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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…

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…

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…

Big Giveaway! Book and $10 TPT Giftcard, Book Review and New Stuff

I have a lot of things to share with you today! First.  You have the chance to win a big prize for a special Back to School giveaway.  The winner will receive a drawing book, a $10 TPT gift card and my new Art History Icebreaker Foldable. First, this book by Mark Kistler! You Can Draw It in Just 30 Minutes: See It and Sketch It in a Half-Hour or Less. I am working with De Capo Press to share this book.  Mark … Read more…

My Book of Beautiful Oops! Giveaway and Book Review

Hi!  I’m working with Workman Publishing to share a new book and giveaway with you! Many art teachers use the book Beautiful Oops! in their classroom.   It’s one of my favorites!  It’s all about how even if you make a mistake, it’s an opportunity to turn it into something beautiful.  This link has some art projects I’ve taught using this book. BUT… there is a brand new companion to Beautiful Oops!  This a creative personal journal for young artists aged … Read more…

Free Printable: Faith Ringgold Inspired Quilt Template

Hi!  I’m here today to share with you a meaningful art project for your younger students.  This would be good as as a “getting to know you” activity.  The following examples were all made by kindergartners near the end of the year, but I would think this lesson would be suitable for kids through grades 2. Many art teachers have taught about the artist Faith Ringgold and had their students create paper quilts.  I have a free printable for you … Read more…

Art Using Train Tracks

In my last blog post, I reviewed the book Old Tracks, New Tricks.  It is a super cute and creative book. The book itself is good for up to about 1st or 2nd grade, in my opinion.  The kids at my school saw me drawing this train track picture and some of the 3rd graders wanted to try it.  I’m thinking 1st through 3rd grade might be best for this art project.  I will test it with the Kindergartners and … Read more…

Review of Old Tracks, New Tricks– Children’s Book about Trains

Get the whole free download here!  I have a fun book to share with you today.  Innovation Press sent me a free copy of Old Tracks, New Tricks to review. I selected to receive this book because it looked cute and I thought my 3 year old son would really like it even if it was too young for my classes.  I think this book would be most appropriate for Pre-K to grade 2. The book is adorable and so creative! … Read more…

Make Your Own Creature with Fabric and Paper Scraps

Little artists love digging into a big box of fabric scraps to find the perfect patterned piece that speaks to them. We have an upcoming Fine Arts Night with the theme of Animals. We are calling it “Wild about the Arts”, which someone suggested in the Facebook art teachers group.  The 1st graders made these fun creature collages.   First we read the book Zigzag by Robert Souci and looked at the illustrations of fabric dolls. The students made creature collages, either … Read more…

4th and 5th Grade Profile Drawings: In the Style of Egyptians, Mixtec Codex and Duncan Tonatiuh

My students were treated to a visit by illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh.  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 images are inspired by ancient Mexican art, especially the Mixtec codex of the 14th and 15th centuries. Like the people and animals in the codex, the figures in his illustrations are always drawn in profile– their entire bodies are usually shown and their ears … Read more…

Duncan Tonatiuh: Author/Illustrator Visit

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

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

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…

Article in Arts & Activities Magazine

I’m pretty excited my article in the October issue of Arts & Activities is on the cover! I wrote about an art project my students did after learning about the artist William Wegman. I had the awesome opportunity to interview Wegman on the phone and include the interview as a large part of the article. I’m very glad that they included a bunch of my students’ artwork (3rd grade). You can read the whole article here: http://pubdev.ipaperus.com/ArtsandActivities/AAOctober2016/?page=20 If you would … Read more…

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