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Spring Art

“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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How to Draw & Paint a Bouquet of Flowers

How to Draw & Paint a Bouquet of Flowers

By on May 16, 2015 | 3 comments

Learning how to draw flowers is a must in any art room. To make the lesson easy for a younger child, it helps to start with some type of template. Don’t feel like you’re cheating. My philosophy with templates is that sometimes they help a child get through a part they may find a bit boring (drawing yet another flower) to the fun part: watercolor resist. Liquid watercolor paints get a good deal of use in my art room. So much in fact, that I keep watercolor-filled baby food jars at the ready in my cupboard.  When trying to decide whether to use liquid watercolors or tray watercolors, consider what your intention is for the art lesson. For this lesson I had three watercolor goals: Proper application of a wash Intense colors Oil pastel resist Wash: Tray watercolors are hard to use when you want to paint a wash as the children need to mix their colors into the tray cover and then add the mixed paint to the large area of background. Intense Color: You can dial up the intensity or water it down. Kids have a bit of control by adding more water to their brush if they want. But basically, if you want strong colors, you just don’t add as much water to your mixing cup or jar. Resist: Because the kids just have to dip their brushes into the colored water, applying the soaked brush over oil pastel is an easy job. To see what I mean, test this out yourself. Try this lesson using tray watercolors then try again using liquid watercolors. Before the watercolor fun begins, you first have to draw something. I gave each child a pencil, waterproof black marker and a piece of 12″ x 18″ watercolor paper. To see a list of what art supplies I use, visit my RESOURCE page. I used a flower template that I had on hand from a lesson I did for my Art School for Kid’s program. The flower template really comes in handy when you want your little seven and eight year olds to create a large scale drawing. Oftentimes a template can anchor a size and help the child with scale. Sometimes this can be achieved by using a...

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Springtime with the Masters Art Lesson Packet

Springtime with the Masters Art Lesson Packet

By on Apr 6, 2015 | 2 comments

According to my 2015 Readers Survey, many of you need simple, easy lessons that involve little to no prep. Here’s what you said…  Please include more lessons that don’t use paint  More lessons based on the art of famous artists. The ones that you have created so far are some of my favorites. I would love more. Your blog is my favorite resource. Thanks bunches! Do these requests sound familiar? There are many needs out there and I know I can’t help all of you, but I love responding to your request. Springtime with the Masters is a collection of easy prep art activities using paper, marker and colored pencils. these aren’t your typical Deep Space Sparkle in-depth drawing and painting tutorials. They are quick and easy and allow the time-crunched teacher to add a simple art activity at the end of the day. Here’s how it works: Photocopy the handouts or coloring page onto cardstock and offer these activities for free-choice time or for sub plans for students to color. I find that using markers is a fun way to get a great saturation of color with little effort. Instead of just using the handouts as coloring sheets, amp up the activity by leading a directed line drawing with your students. I’ve included how-to-drawing guides to get you started. If you have more time, allow your students to use the handouts and drawing guides to create a beautiful drawings with colored pencils, watercolor or markers. Spring-Inspired Artists: Vincent Van Gogh Berthe Morisot (Impressionist artist) Henri Matisse Friedensreich Hundertwasser Claude Monet Canadian artist Maud Lewis Here’s what the 37-page download includes:    Click HERE to download my FREE Hundertwasser drawing handouts that are included in this...

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Father’s Day Portraits Art project

Father’s Day Portraits Art project

By on May 30, 2014 | 7 comments

For the last art project for my third/fourth combo class, I asked the teacher if she had any requests. She didn’t hesitate to say that she has no idea what to do for Father’s Day. Could I create some type of art project to celebrate Father’s Day? We brainstormed for a few moments and then decided that a portrait would be fun. Drawing a grown-up male face isn’t something I’ve done since my Gunslinger and Outlaw Art Project, so it was high-time that another male-focused project made its appearance in the art room. Here’s what you’ll need: 12″ x 9″ white sulphite paper for the drawing 14″ x 12″ colored sulphite paper for background paper strips (I used my painted paper placemats cut into strips) Paper scraps for bow tie Liquid tempera paint: skin, shirt, hair and background colors Waterproof black marker (I like Sharpie Brand) Chalk pastels and markers or color pencils Scissors & glue You’ll need two 45-minute classes for this lesson. DRAWING DAD The classroom teacher asked the students to bring in a photo of their Dad (or Uncle or Grandpa) in which to use as inspiration for their portraits. A few kids forgot their pictures but they were fine drawing from memory. On the whiteboard, we talked about basic shapes for faces (long, square, oval and heart-shaped). The kids drew the shape of their dad’s face with a black marker by focusing on the bottom half of their face (a letter “U”). Eyes are a bit harder to draw as a distinctive feature, so we thought about whether the eyes were close together, were big or small, far apart, etc. The eyebrows were so much more fun to draw and we all had a good laugh talking about some of our dad’s eyebrows. I showed the kids a few different ways in which to draw a nose. The upside down number 7 works well for smaller kids, but these kids knew that grown-up dad’s noses are all different. The mouth was the easiest for most kids as we just focused on a middle line and maybe a line for the bottom lip. I told the kids to just get the mouth line on the paper and the...

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Watercolor Sunflower Resist Art Lesson

Watercolor Sunflower Resist Art Lesson

By on May 2, 2014 | 7 comments

I tend to revert to flowers as the subject of my art lessons near the end of the school year.  They provide an opportunity to explore a wide color palette and endless shape possibilities. For my first grade class, I read the book, Camille and the Sunflowers by Laurence Anholt and then we dove into the lesson. This is what we did: Starting with a 12″ x 18″ sulphite drawing paper, draw a letter “U” for the vase. Some children made a different shape for their pot or vase and that is fine. Next, draw a table line by starting on one side of the paper, hopping over the vase, then continuing the line to the other side. With oil pastel (either just black or multiple colors) draw a large circle somewhere above the vase. Add petals. Draw a flattened circle or an oval close by and add petals to that flower center. Show different examples of petals on the white board so kids don’t get stuck drawing just one style. You can also place Van Gogh’s Sunflower painting near the front so the children can observe the shape of his sunflowers. Take notice that some of Van Gogh’s flowers have no petals at all. Color the flower centers and petals with oil pastels. It’s okay if the child leaves white spaces but encourage them to color as best they can. For areas where they want the white to remain, use white oil pastel (this is typical for the vase). Once the flowers are colored in, the children can draw the top of the vase and add stems. Using 2 colors of liquid watercolor, paint the top part of the paper with one color of paint. Then paint the table with the other color.  Paint directly over the flowers. You may notice that the watercolor paint will soak into the paper. You will want to demonstrate how to brush back and forth but not going over the same area more than once or else the paper will rip. If the paper does rip, simply wait until the paint is dry and tape oblong the back. For an added touch, set out a tray of colored tissue paper and some white...

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