a scout group.  Sometimes you just want a fun, calming, meditative option for kids to enjoy. Unleash the therapeutic benefits of coloring for mindfulness! Coloring helps people of all ages to … Read more…

Kindergarten Line Lanterns

This project is relatively simple and takes learning about lines into the third dimension. I posted about this project back in 2013 and it was one of my most popular blog posts.  I usually do a line painting project with the kindergartners.  This is a great way to learn about types of lines, practice painting with a paintbrush and develop all those great fine motor skills you want the little ones to learn such as gluing and coloring. 1. The … Read more…

Art Gift Ideas for a Child

The holidays are quickly approaching!  While you are thinking about the kids in your life, consider picking up some creative gifts.  Please don’t buy those cheap art supply kits with a lot of different cheap crayons, markers and colored pencils.  Spending a little more money will allow the child to experience quality art supplies and they will last longer.  Here are some of my favorites. 1.  Watercolor Paints- Splurge on a better quality set than Rose Art.  The child will … Read more…

Watercolor Sharks and Free Shark Drawing Guide/Coloring Pages

Recently, I reviewed the book How to Survive as a Firefly and showed you a firefly art project to go along with the book.  I also received a free copy of How to Survive as a Shark from Innovation Press.  This book is illustrated in a similar style and is very cute and engaging.  There is a lot of great scientific information about sharks in this book. From the publisher’s description:  How to Survive as a Shark provides a unique take on fish … Read more…

How to Survive as a Firefly: Art Project

I was given the book How to Survive as a Firefly from Innovation Press to share with you on my blog.  This is a pretty cool book, with nice illustrations and good scientific information throughout the book.  I wrote a FREE art project tutorial with drawing guides, available at my TPT shop to accompany this book.  The directions are also here in this blog post, but to get the drawing guides you’ll have visit my TPT shop. Here is a … Read more…

Yayoi Kusama Children’s Book

I am in love with this new children’s book about Yayoi Kusama.  The illustrations are gorgeous.  I love Yayoi’s style and her artwork.  Known for her polka dot installations, polka dot pumpkins and mirrored rooms, this artist is sure to captivate your students. From the inside cover: “Growing up in Japan, Yayoi Kusama dreamed of becoming an artist.  In the fields of her family’s nurseries she drew flowers and plants and stones, imagining the world around her as streams and … Read more…

Printmaking with Apples: Pumpkin Jack-o-Lanterns

This was a fun introduction to printmaking.  I did this project with Kindergartners.  I got the idea from this image on Pinterest. I read them The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons.  I cut apples in half and the students dipped them into orange paint and stamped them on their paper.   The next art class, I provided them with printouts of images I found online of jack-o-lanterns and the students used markers to draw faces and stems on the pumpkins. … Read more…

All About Me Foldable Squash Books

One of the first projects my 4th/5th grade students created this year were personal “About Me” folded squash books.  The kids were introduced to a simple foldable bookmaking technique and then they personalized them with drawings and collages about themselves.  Each section of the book had a prompt to get them started. I showed them a video demonstration of how to assemble the book and I provided square templates printed on card stock.  Both the video, templates and instructions are … Read more…

Interview with an Artist: Justin Bua

Today I have a special artist to introduce to you.  His name is Justin Bua.  I was able to get an exclusive interview with him, so keep reading to learn more about his art.. in his own words! From his website, “Justin BUA is an award winning urban artist. His DJ poster has sold more than any other print of our era. His celebratory paintings of hip hop imagery document turntable, b-boy, MC and graffiti culture. BUA is one of … Read more…

New! Texture Rubbing Practice Sheet

Easy, simple, fun! Brand new in my shop, a texture rubbing practice sheet.  Use this handy sheet as a practice for making texture rubbings. Kids love using crayons to make texture rubbings, but they don’t always realize that they can use them to color inside a shape. Peel various color crayons. Place a texture plate under the paper. I have used the Melissa & Doug Shade-Tex plates. Hold the crayons on the side and rub over the paper to reveal … Read more…

Kindergarten Watercolor Shapes

I am always trying to come up with new ideas for my youngest students to experience painting in a successful way, learn about important art concepts and still be able to use their creativity. In this lesson, the goals were the following: Students will… Practice using a paintbrush properly. Learn about the qualities of watercolors through instruction and exploration. Experiment with watercolor resist. Be able to identify common shapes such as circle, diamond, triangle, trapezoid, star, square, oval, rectangle, heart and … Read more…

Art Video: Doodling with Watercolor Pencils

  In this video, I give a demonstration of how to use Maped Watercolor Pencils to make a beautiful doodled painting.  If you are reading this through email or a blog reader, you may need to pop on over to my actual blog to see the video.  It should show up below. If you would like to purchase a set, click here: Maped Watercolor Pencils I was given a free set of watercolor pencils to review. (affiliate links have been used.)

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