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Drawing Projects

How to Draw & Paint a Turkey

How to Draw & Paint a Turkey

By on Nov 17, 2016 | 21 comments

Need a quick and easy 40-minute art lesson for your Kinders or first grade class? For the last day of my Fall rotation, Kinders created these adorable thanksgiving turkeys. I hadn’t done a guided drawing lesson with this group yet, but since they have all settled down and have become quite good listeners, I figured a directed line drawing lesson was due. You’ll need a 12″ x 18″ piece of sulphite paper, black oil pastels, colored oil pastels, liquid watercolor paint, craft feathers, white glue and a small plastic container lid. Want to know where I get my supplies? Download this handy guide. Watch this short how-to video: How to draw a turkey… I must admit that my own version of a Thanksgiving turkey looks more like a peacock than a turkey, but at the time, it was the best I could do. I experimented with a few body shapes before deciding that tracing a container top was the best way to begin this lesson with my Kinders. I was not alone with this assessment. A group of students who like to help me prep in the morning all agreed that tracing a circle was not only far cuter than my previous sample and they liked the simpler lesson for their little buddies. Who’s to argue with sixth grade girls? Another KEY component in helping this project along was to fold the paper in half to create a crease line. You might think this is silly but for my group of Kinders, many have low spatial awareness and although we’ve been working hard on this, many drawings tend to start way at the bottom of the paper. Have you experienced this? Thought so.   Need a handout?   DOWNLOAD FREE DRAWING PDF FROM THE SHOP So, to draw a turkey…. Fold paper in half to achieve a crease line and place container template on top of the crease line. This helps not only center the turkey but sets the stage for the turkey’s size. Trace container top with a black oil pastel. Draw two dots for eyes and an upside down triangle for a beak. Place oil pastel on crease line right next to the head and draw a BIG, FAT belly. Go all the way around to the other...

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Matisse Garden – Book Review & Video

Matisse Garden – Book Review & Video

By on Jun 13, 2016 | 5 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 worksheets 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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