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5 Tips for Making Vibrant Paint Colors

5 Tips for Making Vibrant Paint Colors

By on Apr 21, 2016 | 6 comments

Do you ever wonder why some art projects look so vibrant? Perhaps you wondered what brand of paint results in such rich colors? What if I told you it’s not what, but how… I used to think that there was a special type of paint that I could order and squeeze into a palette until I discovered the secret of creating colorful paint hues. No matter what brand of paint you buy, don’t feel limited to paint with colors directly from the bottle. A world of color and creativity awaits. Try the next 5 tips for creating your own vibrant colors.   FUN COLOR TIP #1 – Squeeze a quarter-size amount of blue, red, yellow and white liquid tempera paint onto a styrofoam plate or egg carton. – With a brush, scoop up a little bit of yellow paint then scoop up some white. Mix the two paint colors onto a piece of art paper. What happens? Keep adding white paint to the brush and paint a new dot onto your paper. See how the color gets lighter and lighter? – This is called creating a tint. Tints works especially well on dark colored paper like black or navy blue.   FUN COLOR TIP #2 – Without rinsing your brush clean, scoop up a bit of red paint. Paint a dot on your paper. What happens? What color did you create? Because there is still white and yellow on the brush, the resulting red won’t be as pure. This is one of the tricks to creating vibrant colors…don’t clean the colors away with water.   FUN COLOR TIP #3 – Clean your brush and try mixing the red with the blue paint. What color did you get? – As you keep adding more colors, the lighter colors fade away. You can keep adding dark colors or you can dip paint brush back into the white paint to create a new tint. It helps to mix from light to dark. Light colors are easily blended with the dark so less muddy colors result in the efforts. FUN COLOR TIP #4 – Use a styrofoam egg carton to create a colorful palette. – Squeeze a dime size amount of as many colors as you want into each...

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“Petunia” Painting Project for Kids

“Petunia” Painting Project for Kids

By on Jan 26, 2016 | 5 comments

Incorporating literature into art projects remains my favorite type of lesson.  Last year, I introduced Petunia to my third grade students. Using a painting technique that I call smoothing, my students sketched a goose with pencil then  painted with happy colors, just like the book. Don’t have the book? You can download this delightful video found on YouTube: WHAT YOU’LL NEED: 12″ x 18″ white sulphite paper Pencil and Eraser Red, yellow, white, blue, green and black liquid tempera paint (I use Crayola) I medium tip round brush 1 small tip round brush (for outlining) Black marker, black crayon or lack oil pastel as optional outing supplies.   DRAWING I photocopied a few pages from the book and placed on the children’s tables. Using observation techniques, the kids practiced drawing their own Petunia. I encouraged them to make a dot near the top of the paper and one near the bottom. The dots provided guidelines for where to start the head and where to place the feet. This ensures the goose will be drawn large enough to fill most of the paper.     PAINTING Once the drawing was complete, children dipped a medium paint brush in the red paint and painted sections of the background paper. We used the smoothing technique to achieve a smooth paint finish. The children carefully painted around Petunia and the spring flowers. After the background was complete, the children painted the flowers and leaves with a collection of green, yellow and blue paint mixed with small amounts of white. This created TINTS and resembled the illustrations found in the book.   OUTLINING Once the paint is dry, children can use a small pointed brush dipped in watered-down black paint to outline Petunia. Notice how the children didn’t paint Petunia white? The white paper offered enough contrast so that painting the goose white seemed unnecessary. Although, children can paint their goose if they wish. If you don’t like to use black paint to outline, you can use a thick black marker or even a crayon. Experiment and see what medium works best for you.  ...

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5 Painting Tips for the Young Artist

5 Painting Tips for the Young Artist

By on Sep 3, 2015 | 9 comments

You’ve all seen the amazing art projects on art teacher blogs and Pinterest. Inspiration and ideas are everywhere. But you may be wondering if you can achieve the same results with your kids. You have questions: Does paper matter? What about paint? As an art teacher for over 13 years, I’ve tried a lot of techniques with my students and have come up with my top 5 tips painting tips for kids. 5 Tips for Painting with Kids UNDERSTAND HORIZON LINE Many art projects for kids involve a horizon line. It seems like a big word for little kids but many kids feel that there is a big, white strip between the earth and sky. You know what I mean. Kids instinctively feel that the blue sky belongs up there. To remedy this, it’s surprisingly easy to teach the kids how to draw a horizon line. This is what I say: The horizon line separates the earth/ocean from the sky. Everything above the line is the sky and everything below the line is the ocean. That’s it. They all get it. BIG STROKES THAT GET THE TABLE MESSY Many children are very tentative when it comes to painting. This often translates to painting with small, careful strokes. Maybe they are worried that the table will get messy. Maybe not. I like to start my Kinders with a big, free-expression paint project on the very first day of art class. Creating painted papers is my favorite as they can get messy, use lots of paint and get lots of practice. The process proves that there is no wrong way to paint, that art class is fun and that it’s okay to paint off the paper. LAYER ARTWORK  When creating a piece of art with many layers: background plus a subject, it can sometimes be easier to separate the layers. In this project, Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli, the art project involved drawing a city/skyscarpers and a monster. The obvious step would be to draw a monster and then draw the city behind the monster. Instead, I broke up the layers and created TWO projects then combined the two. Using a big sheet of paper to draw the city gave the children lots of wiggle room to paint. This allows them to paint more freely...

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Jelly Fish Art project

Jelly Fish Art project

By on Jun 20, 2015 | 31 comments

One of the prettiest projects my third graders created this year happened during the very last days of school. I get rather desperate for ideas and organization towards the end of the school year so I had to scramble for a fast, two session project. I came across a jellyfish painting on my Watercolor Pinterest Board and it was love at first sight. My third graders LOVED this project. And I did too. I had all the supplies on hand (just barely) and stretched this relatively quick lesson into a 2-session project.   Here’s What We Did: 1. Each child painted a 12″ x 18″ piece of white paper (I like Tru-Ray drawing paper) with either a gradient of blue or red paint. I was a bit of a control freak here as I wanted to make the prep easy. I squeezed white, red, purple and black paint into 3 muffin-style palettes and blue, white, purple and black into two muffin-style palettes. Depending on where the child sat, he would either create blue or red gradient paper. That’s right. No choice. Feel free to allow a child to choose though. I did this as a matter of simplicity and quite frankly,  laziness. I’m not ashamed. Starting at the top of the vertical paper, the kids painted a strip of white paint. Without cleaning their brush, they dipped their paint brush into a little bit of red paint. They applied the paint below the white strip and blended. They continued on, dipping their brush into more red, then adding purple (this gives the paint the bright pink/fuchsia color and then finally black. We worked slowly and carefully with this step. I wanted it to last the entire 40-minutes. 2. After the child finished painting his gradient, they added white paint for bubbles. To do this, give each table group some white paint that has been watered down some. In order to splatter well, the paint needs to be the consistency of cream. 3. After the background paper has dried, it’s time to draw a jelly. – Use white soft chalk pastel and draw a curved line for the top of the jellyfish body. – Add a wiggle line across the bottom of the jelly for his...

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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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