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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…

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…

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…

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…

Inspirational Quotes into Artworks

Inspirational Quote by 4th and 5th grade

At the end of last year my students created some inspirational quote artworks using artistic lettering and their choice of media.   I typed up a list of inspirational quotes (below) for them to choose from.  Many of the students had their own ideas and wanted to use a quote they already knew and liked. I saved the artwork for the beginning of this year so that we would have some artwork with inspirational sayings on them for the start of … Read more…

3-D Bedroom Constructions and Perspective

Student-directed vs. teacher-directed and choice vs. “cookie cutter projects”  (I hate that phrase, it’s so annoying) are big discussions with art teachers online lately.  This is an example of how teacher-directed projects (perspective and interior models) can include lot of student choice and opportunities for creativity. When I went to the Art Institute of Chicago this Spring, I was lucky to be able to see the traveling van Gogh bedroom paintings exhibit.  My friend Dawn told me that she used … Read more…

Pattern Block Pictures

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Earlier this year, I bought the packet “Teaching the Elements of Art” made by Teaching in Paradise.  This shape tracing project was included in the packet.  With Courtney’s permission, I am sharing the beautiful results my students produced. We used pattern blocks that I had in my classroom. The students arranged the blocks to make shape pictures and traced them.  After the designs were traced, they outlined them with a darker color and colored them in.  Some of the students … Read more…

Frank Stella Inspired Pictures

2016-05-25 12.25.57 (740x589)

First, I want to give a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who follows my blog.  I appreciate your support in reading my blog, leaving comments, pinning images and sharing my posts.  Whenever I get a positive comment or email from a reader, it just MAKES MY DAY and makes all the time worthwhile.  Without this kind of feedback and support, I would not continue blogging! A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who bought resources during the TPT Best Year Ever … Read more…

Watercolor Flower Doodles– Easy & Fun!

Watercolor Flowers with Pen and Marker

I hope you are having a good summer.  I have spent some time doodling with watercolors, my favorite artsy thing to do.  Today I am going to show you how I transform puddles of watercolor to flower doodles.  Here is an example of a finished watercolor flower doodle. This step-by-step is fun, summery art project for you or your kids to try.  I like to share what is fun and exciting for me, because maybe you will take something from … Read more…

Doodled Drawings, Collages and Sculptures

Doodled Drawings (3)

It’s summer time!  This wrapped up my 10th year of teaching at my current school and 13 1/2 years teaching total.   The good news is that since I was so busy this year, I have a huge backlog of art projects to share with you.  I will probably write them all up this summer and then save some of them for the busy times next school year. Doodle patterns are always good for focus and concentration. This project is also … Read more…

Earth Day Oil Pastel Drawings

Endangered Birds

For Earth Day, my 4th & 5th grade class drew endangered trees and birds using oil pastels.  The entire lesson took about 3-4 class periods to finish.  The students each used a picture of their tree or bird to recreate on a piece of 9″x12″ paper.  We talked a little bit about layering and blending colors with the oil pastels.  We were able to go outside on Earth Day to enjoy the sunshine while drawing. Our Earth Day committee came … Read more…

Showing Depth in Landscapes: 2nd Grade Drawing Project

My second graders recently learned about simple ways to show depth in an artwork. I gave a demonstration on my new document camera and showed them how rivers and roads that go back in space would be wider in the front and narrower in the back.  I demonstrated how things that were far in the distance would be smaller than things in the front.  The use of overlap is also a way to show depth.  I showed the students this … Read more…

Peanut Butter and Jellyfishes Book

ABC Book

I want to show you a beautiful book I discovered called Peanut Butter and Jellyfishes: A Very Silly Alphabet Book by Brian P. Clearly. The book was illustrated by Betsy E. Snyder and I think the pictures are fantastic.  The style of the book is reminiscent of Eric Carle’s painted paper collages. Aren’t they beautiful?  On each page of the book are pictures that feature things that start with one letter of the alphabet.  My first grade students created an … Read more…

Stuffed Animal Still Life Drawings with 1st Grade

Stuffed Animal Still Life Drawings

Do you want to know what will really get first graders excited about drawing still lifes?  Have them bring in their own stuffed animals!  I invited the kids to bring in their favorite stuffed animals to draw.  I also had a garbage bag full of my own stuffed animals from home in case someone forgot to bring in one. I demonstrated how to observe the shapes and positioning of the stuffed animals and then I let the kids get to … Read more…

A World of Your Own: Creativity Drawings

A World of Your Own (7)

I have a fun creativity drawing project and excellent children’s book to share with you today. I came across this book called A World of Your Own by Laura Carlin and thought it looked intriguing, so I ordered it. I love the illustrations in the book and the story encourages children to think of how they would imagine a world of their own. On a day when I was out sick, I left this book for the substitute teacher to … Read more…

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