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Watercolor Iguana Art Lesson

Watercolor Iguana Art Lesson

By on Apr 18, 2012 | 12 comments

Here is an easy watercolor art project starring an interesting creature…iguanas! My fourth grade students had a blast drawing the iguana with a black oil pastel and then using watercolors and special watercolor techniques to create these stunning pieces of art. Simple supplies are required: 12″ x 18″ watercolor paper, black oil pastels, pan-style watercolor palettes, salt, tissues and brushes. I used the same steps and instructions as illustrated in my 3-Ingredient Art Grades 5 & 6 art lesson booklet. I used the drawing instructions from the art booklet and for the kids who missed the first drawing class, I gave them the handout to catch up on their own. After drawing the iguana with oil pastels, the children got busy painting with watercolors and used the techniques described in the booklet. This lesson takes two 45-minute art classes. I love this lesson and do a variation of it every year. Didn’t my fourth graders do a lovely job? Affiliate links are used in this...

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Chalk Rainforest Animals Art Video

Chalk Rainforest Animals Art Video

By on May 7, 2011 | 12 comments

My fifth and sixth grade students have been working with chalk pastel recently. We’ve done tropical birds and just finished these stunning rainforest animals. Watch the video to see the kids at work: To begin, use a black oil pastel to draw a rainforest animal. I provided a few simple drawing demonstrations to get the kids started. Draw lightly at first, then trace over all the “good” lines with a darker line. Using chalk pastels, color in everything. I like to start with the animal because it’s the most exciting, but it really doesn’t matter. Use one finger to smudge the colors all the way to the black oil pastels. After everything is colored in with chalk, grab the black oil pastel again and trace all lines. This is the step that makes the biggest impact. Look at this lime green frog? Isn’t she pretty? This is my baby girl’s sloth. Okay, she’s not a baby, but still. Isn’t this the most darling sloth ever? A leopard…or a cheetah. Hmmm. I can’t remember. Probably a leopard given that we’re talking rainforest. Love this adorable orangutan. Did I spell that right? Here’s a kid who loves color almost as much as me. And finally, a super, sizzling...

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Snakes in the Grass

Snakes in the Grass

By on Jan 12, 2011 | 9 comments

Here is a cute lesson that I did a while ago with my second grade students. It’s a great lesson for achieving good cutting skills which I think by second grade is pretty crucial. The steps to draw the snake are fun and easy but creating the grass can be challenging for many second graders.  Supplies for the snake 12″ x 18″ white sulphite paper, oil pastels, tempera paint, scissors, glue, glitter (optional). Supplies for the background  Blue and green sulphite paper, sponge and white tempera paint. Drawing the snake I encourage you to try a directed line approach to drawing the snake or else many children will go through a number of sheets of paper before achieving a snake that has enough girth to cut out safely. 1. Starting at the top corner of your paper, draw a sideways oval. This is the snake’s head. Add a half-circle shape to both sides of the oval (eyes). An alternate way to draw the snake is to create a drawing as shown above. I find it is helpful though, to do the former. 2. Starting on one side of the oval, draw a curved line (a letter “S” is a good suggestion) all the way to the bottom of the paper. 3.  Go back up to the oval (head) and draw another line along side the curved line, matching the curves as you go. Go slowly! If you run into the other side of the snake, draw another line. 4. Now that you have the basic shape, fill in the snake with patterns. 5. Paint or color in the patterns and if you’d like, add glue and glitter to some areas. 6. Once any paint has dried, cut out the snake. The Background: 1. Cut a sheet of green 12″ x 18″ paper in half and use one half to cut blades of grass. The grass can be cut as individual blades or as one. 2. Place grass onto a blue sheet of paper and glue the bottom part of the grass only. Sponge paint clouds onto blue paper. 3. Place snake onto background and weave through grass. Carefully glue down snake and grass....

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Tortuga Time

Tortuga Time

By on Sep 21, 2009 | 3 comments

Based on the book “Manana Iguana” by Ann Whitford Paul, this adorable collage lesson is perfect for little kinders. Children learn how to draw Tortuga the Turtle as drawn in the picture book and paint a desert background. I do this lesson in three thirty minute classes. Supplies: 12″ x 10″ white paper Oil Pastels scissors and glue sticks 12″ x 18″ blue paper Tempera paints: brown, white, yellow, light green and dark green paint brush and water    Drawing “Tortuga” There are some great turtle drawings in this book. Cute, simple and artsy. I love how Tortuga’s eyes stick up from his head. That is what we start with: the eyes. Draw two ovals on one side of the paper. Draw a big oval around the eyes taking care not to draw through the eyeballs! Add a neck. For the body, draw a curved line from the neck all the way to the back of the paper. Kid’s will know instinctively how big to draw their turtle, so let them. Much cuter this way! Then add a bottom and four legs. Cut out Turtle This step is a challenge for many kinders. Some kids have cutting experience but if your group struggles with this part, don’t be surprised. I’ve taught second graders who can’t cut well, so consider this lesson great practice! The hardest part for little hands is navigating around a curvy bottom. To avoid this, encourage the kids to draw a straight line for the underbelly. Believe me, much easier for them. Painting the Background This is how I set up for the class. The cut-out turtles are in a pile on a separate table. So when the children finish painting their background, they can glue the turtle on right away. I must say however, that this particular group had a hard time finishing the background in the allotted time and most didn’t finish coloring in their turtles from step one. So I’ll add another class so that everyone can have a finished piece. Doesn’t always work this way. The next group of kinders finished everything. Many variables involved: talkative children, late getting to class, etc. None a problem. Just need to be flexible! With an...

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Watercolor Chameleon Art Lesson

Watercolor Chameleon Art Lesson

By on Nov 9, 2008 | 15 comments

After a trip to the library, I was inspired by the book Chameleons are Cool illustrated by Sue Shields. I love her use of color and large shapes plus the abundance of watercolor techniques on each page. If I had a color printer at school, I’d photocopy a page and hand a sheet to every student, just so they could be inspired by the wet-on-wet techniques, the wet-on-dry techniques and the splatters! Chameleons Are Cool: Read and Wonder Pencil Drawing I demonstrate strategies for drawing the chameleon, looking at shapes and position on page to ultimately create the outline. I encourage the kids to make the subject large, but of course, some students insist on making them small. No problem but we all know it’s easier to paint larger items! Outline pencil lines with indelible black marker. This takes some time so stress that very little detail be placed inside the outline of the chameleon. Details will come with the watercolor techniques. Tip: If doing this lesson with younger grades, try using an oil pastel to create the chameleon. Skip the pencil and pen step and have the children draw a large chameleon. Watercolors! For each table, I set out a tray of liquid watercolors, a small cup of rubbing alcohol and a small cup of salt. For the watercolor demonstration, I have the children gather around a table, instead of watching on the board, as the results are so much better up close. Wet-on-wet: I show the kids how to paint one color, then while the paint is still wet, add another on top to blend. Wet-on-dry: Since this lessons takes 2-3 classes, once one section of the chameleon is dry, they can then paint over that section to create spots, stripes, dots, etc. Rubbing alcohol: While the paint is wet, drop some RA onto different sections to create a “scaly” or “rubbery” texture. Salt: While paint is wet, sprinkle some salt to create small twinkles of star-like dots. Splatter paint: using a brush loaded with color, run your fingers along the bristle to create large and small splatters. The results of this project was spectacular. If and when I do this again, I’d recommend that the kids...

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Rainforest Art Lesson

Rainforest Art Lesson

By on Feb 16, 2008 | 1 comment

The fourth graders took a creative journey to the Rainforest and learned how to draw many rainforest inhabitants. We studied how snakes wind themselves around trees, how sloths hang upside down and what lurks in the shallow waters. The students were free to draw whichever animal they pleased except for birds (we already had that lesson). The first step was drawing the animal in pencil, adding porportional leaves, vines, trees and flowers then outlining all pencil lines with a black waterproof marker. Once the pencil lines were erased, students either colored their animal with prismacolor markers or painted them in watercolor. These were my guidelines: small shapes: color with markers. Big shapes: fill with watercolors. I handed out palettes of liquid watercolors. They are ready to use and easy to apply. Most students colored their animals with markers and painted their backgrounds with watercolors. The art lesson was inspired by “An All Encompassing RainForest” by art teacher Cheryl Crumpecker, Arts and Activities Magazine March/07...

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