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Watercolor Iguana Art Lesson

Watercolor Iguana Art Lesson

By on Apr 18, 2012 | 12 comments

Here is an easy watercolor art project starring an interesting creature…iguanas! My fourth grade students had a blast drawing the iguana with a black oil pastel and then using watercolors and special watercolor techniques to create these stunning pieces of art. Simple supplies are required: 12″ x 18″ watercolor paper, black oil pastels, pan-style watercolor palettes, salt, tissues and brushes. I used the same steps and instructions as illustrated in my 3-Ingredient Art Grades 5 & 6 art lesson booklet. I used the drawing instructions from the art booklet and for the kids who missed the first drawing class, I gave them the handout to catch up on their own. After drawing the iguana with oil pastels, the children got busy painting with watercolors and used the techniques described in the booklet. This lesson takes two 45-minute art classes. I love this lesson and do a variation of it every year. Didn’t my fourth graders do a lovely job? Affiliate links are used in this...

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Chalk Rainforest Animals Art Video

Chalk Rainforest Animals Art Video

By on May 7, 2011 | 12 comments

My fifth and sixth grade students have been working with chalk pastel recently. We’ve done tropical birds and just finished these stunning rainforest animals. Watch the video to see the kids at work:     To begin, use a black oil pastel to draw a rainforest animal. I provided a few simple drawing demonstrations to get the kids started. Draw lightly at first, then trace over all the “good” lines with a darker line. Using chalk pastels, color in everything. I like to start with the animal because it’s the most exciting, but it really doesn’t matter. Use one finger to smudge the colors all the way to the black oil pastels. After everything is colored in with chalk, grab the black oil pastel again and trace all lines. This is the step that makes the biggest impact. Look at this lime green frog? Isn’t she pretty? This is my baby girl’s sloth. Okay, she’s not a baby, but still. Isn’t this the most darling sloth ever? A leopard…or a cheetah. Hmmm. I can’t remember. Probably a leopard given that we’re talking rainforest. Love this adorable orangutan. Did I spell that right? Here’s a kid who loves color almost as much as me. And finally, a super, sizzling...

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Snakes in the Grass

Snakes in the Grass

By on Jan 12, 2011 | 9 comments

Here is a cute lesson that I did a while ago with my second grade students. It’s a great lesson for achieving good cutting skills which I think by second grade is pretty crucial. The steps to draw the snake are fun and easy but creating the grass can be challenging for many second graders.  Supplies for the snake 12″ x 18″ white sulphite paper, oil pastels, tempera paint, scissors, glue, glitter (optional). Supplies for the background  Blue and green sulphite paper, sponge and white tempera paint. Drawing the snake I encourage you to try a directed line approach to drawing the snake or else many children will go through a number of sheets of paper before achieving a snake that has enough girth to cut out safely. 1. Starting at the top corner of your paper, draw a sideways oval. This is the snake’s head. Add a half-circle shape to both sides of the oval (eyes). An alternate way to draw the snake is to create a drawing as shown above. I find it is helpful though, to do the former. 2. Starting on one side of the oval, draw a curved line (a letter “S” is a good suggestion) all the way to the bottom of the paper. 3.  Go back up to the oval (head) and draw another line along side the curved line, matching the curves as you go. Go slowly! If you run into the other side of the snake, draw another line. 4. Now that you have the basic shape, fill in the snake with patterns. 5. Paint or color in the patterns and if you’d like, add glue and glitter to some areas. 6. Once any paint has dried, cut out the snake. The Background: 1. Cut a sheet of green 12″ x 18″ paper in half and use one half to cut blades of grass. The grass can be cut as individual blades or as one. 2. Place grass onto a blue sheet of paper and glue the bottom part of the grass only. Sponge paint clouds onto blue paper. 3. Place snake onto background and weave through grass. Carefully glue down snake and grass....

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“A Color of His Own” Art Lesson

“A Color of His Own” Art Lesson

By on Nov 1, 2010 | 16 comments

If you’ve been following my blog for any time length of time, you might have noticed that in addition to art, my biggest love is books. I incorporate books into my art lessons every chance I get. They’re my biggest source of inspiration when it comes to dreaming up lessons and books are usually the last thing I think about before nodding off to sleep. Leo Lionni’s “A Color of His Own” speaks to a child’s never-ending quest to be liked just as they are. The illustrations are simple, clean and perfect. Random House has a wonderful site devote to Leo Lionni. His books as well as biographical information is included. Check it out here. I read this story to my kinder classes and embarked on a directed line drawing of a chameleon. We began by drawing the eye, then a triangle for the head and kept right on going around the body to make a curly, whirly tail. So fun! We used crayons to draw shapes or lines, then filled in the sections with watercolor paints. I used pan watercolors with one class and liquid watercolors with another. The class using pans didn’t finish the project in the thirty minute time-frame. The class using the liquid watercolors did. I think there is a great deal of benefit from learning how to mingle watercolor paints from the pan, but it seems to work better for older children. If you have a small group, pan watercolors are perfectly fine....

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3-Ingredient Art 5/6 Lesson Plans

3-Ingredient Art 5/6 Lesson Plans

By on Oct 22, 2010 | 8 comments

A 24-page booklet that includes three simple art lessons for grades 5 & 6 using basic art supplies: paper, paint, oil pastel or marker. Drawing handouts, photo tutorials and student art galleries take the guess work out of teaching these lessons. Collage dancers inspired by the paper cuttings of Henri Matisse, students use scraps of colored paper to create their own paper dancer. This lesson is a perfect platform for teaching color, motion and mood through art. I’ve found that all ability levels adapt well to this project. Watercolor Iguanas & Chameleons: Using the how-to-draw and Idea Sheet handouts, students draw an iguana or chameleon. Photo tutorials show how a few watercolor techniques can turn this project from basic to dramatic. Gunslingers and Outlaws: Who can resist those nasty Gunslingers & Outlaws A fun alternative to portrait drawing, “Outlaws” is a huge hit with my fifth and sixth grade students. Learn how to draw a hat and how to “age” a painting. How-to-draw handouts included. A great opportunity to tie in a creative writing piece by naming the outlaw and providing his story. If you need to add variety to your art lesson curriculum, these lessons should do it. This 24-page booklet includes supply lists, photo-tutorials of children (not adults!) creating the artwork and of course, the ever-popular student gallery. Handouts Included: How-to-Draw an Iguana Iguana and Chameleon Idea Sheets Rainforest Leaves Idea Sheet Creating Hands & Feet from Paper Templates for Matisse-Inspired Dancer Also included… How-to-Paint an Iguana with watercolors Photo-tutorial for cutting hair and skirts from paper Western lettering instruction Click to see 3-Ingredient Art Grades 5 & 6 in the DSS...

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Tortuga Time

Tortuga Time

By on Sep 21, 2009 | 3 comments

Based on the book “Manana Iguana” by Ann Whitford Paul, this adorable collage lesson is perfect for little kinders. Children learn how to draw Tortuga the Turtle as drawn in the picture book and paint a desert background. I do this lesson in three thirty minute classes. Supplies: 12″ x 10″ white paper Oil Pastels scissors and glue sticks 12″ x 18″ blue paper Tempera paints: brown, white, yellow, light green and dark green paint brush and water    Drawing “Tortuga” There are some great turtle drawings in this book. Cute, simple and artsy. I love how Tortuga’s eyes stick up from his head. That is what we start with: the eyes. Draw two ovals on one side of the paper. Draw a big oval around the eyes taking care not to draw through the eyeballs! Add a neck. For the body, draw a curved line from the neck all the way to the back of the paper. Kid’s will know instinctively how big to draw their turtle, so let them. Much cuter this way! Then add a bottom and four legs. Cut out Turtle This step is a challenge for many kinders. Some kids have cutting experience but if your group struggles with this part, don’t be surprised. I’ve taught second graders who can’t cut well, so consider this lesson great practice! The hardest part for little hands is navigating around a curvy bottom. To avoid this, encourage the kids to draw a straight line for the underbelly. Believe me, much easier for them. Painting the Background This is how I set up for the class. The cut-out turtles are in a pile on a separate table. So when the children finish painting their background, they can glue the turtle on right away. I must say however, that this particular group had a hard time finishing the background in the allotted time and most didn’t finish coloring in their turtles from step one. So I’ll add another class so that everyone can have a finished piece. Doesn’t always work this way. The next group of kinders finished everything. Many variables involved: talkative children, late getting to class, etc. None a problem. Just need to be flexible! With an...

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