Father’s Day Portraits Art project

Father's Day Portrait Project

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 … Read More →

Jacques Cousteau and Jane Goodall Art Projects

Cousteau-and-Goodall-art-lessons

Sometimes books take me away to that creative place where I just want to break out the tissue paper and pastels and get busy making art. The illustrations in Dan Yaccarino’s book, The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau were that inspiring and that beautiful that they were the launching point for a collection of art lessons based on scientists and explorers. Soon I was browsing through books stores looking for the … Read More →

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 →