Apr 16, 2014

Happy Easter Message

This is one of the lettering styles that is included in Cyndi Hansen’s “Letter Better” book, and I tried it just last week in a class. It has just three simple steps that even kinders can easily remember.
1. Stick letters are written in pencil.
2. The lines are traced with a black marker, and all end points are “capped” with black circles.
3. The letters are outlined, preferable with thinner marker, and filled in with colored pencils. Who needs a computer when you can make your own hip and colorful font?

Double Decker English Bus

England is famous for its double decker red buses. Here’s an idea for a fun painting, using cake tempera paints and Sharpie markers.

Apr 14, 2014

Indian Symbols

Brown packing paper and oil pastels are great for making a simulated rawhide drawing. I never throw my paper away after I get art supplies. The pre-wrinkled surface works too well, and it’s free.
1. Tear a 20" or so section from the packing paper. Draw an Indian symbol in pencil.
2. Trace the art with a black oil pastel.
3. Fill the inside art with a nature-colored pastel.
4. Trace the outside with a white pastel.
5. Tear away any smooth edges.

Apr 12, 2014

Bumble Bee Collage

This collage project got a thumbs up from four kinder teachers yesterday. Just make sure you have the paper supplies cut to size first, and save it for the end of the year. Kinder skills advance so much in those few months. 
1. Students were given a 5" x 7" rectangle of yellow paper, and glued a 2" x 5" piece of white paper on one side.
2. A 3" x 5" piece of black paper was cut into several stripes and glued down as shown.
3. Students flipped the art over, drew a half circle and cut. The back was glued to a blue paper.
4. White wings were cut from a small white paper and glued as desired.
5. A Sharpie was used to draw the eyes, legs and antennae. FYI: All the supplies may be purchased at Staples.

Apr 10, 2014

Paper Mache Pencils

My afterschool Paper Mache class wrapped up their pencils today. Made from 36" mailing tubes, paper mache, duct tape and paint, they just need a little Mod Podge to seal them with a shine. Up next? Paper mache crayons.

Apr 9, 2014

Felt Animal Headbands

My clever afterschool kids came up with some of the cutest wearable crafts today. I merely provided the stretch headbands (clearance item at JoAnns), felt, pom poms and glue. They provided all the creativity.

Apr 8, 2014

A Negative Space Exercise

I wanted to mix things up for my students this week, so I had them focus on the background of their art, or the negative space, instead of the positive. In honor of Sponge Bob, I declared it “Opposite Day”.
1. Students lightly traced a scissors onto a 6" x 9" sheet of paper, which is sized for the Art Journal Project 2014.
2. The background was colored in crayon in any color, any pattern, as long as the end result was solid. The inside of the scissors was to be empty. No light or scribbly coloring allowed. – the bolder the background, the more the scissors stand out.

Apr 7, 2014

Blooming Flowers

Here’s a chance to mix a bit of math with a spring art lesson. Students create various stages of blooming flowers by folding tissue circles into halves, quarters and eighths. My pdf lesson with instructions may be downloaded HERE.

Apr 6, 2014

Ugly Tinted Bunny


One of the arts standards for elementary students is learning how to tint colors by adding white. My students had fun making bunnies that didn’t have to look perfect and symmetrical.
CLASS ONE: 1. On a large (12" x 19") sheet of brown paper, student drew a large “ugly” bunny. The definition of ugly in this case means lopsided, worn, etc. The lines were traced with a heavy black permanent marker.
2. Students painted white shapes (eyes, teeth, etc.) with tempera paint, and then added a color to their white to mix up a tint. The body was filled in, painting around lines as much as possible.
CLASS TWO: 1. Students use oil pastels to retrace their main lines in black, and then added any other details they desired, like clothes, accessories, etc.
2. The bunnies were cut out near the marker edge, leaving a little extra brown paper for effect.