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“Petunia” Painting Project for Kids

“Petunia” Painting Project for Kids

By on Jan 26, 2016 | 5 comments

Incorporating literature into art projects remains my favorite type of lesson.  Last year, I introduced Petunia to my third grade students. Using a painting technique that I call smoothing, my students sketched a goose with pencil then  painted with happy colors, just like the book. Don’t have the book? You can download this delightful video found on YouTube: WHAT YOU’LL NEED: 12″ x 18″ white sulphite paper Pencil and Eraser Red, yellow, white, blue, green and black liquid tempera paint (I use Crayola) I medium tip round brush 1 small tip round brush (for outlining) Black marker, black crayon or lack oil pastel as optional outing supplies.   DRAWING I photocopied a few pages from the book and placed on the children’s tables. Using observation techniques, the kids practiced drawing their own Petunia. I encouraged them to make a dot near the top of the paper and one near the bottom. The dots provided guidelines for where to start the head and where to place the feet. This ensures the goose will be drawn large enough to fill most of the paper.     PAINTING Once the drawing was complete, children dipped a medium paint brush in the red paint and painted sections of the background paper. We used the smoothing technique to achieve a smooth paint finish. The children carefully painted around Petunia and the spring flowers. After the background was complete, the children painted the flowers and leaves with a collection of green, yellow and blue paint mixed with small amounts of white. This created TINTS and resembled the illustrations found in the book.   OUTLINING Once the paint is dry, children can use a small pointed brush dipped in watered-down black paint to outline Petunia. Notice how the children didn’t paint Petunia white? The white paper offered enough contrast so that painting the goose white seemed unnecessary. Although, children can paint their goose if they wish. If you don’t like to use black paint to outline, you can use a thick black marker or even a crayon. Experiment and see what medium works best for you.  ...

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How to Paint without Paint

How to Paint without Paint

By on Jun 30, 2015 | 3 comments

What? Paint without paint? Yes. It can be done with a most humble product: water-soluble oil pastel. Faber-Castell makes a wonderful Gel Stick in a plastic applicator that looks a lot like Chapstick. These little beauties are really water soluble oil pastels and when applied thickly onto paper, a swipe of a wet brush turns the oil pastel into a puddle of paint. Really. I experimented with the practicality of using these instead of watercolor or cake tempera for painting projects. The Faber-Castell Gel Sticks are quite soft so a hard plastic applicator is necessary for containing the goodness inside. This makes good sense because the softness of the pastel is what allows it to turn into paint so easily. I created a little video of a bird that shows how the gel sticks work. Paper: Card Stock (yes, card stock…works amazing!) Brush: Aqua Flow Brush from Royal Langnickle Oil Pastels: Faber-Castell Gel Sticks The only negative is that because the Gel Sticks are so soft they will wear down fast. Not great f you plan to use these with every class, every day. I think they are best used as just one more option in your painting repertoire. For my first grade students, I used the Gel Sticks on the last day of art class. We had 40-minutes to create a painting using white paper, a black water proof marker, gel sticks and a paint brush with water.  The kids drew a box along the perimeter of the paper. With a Sharpie marker (or any other waterproof marker) they drew a series of lines. I asked the students to start at one edge of the box and draw a curved line to one other side. This helps get the ideas flowing. After creating shapes with the intersecting lines, the kids colored their shapes. Some kids used the oil pastels like oil pastels. Who could blame them? Still, it’s not necessary to completely fill the white space. Use a brush and water to turn the oil pastel into paint. Blending and mixing colors encouraged...

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Colorful Painted Owl Art Project

Colorful Painted Owl Art Project

By on Mar 18, 2015 | 3 comments

I’ve been playing around with this lesson for a while now. I created this free owl drawing guide and have been taking advantage of it. My third graders used the handout to create a marker and watercolor painting but for my Kinders, I wanted to keep the choices to a minimum. I decided to use yellow chalk to draw the owl (keep on reading to learn why this isn’t the best choice) and pre-mixed liquid tempera paint. I love to mix my paint colors before the students arrive. This is especially helpful for younger students as they are still learning how to paint smoothly. Adding a lesson on color-mixing is just a bit too premature for most of my students. To learn how to mix colors, download this handy color-mixing PDF. I selected two simple variations of the owl and simplified the drawing even more by using small condiment cups for getting the drawing started. This is what we did:  Every student received a piece of yellow colored chalk, a sheet of 12″ x 18″ white sulphite paper, a placemat and access to paints and brushes/water. The students sat on the floor as I demonstrated the process for drawing two styles of owls: one with open wings and the other with closed wings. The open wing owl needs a wide piece of paper (place paper sideways on table) and the no-wing owl needed a tall paper. Using a small condiment cup, trace two circles near the top of the paper for the eyes. For the nose, draw a rhombus (according to the kids, they aren’t called diamonds) between the two eyes. If they wanted to, they could draw a “mask” around the eyes. I show them how to draw a line close to, but not touching, the eyes and nose. Place chalk above mask and draw a straight horizontal line. Add ears. Next, draw a long letter “U”. This is the body. The tall owl shows a few back tail feathers. I showed the kids how to add these if they wanted to. Draw a wing in the middle– like a pocket. The open winged owl has big wings. Draw (or trace fingers) wing shapes on both sides of the owl body. We added two...

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Winter Art Projects for Grades K-2

Winter Art Projects for Grades K-2

By on Jan 13, 2015 | 6 comments

Winter in our Southern California school last a few short weeks and it’s no coincidence that these weeks fall just before the Christmas break. This is the time we talk about snow–and ask kids to raise their hands if they’ve ever seen it for real. This is the time we bring out the snowmen lessons and maybe a few holiday-themed activities. And better yet, this is the time I set up a “snow” table and glitter stations. The three lessons in this Winter-Themed package are perfect for the kids in Kinder through third grade.I say second grade on the cover but I’ve included tips to make the lessons more challenging for older kids.  Lots of cutting, pasting, painting, drawing, gluing and splatter painting. Ahhhhh….I just love winter! Here are the lessons: Snowy Forest: This lesson was adapted from my Here, Near and Far Winter Trees of years past. This lesson is almost perfect in my opinion but to increase the difficulty level just a wee bit for my budding first grade artists, I added a cozy cabin. The idea is to identify objects in the front of the painting and objects in the distance. It focuses on overlapping and perspective and encourages some serious problem solving when symmetrical trees don’t come out as planned. Winter Cardinal: I have a thing for cardinals lately and couldn’t wait to try this simple lesson with my students. We used a big round container to make our bodies but observational drawing is highly encouraged. The kids drew wings, beaks, tails and other decorative elements to add to their winter cardinal. My favorite part is the wispy winter background. Winter Perspective Trees: Teaching perspective is hard. I’m always looking for ways to engage students with this often confusing subject. This was a fun lesson as it encouraged kids to think of drawing a tree form an entirely different perspective. And of course, we added the bird of the week and snow. Here’s a peek inside…....

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Chicken Little & Henny Penny Art Project

Chicken Little & Henny Penny Art Project

By on Jan 5, 2015 | 6 comments

Chicken Little is a folk tale about a chicken who believes the world is coming to an end. Those who study tales in school may have already found ways to incorporate this character into the art room but if you haven’t, here is my version… After reading Ed and Rebecca Emberley’s version, the children identified the various colors and shapes in the illustrations of both Chicken Little and Henny Penny. I love this version as the illustrations are colorful, bright and slightly random. Easy for kids to identify with. The first step…well, it’s really the second step but I’ll get to that in a minute…is to paint the background. You can keep this super simple by just using a colored piece of paper (perhaps a turquoise 12″ x 18″ piece of sulphite paper) or you can use white paper and paint a background. This is what I chose to do with my Kinders. This gives me a chance to introduce tints by placing both white and blue in a paint palette and showing how to double-load brushes to achieve a soft blue or pastel. I showed the kids how to paint a blue sky then add clouds. It’s best to let the blue sky dry a bit before attempting to add white clouds as the colors will just mix together. Waiting is hard for Kinders so I told them to paint the sky first, then paint the grass green and by the time they finish the grass, the blue sky would be ready for clouds. To make clouds, clean brush, wipe away excess water on the paper placemat then dip into a puddle of white, goopy paint. Apply in dabs and blots until you have clouds. After creating the background, its time to create a chicken. My Kinders created painted paper for their chickens and this is really the first step to this project. I always do a painted paper project at the beginning of the school year with Kinders so this project is for that purpose. But if you don’t want to commit to the mess of painted paper (and it is really messy) you can use a color paper scraps. In all honesty, the project would have been a whole lot easier if...

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How to Draw & Paint a Turkey

How to Draw & Paint a Turkey

By on Nov 5, 2014 | 17 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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