Van Gogh Inspired ¾ View Portraits

Paint a portrait like Van Gogh. Portraits that focus on a ¾ view instead of the traditional straight-on portrait.

By the time I was in seventh grade, I abandoned the frontal portrait view in favor of a ¾ view. I loved how drawing portraits from a ¾ view perspective looked like the school photos we all had. It does take a bit of practice but I believe it might be easier than drawing a frontal view. Third graders are really just beginning to get comfortable with a standard format … Read More →

Chinese Dragon Painting

Learn how to draw and paint a Chinese dragon.

I love Chinese Dragons and so do my students. Every kid from 3rd grade all the way up to 6th grade enjoys drawing this mythical figure. Some kids keep it real simple while others spend hours on the details. This lesson plan will offer you the full lesson technique for 4th grade and then explain how to scale the lesson down to 3rd and up to 5th and 6th. There … Read More →

Ted Harrison & Lawren Harris Northern Landscapes

Lawren-Harris-and-Ted-Harrison-Art-lesson

Back in my college days I studied Canada’s Group of Seven artists. Even though I was a young adult, I never quite understood or appreciated the beauty of their work. I thought of this as I introduced my students to  the art of Lawren Harris. I wondered how many thought it was interesting or how many would find it boring. You never really know what goes on inside a student’s … Read More →

Fun with Portraits II Guidebook

Fun-with-Portraits-Guidebook-LESSON

This is my biggest PDF lesson plan booklet to date and is the result of over 5 years of portrait making. I’ve broken down the secrets of teaching a portrait lesson into THREE TECHNIQUES. Each technique is outlined in the guidebook and when combined with various mediums, makes portrait making easy and doable. Simply pick the technique that is best suited to your grade level, choose your favorite medium and … Read More →

My Adventures with Paper Mache

Paper-Mache-Giraffes

If there were a prize for the best art genre for kids, I’m pretty sure Paper Mache would get the votes. It’s a quintessential art project and most everybody remembers getting sticky with newspaper and paste at some point in their elementary art career. There is a good reason why it’s been a popular medium for decades: it’s cheap, teaches creative thinking and fosters imagination. But, there can be drawbacks… … Read More →

Starry Night Multi-Media Art Lesson

Starry Night Art Lesson

After ten years of teaching art and creating my own lesson plans, I have finally settled on a Starry Night Art Lesson. This lesson combines so many art techniques: double-loading, experimenting with color value, expressive painting, collage and composition as well as color theory. Hard to ask for anything more! This was one of my third grade students last projects of the year and my only regret was that the … Read More →

America’s Southwest Landscapes

America-Southwest-art-lessons

Bryce Canyon and Arches National Park in Utah offers the most humbling panoramas. Majestic rock formations, iron-rich colors and endless blue skies are an artist’s dream. These landscapes in my newest PDF offers the student artist a glimpse into the magic of Utah. In this 15-page lesson plan, students learn how to draw a landscape focusing on perspective and space to create distance. Students use chalk and oil pastels to draw … Read More →