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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…

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…

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…

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.)

Watercolor Pencil Review

Hi friends!  I was given a free set of Maped Watercolor Pencils to review.  I decided to practice my skills at making videos and I did a review of these pencils. Stay tuned!  In my next blog post, I will give a demonstration of how to use Maped Watercolor Pencils to make a beautiful doodled painting. If you would like to purchase a set, click here: Maped Watercolor Pencils (affiliate links have been used.)

Back to School Letter Art for Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st grade

Hi all!  I hope your school year is off to a great start.  This project is how I began the year with my youngest students.  First, I read them two short books about creativity and making art.  First, we read Think Big.  It’s very short and simple (about two words on each page), but it shows different ways people express themselves.. dancing, sewing, cooking, woodworking, theater, art, etc. The title Louise Loves Art has two meanings.  Ask your students if … Read more…

Freebie! Draw Light Until You Know It’s Right POSTER

I have been teaching myself how to use Adobe Illustrator this summer so I can make some clip art to use.  I made a cute poster you could print out for your class.  I have seen this phrase on many posters online.  I made the pencil on Illustrator!  Ha Ha, I’m so proud of myself.  I’ve always used Photoshop to do everything, so Illustrator has been kind of a mystery to me. To download the high resolution PDF version, go to … 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…

Repeated Shape Designs

This is a simple challenge that leads to a variety of creative artworks!  Choose one shape to repeat throughout your artwork.  Use markers, watercolor paints or any art media of your choice.  The challenge is to arrange the shapes in a unique and interesting composition. Include a variety of colors and sizes.  Overlap some shapes to add interest.  Add patterns or designs inside the shapes. Limitations encourage students to think in new ways.. to be creative within the constraints. Repetition is … Read more…

Train Track Mural Drawings

If you would like a fun activity for a group of young kids or even your own little train enthusiastic, try this railroad track mural art project!  My students worked in groups of 3 or more.  First, they assembled a train track with wooden tracks.  This took a lot of planning and collaboration.  They needed to work together as a team to get the tracks to fit on their piece of paper.   After the groups were satisfied with their … Read more…

Designer Tree Houses

Hi!  One day when I was sick I left a sub lesson plan for my students to design their own tree houses.  I printed out examples of tree house drawings for inspiration, like these here and here.  There is also this resource by Art Sub Lessons which has many pictures of real tree houses for inspiration. I did not leave a lot of directions or specific requirements, but encouraged creative thinking and unusual designs. Here are some of our whimsical pictures.  I think … Read more…

Primary Color Hands for Kindergartners

Here is a simple lesson to introduce your students to the primary colors. We started out by reading the book Mouse Paint, which is a fun story to teach about primary colors. My kindergartners, while I love them dearly, were having difficulties lately with classroom procedures. We needed to go back to the basics with simple materials until they understood how and why to clean up. I pulled out this idea that I got about 11 years ago when I first … 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…

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