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Video Art Tips & Lessons

Tempera vs Acrylic Paint

Tempera vs Acrylic Paint

By on Sep 1, 2016 | 3 comments

I avoided acrylic paint for a long time. I was happy with my liquid tempera and watercolor paints and didn’t see the allure of acrylics. Now, for my own art, nothing beats acrylics. But who wants to mess around with tubes with 30 kids? This was my mindset for a long time. When I learned about acrylic paints that were meant for an elementary classroom, I was excited to give them a try. I order some Blick acrylic paints and experimented with a few projects. Everything that was said about acrylic paints was true…they were smooth, beautiful and had a lovely finish. Then I made the BIG mistakes that only experienced art teachers know not to do: I cleaned my plastic muffin-palette filled with acrylic paints in the sink. Two days later, my sink was clogged. Here’s the thing. Acrylic paints dry to a hard plastic. And when your pour them down your drain, they will stick to your pipes. And if you don’t clean your brushes well, then the same hard plastic will adhere to the bristles. So that had me swearing off acrylics for  along time. Cut to this summer…. I was creating art with my 3-year old niece in Canada. I needed supplies so I went to the closest store. They carried a few craft acrylics but not much else. So I bought a smock, grabbed some primary colors and prepared to cover my niece so she wouldn’t ruin her clothes. Turns out that the acrylic I bought was very (very!) similar to regular liquid tempera paint. It even washed away like tempera. It didn’t even dry to a hard plastic finish. I was amazed. And surprised. Here’s a video that shows how craft acrylic paints are just like liquid tempera paints. Maybe they will work for you! Save time and effort with a done-for-you artist curriculum, art training, art lesson downloads and a supportive, engaged community within The Members’ Club. Don’t miss the next...

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Foil Turtle and Fish Collage

Foil Turtle and Fish Collage

By on Apr 8, 2016 | 25 comments

This lesson was inspired by a lesson in The Usborne Book of Art Projects. It was a huge hit with my third grade class. The lesson in the book focused on fish but I thought a sea turtle would look lovely swimming in the glittery waters. Here’s How: Creating the Background There are a couple of ways to make the water background for the sea turtle and fish. One method is to use liquid or tray watercolors and table salt to make a traditional speckled background as shown above or you could use Mod-Podge and glitter liquid watercolor paints. To make a watercolor and salt background,  use 6″ x 9″ pieces of 90 lb watercolor paper and regular watercolor paints.  Wet the paper with a sponge or large brush, then mix blue and green watercolors onto the wet watercolor paper (wet-on-wet technique). Salting the surface will give the “ocean” a sparkly quality. I had some of the Mod-Podge glittery paints left over from the Fancy Fish Lesson, so I though I may as well use it up before it hardened and became unusable. The students brushed the leftover “glittery paint” onto a piece of blue or lavender drawing paper. The results were shimmery and ocean perfect. To make the glitter paint, combine a few table spoons of glitter liquid watercolors with about a ¼ cup of gloss Mod-Podge. Stir and use like regular paint. Drawing the Sea Turtle and Fish CLICK TO DOWNLOAD How to Draw a Sea Turtle Set the ocean paper aside and demonstrate how to draw some fish and sea turtles.  The idea is to keep the drawing very simple because the drawing will be created on tin foil. It may be helpful to do a practice drawing on a piece of paper cut to the same size of the tin foil. Use the drawing guide or show pictures of sea turtles and fish and allow the children to identify the basic shapes and colors from photographs. Coloring and Texture You’ll need some heavy weight tin foil (regular tin foil is fine), and some texture boards.  To make a texture board, cut heavy board (tag board, etc) into 9″ x 6″ rectangles.  Cut up old mesh vegetable bags and tape to cardboard. I made about 25 and had a...

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Romero Britto-Inspired Hearts

Romero Britto-Inspired Hearts

By on Jan 22, 2016 | 16 comments

Romero Britto is a Brazilian born artist who now lives in Miami, Florida. His modern pop culture art work is known and celebrated all over the world. Like many art teachers, I love his work and love introducing his colorful art to my students. THE PROJECT Using broad tip markers like these markers from Faber-Castell and a piece of card stock, you can create an easy-to-draw Valentine’s Day Pop-Art Hearts with your kids. Here are the basic steps: Draw curved lines on bottom of paper with black marker Draw “sun” and sun’s rays (straight lines) Draw a large heart over and in-between the rays Double up the black lines so they are thick Use broad tip markers to color in areas of the artwork Light colors make a good color choice for large areas Draw patterns over white paper or colored areas THE VIDEO   Download a Free drawing Guide RESOURCES If you enjoyed the short video, you can extend your unit on Pop Art by studying Pop Art painter, Romero Britto. Artists bio and mixed-media lesson plan and video below: Romero Britto Pop Art Mixed Media PDF Lesson plan & Video Faber-Castell Children’s Art Products...

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Sleigh Bell Holiday Art project

Sleigh Bell Holiday Art project

By on Dec 1, 2015 | 16 comments

Create a pretty holiday-themed art project using colored paper, marker and chalk pastel for the sleigh bells and colored paper and white tempera paint for the snowy background. I created a short video to show you how I taught my 3rd grade kids how to draw and color sleigh bells in order to show form. This was a transformative project for many students as the circle shape was made easy by tracing a plastic cup and so everyone was able to create a pretty cool looking bell.  ...

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Chalk Flowers Art Project – 2 Ways

Chalk Flowers Art Project – 2 Ways

By on Oct 16, 2015 | 12 comments

Chalk is an underused art medium. Too dusty. Too messy. High maintenance. And spraying? Forget it. I say ignore the bad rap and go for it. Chalk pastels, also known as soft pastels, are an incredible product for kid’s art-making. Similar to old school finger-painting, chalk is truly like painting with your fingers. Kids love it. And when I say that, it’s true. In all my years of teaching, I’ve had maybe two kids who didn’t like the feel of chalk. They totally get into it and come up with the most beautiful expressions of art. If you are wondering if you should spay chalk art, you can read this post. Here is one of my most popular lessons (with the kids!) that uses two techniques:  Pencil, white school glue & black paper for older kids ages 9-12 Black oil pastels on black paper for younger kids 5-8 Sometimes using the right art technique can make or break a project depending on the kids age group. Older kids can manage the handling of the glue better than younger kids. In fact, younger kids can barely brush glue onto paper, let alone draw with it. So unless you want to help your students a great deal, use oil pastels with the younger set. So much easier and age-appropriate.   For both projects you’ll need a black paper. Here’s the thing: it doesn’t have to be large. I like the 9″ x 12″ size or even 12″ x 12″. This makes it easier for the kids to color the entire paper and not get too bored. Start with the drawing. If you are using glue to draw with, it’s okay to draw simple shapes with a pencil. Some kids may want to skip over this step and draw with the glue. The trick to drawing with glue is to make sure the bottle can squeeze an even stream of glue onto a piece of paper. You should test it first. Then, treat the orange plastic tip as you would a pencil lead and just draw. Start at the left and move to the right if you are right handed. Let the glue dry over night on a flat surface. Don’t use a tilted drying rack. Drips.Drips. Drips....

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Fall Leaves Print-Making Activity & Video

Fall Leaves Print-Making Activity & Video

By on Oct 1, 2015 | 26 comments

Need a beautiful, accessible project for kids? This fall stencil project is perfect. You’ll need to gather 2-4 leaves per child or about 50 leaves for a 25-student class so that each child has a couple of leaves to choose from.  Make sure the leaves are fresh, not the crispy dried ones that have already fallen. This is important as the paint must adhere to the leaf well and it will also ensure that the leaf doesn’t crumble. Are you ready? Watch this short (1 min) video to see how to create these beautiful leaves… This is what you’ll need: 1 peace of black paper (about 12″ x 15″) White liquid tempera paint or acrylic (I like temper best as it’s easier to clean) Flat brush or even a sponge brush Colorful tempera paints (warm or cool colors) Leaves Scraps of white paper Kitchen sponge for stamping This is what you do: Place a leaf and black construction paper on each child’s desk/place. Put a stack of scrap paper in the middle of the table. Place one palette of white paint with appropriate number of brushes in middle of table. Demonstrate how to brush the white paint onto the “rib side” of the leaf. Be sure to coat the entire leaf. Place painted leaf carefully on black paper. Cover with a scrap and gently rub the leaf until you are sure all the paint is rubbed on. Lift up the scrap paper then peel the leaf off the black paper. Wow! The kids think this part is amazing. I do, too. Repeat step 5 at least 4 times. Encourage the children to go off the edge of the page for an all-over look. After all the leaves have been stenciled on, bring out the palettes of colored paint along with some small cut-up sponges. Using just one sponge per child, dip sponge in colored paint and dab around leaves. Kids can use two colors, or more. Leave it up to them. Tips and Tricks Many art teachers and parents have asked whether or not they should apply the colored paint to the black paper first. You could but you wouldn’t achieve the cool black and white affect with the leaves. If...

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