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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…

How to Make a Christmas Tree Collage

christmas-tree

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

New Art History Sketchbook Prompt Set!! Set #4

I have a brand new set of Art History Sketchbook Prompts to share with you! These cards are a great way for students to do some independent learning if they finish an art project early. This is set #4 of the Art History Sketchbook Prompts, with all NEW artists! These art history cards feature a selection of inspiring famous artworks with a prompt that can be used to spark drawing and writing.  Only $5!  The price reflects the increase in … Read more…

Create a “Create” Banner

create-a-banner

I’ve been busy this school year, but proud of myself that I feel like I’m keeping on top of things.  It is so easy to feel like you are drowning in artwork, messes and things on your to-do list.  Am I the only one sometimes that feels like I am swimming in a sea of student artwork trying to figure out what’s what, what’s finished and what still needs to be done? I wanted to share with you a fun … Read more…

Googly Eyed Sticker Monsters

Sticker Eye Monsters

With Halloween coming, this is an especially fun open-ended project for little kids.  I did this with kids up to grade 3 and they were super excited to come up with their own monsters. Supplies needed (Amazon affiliate links used): Peel and Stick Wiggle Eyes Wiggle Eyes Stickers On A Roll Multi-Color Markers, crayons or other coloring tools White or colored construction paper Handouts for inspiration:  Monster Dice Drawing and Examples of Monsters This is a real simple introduction and … Read more…

How to Make a Watercolor Mandala

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Earlier this summer I wrote a blog post about how to make watercolor doodled flowers.  These mandalas I created were made with a very similar technique.  Both these mandalas and the flowers were 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 Watercolor Confections: The Classics Sakura Koi Brush Pen Set Sharpie Permanent Marker, Fine Point Sakura Micron Ink Pen … Read more…

How to Write a Blog Post that People Will Read: Blogging Basics, Part Three

If you missed the other posts in this series, be sure to read: Blogging Basics Part One Blogging Basics Part Two So, you started a blog, picked a name and have a great idea for your first post.  Here are some tips you need to know. 1. Pay Attention to Permissions & Copyright Before you write your blog post, think about whether or not you got your idea from somewhere else.  Did you learn about this technique at a conference?  … Read more…

Blogging Basics, Part Two: Choosing a Blog Name and Getting Ideas

  If you missed the first post in this series, check out Blogging Basics for Teachers and Other Creatives, Part One.  In that post I share reasons to start blogging and how to choose a blogging platform. In today’s post, we will talk about how to choose a blog name and where to get ideas for your blog.   My blog was originally called Vivid Layers (raise your hand if you read my blog back then!).  The header is the … Read more…

Blogging Basics for Teachers and Other Creatives: Part One

Blogging Basics:  Tips for Art Teachers

So… you want to start a blog about teaching or art?  One of the questions I get asked frequently is how do you start a blog?  I asked the experts (other popular art bloggers) to share advice about getting started with blogging.   The bloggers, in no particular order: Me from Art is Basic, of course Lee Darter, from Art Room Blog Phyllis Levine Brown from There’s a Dragon in My Art Room and The Artful Advocate Don Masse from … Read more…

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