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How I teach Directed Line Drawings

How I teach Directed Line Drawings

By on Mar 13, 2017 | 3 comments

You either love ’em art hate ’em. Directed drawings can be the antithesis of your art philosophy or your biggest joy. I happen to fall a bit in between. I used directed line drawings (or guided drawings) with my younger set to get them accustomed to art room procedures, pacing and listening skills. And while achieving these things is great for the teacher, directed drawings also provide an enormous benefits to children. This video, podcast (below) and PDF download will help you identify when directed drawings are beneficial and when they need to be replaced with observational drawings. Listen to Art Made Easy 025: All About Guided Drawings To download the PDF, click the YELLOW box, add your name and email and you will automatically receive the download. Check your...

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Watercolor Paints & Paper: What Works Best

Watercolor Paints & Paper: What Works Best

By on Dec 11, 2016 | 3 comments

Here’s a question I get asked a lot: Can I use regular paper with my watercolor paints? Or do I need to use watercolor paper? The answer is yes! I like using liquid watercolor paints (affiliate link) on regular sulphite drawing paper but it only works well for a specific result. Here’s a video to explain what the differences are: https://d11vly3u9uru85.cloudfront.net/2016-D/watercolor+paper+and+paints.mp4 Summary Sulphite paper is about 76 lbs and will soak up the watercolor paint quickly. This doesn’t make it an effective surface to promote color blending or using the salting technique. Watercolor is best for blending watercolors and adding salt for that lovely starburst effect because it has texture. This allows the watercolor paint to sit on the paper surface for a longer period of time to allow for the mingling. The biggest difference is using glitter watercolor paints on sulphite paper. The viscosity in the glitter watercolor seems to help the liquid stay on the paper’s surface long enough for an effective salting technique. Here are some projects that use liquid watercolor paints on regular sulphite paper: 1. Watercolor Castle for Kinders-Second Grade 2. Watercolor Sunflowers 3. Underwater Hippos for second and third grade Interested in experimenting with more watercolor techniques? DOWNLOAD THE WATERCOLOR TECHNIQUE CHEAT SHEET Just click on the image below, add your name and email and you will be sent the PDF via your email address (make sure to check you spam/junk mail folder). Note: You will also be directed to a Thank you page where you can see other freebies that may interest...

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Gustav Klimt: Master of Metallics

Gustav Klimt: Master of Metallics

By on Dec 5, 2016 | 4 comments

Introducing Gustav Klimt to your students is really like opening up a pot of gold. There are so many interesting facets to his art and his life. One of the most impactful pieces to his story is how many of his works were destroyed by the Germans during WWII. Medicine, painted in 1900-1907 was destroyed along with a few others. I recently picked up a book that features beautiful Klimt-inspired illustrations. If you are doing a lesson on Klimt and in particular, his Tree of Life, I encourage you to find a copy of this book. Perfect for grade 3 and...

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Tempera vs Acrylic Paint

Tempera vs Acrylic Paint

By on Sep 1, 2016 | 5 comments

I avoided acrylic paint for a long time. I was happy with my liquid tempera and watercolor paints and didn’t see the allure of acrylics. Now, for my own art, nothing beats acrylics. But who wants to mess around with tubes with 30 kids? This was my mindset for a long time. When I learned about acrylic paints that were meant for an elementary classroom, I was excited to give them a try. I order some Blick acrylic paints and experimented with a few projects. Everything that was said about acrylic paints was true…they were smooth, beautiful and had a lovely finish. Then I made the BIG mistakes that only experienced art teachers know not to do: I cleaned my plastic muffin-palette filled with acrylic paints in the sink. Two days later, my sink was clogged. Here’s the thing. Acrylic paints dry to a hard plastic. And when your pour them down your drain, they will stick to your pipes. And if you don’t clean your brushes well, then the same hard plastic will adhere to the bristles. So that had me swearing off acrylics for  along time. Cut to this summer…. I was creating art with my 3-year old niece in Canada. I needed supplies so I went to the closest store. They carried a few craft acrylics but not much else. So I bought a smock, grabbed some primary colors and prepared to cover my niece so she wouldn’t ruin her clothes. Turns out that the acrylic I bought was very (very!) similar to regular liquid tempera paint. It even washed away like tempera. It didn’t even dry to a hard plastic finish. I was amazed. And surprised. Here’s a video that shows how craft acrylic paints are just like liquid tempera paints. Maybe they will work for you! Save time and effort with a done-for-you artist curriculum, art training, art lesson downloads and a supportive, engaged community within The Members’ Club. Don’t miss the next...

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Foil Turtle and Fish Collage

Foil Turtle and Fish Collage

By on Apr 8, 2016 | 29 comments

This tin foil sea turtle and fish collage was a huge hit with my third grade class. The kids loved how the sea turtle and fish looked, swimming in the glittery waters. WANT A DRAWING GUIDE? CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW & WE WILL EMAIL IT TO YOU…. HERE’S HOW https://d11vly3u9uru85.cloudfront.net/promo/Foil+Fish.mp4   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 below or you could use Mod-Podge and glitter liquid watercolor paints. HOW TO MAKE SHIMMERING WATER 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). Sprinkle regular table salt or Kosher salt over the damp paper. Salting the surface will give the “ocean” a sparkly quality. MAKING GLITTERY MOD-PODGE I made glittery paper by brushing a combination of glossy Mod-Podge and glitter watercolor paints together.  The students brushed the home-made “glittery paint” onto a piece of blue or lavender drawing paper. The results were shimmery and ocean perfect. The recipe isn’t exact, but I used about ¼ cup of Mod-Podge and pour enough glitter paint into the solution until I saw the color emerge. It’s good to remember that the Mod-Podge dries to a clear finish, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see the glitter at first. It will dry and the sparkles will emerge! After making the background, decide of you want to draw a Sea Turtle or Fish. If you draw fish, you can draw two or even three to fit onto the paper. The sea turtle is larger and is best to draw just one. Here is a drawing handout PDF to download:  CLICK TO DOWNLOAD How to Draw a Sea Turtle & Fish Handout ADDING COLOR & TEXTURE Set the ocean paper aside and use the handout to draw the fish or sea turtle.  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...

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Romero Britto-Inspired Hearts

Romero Britto-Inspired Hearts

By on Jan 22, 2016 | 18 comments

Romero Britto is a Brazilian born artist who now lives in Miami, Florida. His modern pop culture art work is known and celebrated all over the world. Like many art teachers, I love his work and love introducing his colorful art to my students. THE PROJECT Using broad tip markers like these markers from Faber-Castell and a piece of card stock, you can create an easy-to-draw Valentine’s Day Pop-Art Hearts with your kids. Here are the basic steps: Draw curved lines on bottom of paper with black marker Draw “sun” and sun’s rays (straight lines) Draw a large heart over and in-between the rays Double up the black lines so they are thick Use broad tip markers to color in areas of the artwork Light colors make a good color choice for large areas Draw patterns over white paper or colored areas THE VIDEO   Download a Free drawing Guide RESOURCES If you enjoyed the short video, you can extend your unit on Pop Art by studying Pop Art painter, Romero Britto. Artists bio and mixed-media lesson plan and video below: Romero Britto Pop Art Mixed Media PDF Lesson plan & Video Faber-Castell Children’s Art Products...

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