Inspiring children one color at a time

Beyond the Basics Class Outline

Beyond the Basics Class Outline


The first week breaks down color theory into teachable steps. Learn what elementary students need to know about color and what concepts are best to teach in specific grade level.

Color plays an important role in painting, so on Day 2 and 3 we will explore lessons in how to incorporate color and texture into watercolor and acrylic paintings.

Color Lessons: Teaching Color Theory, Value Flowers (grades 1-3), Value Fish (grades 4-6)

Watercolor Lessons: Watercolor Techniques (all grades), Paul Klee Fish (grades k-2), Fish Painting (gardes 4-6), St. Basil’s Cathedral Painting (grades 4-6)

Acrylic Lessons: All About Acrylics, Seascape Clipper (grades 4-6), Flower Still Life (grades 4-6)


We’ll devote two full days to ceramics focusing on the supplies and techniques needed to teach a full ceramics unit. Don’t worry if you have never worked with clay…I’ll show you the basics and how to build upon them. If you don’t have access to a kiln, I’ll show you how to make adjustments with air-dry clay.

Ceramic Lessons: Ceramics Overview, Basic technique #1 Pinch Pots, Pinch Pot Animals, Hand-Built Penguins,  Slab Vessels, Slab Koi Fish

Chalk is fast becoming my favorite art medium in the classroom. I’ll demonstrate some cool new products plus show you what works in my art room. Learn easy but impressive chalk techniques and how to combine chalk with other mediums.

Chalk Lessons: Advanced Chalk Techniques, Chalk Seascape (grades 4-6), Chalk Sunset


This week is all about collage, texture and a little understanding of math! I have three full days of fun projects that will engage even the most rambunctious sixth grader. These are some of my favorite projects to teach as there are rarely two projects that look alike.

Mixed Media: What is Collage, Mixed-Media Techniques, Rainforest Collage (any grade), Native American Hopi Dolls (upper grades)

Print-Making: Overview and Techniques, Collagraph Flowers ( for grades K-3), Monotypes (grades 3-6)

Weaving: Weaving with Paper (any grade), Fancy Fish Weaving, Navajo Weavings (upper grades), Weaving with Yarn (any grade)


The final week is the big one…papier mache! Not as messy as you might think, papier mache projects are an excellent way to get children to think about their art differently. While some kids excel at painting on paper, others thrive on form-building. I’ll show you projects ranging from very simple to more complex (and I won’t hold back…I’ll tell you what to avoid and what not to do!)

Papier Mache Lessons: Overview, Fish (grades 2-3), Insects (grades 2-4), Camels (grades 3-6)

My final lesson is my favorite: drawing. Focusing on how children approach drawing, I’ll give you lessons that have never been seen on my blog and my favorite tips for teaching advanced drawing.

Drawing Lessons: How We Draw, Drawing a Croquis, Egyptian Drawing Project