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Matisse Garden – Book Review & Video

Matisse Garden – Book Review & Video

By on Jun 13, 2016 | 4 comments

MATISSE’S GARDEN My favorite activity is popping into a book store to browse. I hardly do it anymore mostly because bookstores aren’t as plentiful. And doesn’t Amazon make it easy to buy your favorite books? But as I was walking down Sate Street last week with my daughter, we popped into The Santa Barbara Museum of Art book store. Nothing makes me happier than being immersed in colorful children’s book covers, except maybe art books written for children. Matisse’s Garden by Samantha Friedman is a must have book for your art room library. It moves past Matisse’s back story and dives straight into the process of creating art, choosing colors and seeing art in a new way. And if you don’t have any of Matisse’s works of art nearby, there are eight reproductions you can use to show your students. Nice, huh? I love the illustrations by Cristina Amodeo. Perhaps a little less saturated than I prefer but still lovely and appealing. I was so inspired that I decided to draw my own little Matisse Garden inspired by Amodeo’s illustrations. Here’s a video that shows how to use basic markers to draw organic shapes and create a composition of your own. I used a simple sketchbook and Faber-Castell broad-tip markers. I tried really hard to leave the colors flat, like Matisse, but I couldn’t resist. In the end, I grabbed a Sharpie and outlined the flowers. I think you are either in one camp or another. I almost always outline but I love the organic beauty of not outlining, too. I know. So many tough decisions in art-making. Which do you prefer? Outlining or not?     SAVE THIS POST!...

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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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From Blog to Book- Art Made Easy 014

From Blog to Book- Art Made Easy 014

By on Apr 6, 2016 | 2 comments

Jeanette Nyberg, author of the popular art blog Craftwhack and former professional artist, traded in her paintbrushes for a keyboard after the birth of her kids. Discovering that her love of kid’s art was just as passionate as her former painting days, Jeanette started a blog that changed, transformed and ultimately lead her to her first book deal. In this episode, Jeanette shares her struggles with blogging and how she reigned in her focus that resulted in the publication of her first art book for kids and adults.   LISTEN TO THE SHOW       IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:   How doing art projects for kids rekindled Jeanette’s passion for art That blogging is a “fine balance” Why you should do what resonates with YOU! Why people that teach art to children often make the best instructors for adults Jeanette’s process for writing her first book Collaborating with others can make a project more enjoyable Her best drawing tips!   INTERVIEW LINKS:  SITS Girls (The Secret is in the Sauce Blog) The Unmistakable Creative Podcast & website Zentangles Website   DOWNLOAD THE WORKSHEET Click on the yellow tab, enter your name and email and the free workshop will be sent to you…. THE BOOK…. Take a look at Tangle Art and Drawing Games for Kids: A Silly Book for Creative and Visual Thinking You can connect with Jeanette through her blog, Facebook and Instagram. Now it’s YOUR turn… I’d love to hear from you. In the comment section below, tell me what YOUR biggest struggle has been–in the classroom or in your blog–I’d love to hear what you struggle...

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How to Draw a Perspective Landscape

How to Draw a Perspective Landscape

By on Sep 18, 2015 | 6 comments

Learning how to draw perspective is one of those art techniques that gets kids to sit up and take notice. Part of the excitement is realizing that art has rules. Kids are aware of the basic meaning of perspective, but when you actually show them what the vanishing point is and how it relates to the size of objects, its truly an aha moment. Drawing perspective can be applied to most any type of landscape project but I think it works best when there is a road featured in the drawing. Roads are familiar and many kids know that they appear smaller as it moves away from the viewer. In this perspective lesson, roads were placed in the center of the picture. If this is your first time teaching a lesson on perspective, I would start with this one.   DRAWING A DESERT LANDSCAPE  For this perspective lesson I thought it would be interesting to have a different view point. Instead of placing the vanishing point on the (horizontal) horizon line like the lesson referenced above, I placed it off to the edge of one side of the paper. It is still located on the horizon line, just not in the middle of the paper. You’ll need rulers or some type of straight edge, a pencil and an eraser and a piece of white 12″ x 18″ paper to start. Draw horizontal line in the center of the paper. Or, you can do what I did and folded the paper in half horizontally. This way, the crease can act as the horizon line. Then, place ruler on one side of the line at the paper’s edge. Trace an angle line to the opposite edge of the paper. Do again but this time above the horizon line. The angle lines don’t have to touch the corners as this might be too steep of an angle. The drawing of the cacti and the road will occur on the angle lines and NOT the horizon line. Erase any horizon line marks so this rule doesn’t confuse the kids. We chose to draw saguaro cactus and a dirt road to demonstrate the perspective. To do this, start on one side of the paper and draw...

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How to Draw a Robot

How to Draw a Robot

By on Jul 23, 2015 | 1 comment

Teach your kids how to draw a robot and use fun metallic paints and pastels to add polish and shine. No doubt using shapes to draw you robots allows for a great connection with math but that’s not my motivation.  For me, it’s all about the imagination. I have two robot books that I love: Robots: Spaceships and Other Tin Toys The Robot Book I place these books on the ledge of the whiteboard as I demonstrate the lesson. As I talk about the basic part of the robot, I’ll pick up the “tin toy” book and show a few (bookmarked) ideas for heads, bodies, etc. If you are doing a robot lesson that demonstrates shading like my Value Robots, the photographs are particularly good as they show great contrast. Here’s What You’ll Need: 12″ x 18″ colored drawing paper ( just happened to have a lot of eggplant colored paper at the end of the year!) black oil pastel for drawing (crayons are fine) Metallic oil pastels or metallic tempera paint Regular oil pastels (optional)   Drawing the Robot Start with the head. Leaf through the book to show the head shape possibilities. Show the kids how to start near the top of the page. They need to leave a bit of room for antenna, etc. For very small kids you may even want to control their first shape by using a template. It could be a playing card or any rectangular shape. This helps establish the size of the drawing so that the rest of the body remains large. This is just a suggestion. Draw the body next: an oval, square, rectangle, trapezoid, etc. Many kids looked through the book to see the different shape of a robot’s body. Most often it is larger than the head but it doesn’t have to be. Add a “connector” shape between the head and body. Without adding a connector shape, draw a pelvis. This part is optional but many robots have this as a separate shape. Draw a connector shape (accordion shapes are popular). Draw legs and arms. The trick with these appendages is that the shapes shouldn’t curve. So, to make them bend, you’ll need to draw a connector piece like a circle (ball), accordion shape or...

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How to Draw a Lion: Collage Art Project

How to Draw a Lion: Collage Art Project

By on May 29, 2015 | 0 comments

Learning how to draw a lion as well as other African animals is very rewarding for kids. Their distinctive shapes and features mean that even the most basic drawing looks familiar. I know this lesson looks like a bit of work…drawing, painting, cutting, pasting. But, believe me.  It’s worth it.  This is the type of lesson that keeps on giving long after the lesson is over…little lion drawings everywhere. There is something about learning how to draw an animal that really empowers children. This guided drawing is simple enough that all children will feel successful. I promise. What you’ll need: White paper Colored paper Oil pastels or Crayons Liquid Tempera Paint Scissors Glue This lesson comes from my Teaching Art 101 e-course where I teach the project through a video. The video is only available in the e-course but I’ve re-designed the lesson plan for you to take advantage of this cute lesson. Children learn to draw the lion through a guided drawing then they get to paint without worrying about staying within the lines. The background is inspired by the image in the book,  How Loud Is a Lion. You can choose to use the colors as in the book or allow the kids to create their own background. Here’s a preview of what is included in the 13-page lesson...

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