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<p>Elementary art lessons </p>

Gustav Klimt: Master of Metallics

Gustav Klimt: Master of Metallics

By on Dec 5, 2016 | 2 comments

Introducing Gustav Klimt to your students is really like opening up a pot of gold. There are so many interesting facets to his art and his life. One of the most impactful pieces to his story is how many of his works were destroyed by the Germans during WWII. Medicine, painted in 1900-1907 was destroyed along with a few others. I recently picked up a book that features beautiful Klimt-inspired illustrations. If you are doing a lesson on Klimt and in particular, his Tree of Life, I encourage you to find a copy of this book. Perfect for grade 3 and...

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Mola-Inspired Holiday Stockings

Mola-Inspired Holiday Stockings

By on Dec 4, 2016 | 0 comments

Part culture, part color theory and all fun, this Mola-inspired Holiday Stocking will keep the kids busy drawing, cutting and composing their own colorful stockings. ABOUT MOLAS Molas are cloth panels that form part of a blouse for the Kuna women of Panama. They use a quilting technique called reverse appliqué to create the designs in the fabric. Because I used to be (and hope to be again!) a quilter, I know all about reverse appliqué. It’s pretty fun to do but darn hard to explain to kids. After a few attempts I decided that it’s just best to say that a Mola is a fabric panel with colorful strips sewn in. USING MOLAS IN THE ART ROOM Art teachers all over the world incorporate Mola art into their curriculum to help children connect with the process and purpose of creating art. Sometime art becomes abstract for kids if all we do is teach our students that art is about history and famous artists. Art can be found all around us: where we live, our clothing and everyday objects. One way to do this is by understanding THE STEPS to making a Mola-Inspired project: Draw Mola image with basic shapes and rainbow or echo lines. Molas are made up of basic, recognizable shapes: turtle, sun, flower, fish, etc. Notice that the Mola has a basic center shape and then lines are drawn around this shape to create the recognizable image. In the Mola above, the turtle starts out as an OVAl. Lines are drawn around the oval to create the head and four legs. Repeat the drawing of lines until you have the shape desired. Add vertical or horizontal strips of paper to achieve the decorative background. This can also be achieved using construction paper crayons or oil pastels. DOWNLOAD A FREE MOLA STOCKING PROJECT   ARE YOU A MEMBER? The Mola-Inspired Stocking full project tutorial plus hundreds of lesson plans, art resources and videos is included with your monthly membership. Enrollment opens January...

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How to Draw & Paint a Turkey

How to Draw & Paint a Turkey

By on Nov 17, 2016 | 21 comments

Need a quick and easy 40-minute art lesson for your Kinders or first grade class? For the last day of my Fall rotation, Kinders created these adorable thanksgiving turkeys. I hadn’t done a guided drawing lesson with this group yet, but since they have all settled down and have become quite good listeners, I figured a directed line drawing lesson was due. You’ll need a 12″ x 18″ piece of sulphite paper, black oil pastels, colored oil pastels, liquid watercolor paint, craft feathers, white glue and a small plastic container lid. Want to know where I get my supplies? Download this handy guide. Watch this short how-to video: How to draw a turkey… I must admit that my own version of a Thanksgiving turkey looks more like a peacock than a turkey, but at the time, it was the best I could do. I experimented with a few body shapes before deciding that tracing a container top was the best way to begin this lesson with my Kinders. I was not alone with this assessment. A group of students who like to help me prep in the morning all agreed that tracing a circle was not only far cuter than my previous sample and they liked the simpler lesson for their little buddies. Who’s to argue with sixth grade girls? Another KEY component in helping this project along was to fold the paper in half to create a crease line. You might think this is silly but for my group of Kinders, many have low spatial awareness and although we’ve been working hard on this, many drawings tend to start way at the bottom of the paper. Have you experienced this? Thought so.   Need a handout?   DOWNLOAD FREE DRAWING PDF FROM THE SHOP So, to draw a turkey…. Fold paper in half to achieve a crease line and place container template on top of the crease line. This helps not only center the turkey but sets the stage for the turkey’s size. Trace container top with a black oil pastel. Draw two dots for eyes and an upside down triangle for a beak. Place oil pastel on crease line right next to the head and draw a BIG, FAT belly. Go all the way around to the other...

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Contour Cat Watercolor Project

Contour Cat Watercolor Project

By on Oct 5, 2016 | 3 comments

The complementary colors of orange and blue are everywhere this fall season. And why not showcase these happy colors with a blue belly cat? A bit of doodling the other day prompted a quick contour drawing of this cute cat. Using the simple drawing handout,  children can free-draw their own contour cat to use as the subject of three watercolor techniques: Wet-on-wet watercolor (cat) Wet-on-dry watercolor (background) Wax resist (white outline and watercolor barrier) This lesson can be done in two steps. First, draw the contour cat with a sharpie on watercolor paper. Then paint the cat and background. Second, after the paint dries, add the pattern and lines. ART SUPPLIES waterproof black marker watercolor paper (90 lb) pan watercolor paints white crayon or oil pastel medium round brush water TECHNIQUES wet-on-wet wet-on-dry wax resist contour line drawing patterns, shape and line DRAWING DIRECTIONS Use the drawing handout as a guide to draw a contour line of a simple cat. Focus on drawing two ears, a head, a long neck, hunched shoulders, simple paws and a long, curvy tail. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect. The fun part is drawing wonky lines! Draw two oval shapes for the EYES. With a white crayon, trace carefully along the outside of the black marker line. With a brush, touch the blue paint and dip into water so the clear water has a tint of blue. Brush water inside the contour line. With BLUE paint, start painting a LINE of color along the bottom of the cat. Hold paper upside down so that the blue drips and mingles towards the body. Continue painting the cat blue, allowing the paint to migrate down the paper using gravity. This is really fun for kids as they can see how the colored paint will travel to the wet areas. Paint outside of the contour line (NEGATIVE SPACE) blue’s COMPLEMENTARY COLOR (orange!) After paint dries, use the black marker to add a NOSE and a MOUTH. Fill the cat with patterns, lines and...

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How to Make a Papel Picado

How to Make a Papel Picado

By on Sep 30, 2016 | 3 comments

TRADITIONAL MEXICAN PAPEL PICADO Papel Picado is a traditional Mexican craft that features colorful paper sheets with intricate cut out details.  It was made by stacking many sheets of paper and using chisels to cut the designs. You can easily make your own Papel Picado by layering sheets of tissue paper and using scissors to cut the designs. EARLY FINISHER OR SUB PLAN PROJECT This is a great free choice activity or a lesson for a sub. Laminate the instructions and place on a table. Add a tray of pre-cut tissue papers, a bowl of scissors and allow the children to create a papel picado during free-choice time. WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Colored tissue paper (12 x 9 approximately) Scissors Marker Yarn and Tape to display Papel Picados INSTRUCTIONS: Fold a piece of tissue paper (lengthwise) in half and then in half again. Make sure one side consist only of folds. Fold the long folded sheet in half. Mark a dot in the corner that is made up of folds. This helps the children recognize where not to cut. Just like cutting a snowflake, cut shapes along all four sides avoiding the area with the dot. To cut a shape from the middle of the rectangle, fold the paper in half again, and cut a shape into the fold. Unfold carefully and tape tissue paper to a long string of yarn. To make multiple panels from one cut, layer 2-3 sheets of tissue paper together ad tape (carefully) while cutting. INSTRUCTIONAL DOWNLOAD Would you like a copy of the instructions?  Click the red box below, fill out your name and email (careful with spelling!) and we’ll send you a free instruction PDF...

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Sketchbook Project #8: Animal Eyes

Sketchbook Project #8: Animal Eyes

By on May 24, 2016 | 3 comments

The Sketchbook Project is a record of how my sixth grade students used sketchbooks during their art class to record art information and create projects. Learn how I used sketchbooks instead of individual sheets of paper to teach art & creativity. Week One: The Beginning Week Two: Creating Value Week Three: Atmospheric Perspective Week Four: Tree Line Drawings Week Five: Sonia Delaunay Abstract Art Week Six: Portrait Journalling Week Seven: Line drawings Week Eight: Farm Animals WHAT WE DID: Books have continued to be the most consistent source of art lesson inspiration for me. Eye to Eye: How Animals See The World by Steven Jenkins (Amazon affiliate link) is an exploration of close-up images of various animal eyes. As the last project in our Sketchbook series, I still wanted the project to use art supplies that could be picked up at anytime so that the children could finish their artwork at home or during free choice class time. I set a variety of coloring tools on each table (markers, colored pencils and pastels) and allowed the kids to choose whichever medium they wanted. I also photocopied pages from the book so that the kids could select an animal eye that they liked as well as downloaded and printed a few photographs of close-up animal eyes to place on the white board. This provided enough examples of kids to start weeding through what appealed to them. Ad the kids moved through drawing and then to coloring, many students remembered my collection of metallic paints and asked if they could use them. The combination of a marker background with metallic paint details was really effective! OBSERVATION DRAWING Like many of the drawing lessons in this sketchbook series, the goal was not to provide guided instructions on how to draw an eye but rather encourage the students to select an animal eye and use a scaled-up method to create a composition on their paper. I asked the children to consider the eyeball the feature of the art project; to make it prominent and large enough so that even the smallest details can be seen. Truthfully, this is still a challenge for many students. If you find that some of your students are struggling to draw a large eyeball, offer a few randomly sized plastic containers for the child...

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