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Video Art Tips & Lessons

Sleigh Bell Holiday Art project

Sleigh Bell Holiday Art project

By on Dec 1, 2015 | 17 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 | 31 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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Fall Art Bundle & Watercolor Leaves Video

Fall Art Bundle & Watercolor Leaves Video

By on Sep 21, 2015 | 5 comments

  Raise your hand if Fall is your favorite time of year? Santa Barbara doesn’t experience Fall until well into November but I fake it by switching out my summer whites for long sleeves. And just because I can’t get enough of Fall and the beautiful leaves I imagine are falling in cooler parts of the country, I played around with my Faber-Castell Art Supplies and made this video for you… How to Draw & Paint Fall Watercolor Leaves Video Art Supplies If you are wondering what art supplies I’m using,  check out Faber-Castell’s line of children’s art products. I used them last Spring with all of my students and was so impressed. In this video I used the Watercolor Palettes and the Oil Pastel 12-pack. The oil pastels are the best I’ve ever used and the watercolors are more opaque than transparent so the effects are really brilliant. The watercolor paper is 90-lb Canson School grade watercolor paper. Autumn Art Activities I picked my most popular art lessons from my last 12 years of teaching art to create a Fall Art Bundle. This bundle is for everyone who would love their students to create these cool projects but needs a bit of help. I’ve broken up the projects into manageable steps, easy-to-duplicate templates and handouts and offer suggestions on how to scale the projects for both younger and older kids. Each lesson can also be purchased individually.       You can view each lesson right here: Watercolor Leaves Free Instructions and Watercolor Leaves PDF Autumn Collage Free Instructions and Autumn Collage PDF Funny Face Pumpkin Free Instructions and Funny Face Pumpkin PDF Scarecrow Project Free Instructions and Scarecrow Activities PDF   Happy Fall...

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Video Art Tip: How to Cut a Spiral

Video Art Tip: How to Cut a Spiral

By on Sep 20, 2015 | 2 comments

Cutting spirals can be a challenging task for kids. Most get the general idea: cutting a piece of paper into a spiral shape. This strategy feels right when you are cutting the spiral but if your intention is to glue it to a piece of paper, the cutting effort basically disappears. To help kids cut a spiral that actually looks like a spiral, I show them this technique: You can use spirals in so many art projects. Whenever I do any type of collage work or a lesson on Henri Matisse paper cuttings, a spiral cutting demonstration is always included. Here are a few “spiral” projects for you to try: Matisse Inspired Name Panels Matisse-Inspired Christmas Trees Hundertwasser Painted Panels (Hundertwasser loved spirals!) Do you have a favorite method for teaching spiral cuttings? Add your expertise! Share your tips and comments...

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The Best Art Paper for Every Project

The Best Art Paper for Every Project

By on Sep 15, 2015 | 6 comments

When I first began teaching, I had no idea how to teach art to kids. Kid’s art projects and supplies were not on my radar. One of the most nagging questions I had was, what paper do I use? This post is to help you discover what the best paper is best for tempera paint, watercolors, oil pastels and even markers. This slide deck video will explain the types of paper I stock in my art room and how I use them: There are SIX basic paper types used in my art room: Sulphite drawing paper School-grade watercolor paper Scrapbook-style craft paper Tissue paper Canvas Card stock Sulphite Paper is also referred to as construction paper, but don’t be confused. It’s not the cheap construction paper found in craft stores. Sulphite is a process that extracts the lignin from wood chips and produces pure cellulose fibers.  This means that sulphite paper is a smooth, white and inexpensive drawing paper that is perfect in any art room or home-school environment. I use sulphite paper in every art project that uses tempera paint, markers, oil pastel, collage, etc. The only time I don’t use sulphite paper is when I am teaching a watercolor blending lesson or using acrylic paints. For all my watercolor art projects, I use school grade 90 lb watercolor paper. It’s inexpensive and comes in packs of 50 or 100.  I use the cheapest school-grade product I can find and it works great. Just a little “tooth” can go along way in teaching kids the difference between regular paper and watercolor paper. Instead of soaking into construction paper, watercolor paper allows the paint to sit on top for a while and mingle with the other colors. I highly encourage you to purchase this paper for your classroom. It’s important to note that it is sometimes cheaper to buy large sheets (24″ x 36″) and cut them down to manageable pieces rather than books of pre-sized sheets. I use craft papers occasionally in the art room. I like to buy mine directly from craft stores like Michaels as they offer great discounts and usually a better quality product than the craft or printed papers that you find in art supply catalogues. Be on the look out for...

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