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Draw a Flower Garden

Draw a Flower Garden

By on Jun 4, 2017 | 2 comments

Who doesn’t love an easy project? This one Watercolor Flower Garden is as easy as you can get. All you need is a small sheet of watercolor paper, black waterproof marker, a white crayon and a few colors of liquid watercolor paint. Children draw a series of flowers to make a garden. The flowers don’t have to be complex…just a few simple circles with petals is all you need. You can download a drawing guide that will generate ideas quickly or you can have each child create their garden from their imaginations. After drawing with a black marker, outline each flower and the leaves with a white oil pastel or white crayon. This helps define the flower shapes even more. If a child wishes to have an area of the art stay white, encourage him to color the area our shape with the white crayon. Now for the fun part….dab, brush and dribble liquid watercolor paints over the entire drawing. No need to stay within the lines! Here’s a video to show the process… Need a drawing prompt? Here’s a drawing handout to download. Click on the YELLOW tab...

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“Antiqued” Oil Pastel Flowers in a Vase

“Antiqued” Oil Pastel Flowers in a Vase

By on Feb 12, 2016 | 8 comments

Recognize this beauty? This was the one of the first lesson I posted on my writing blog back in 2007 before Deep Space Sparkle existed. Such classics should be given due credit, don’t you think? Create this sophisticated bouquet with your little ones to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Here is a great way to teach watercolor resist. It’s simple and involves a surprise at the end. On the white board, demonstrate how to draw a vase, a table line, then circles for the center of the flowers. Give the students different options for drawing the petals. Ask the kids to choose a favorite color from the pastel palette with the rule that it should be a dark color. This helps the drawings stand out after the watercolor is applied. The kids then draw their vase, table line, flower centers, petals, leaves and stems. Using any color they wish, color in the shapes. When the kids are about halfway through their coloring (slow part), demonstrate the next step. This provides great motivation to complete the coloring portion. SCRUNCH THE PAPER Demonstrate how to take their beautifully colored picture and scrunch it. Because the paper is stiff, the kids literally have to sit on their crushed balled of paper or push really hard with their hands in order to get the required wrinkles. After smoothing out the paper, the kids apply a watercolor wash to the entire surface. TEACHING TIPS A tempera wash doesn’t work. Liquid watercolor is best. I put out two containers of wash; one brown and one blue. The kids can chose which one they like. When the wash settles in the wrinkles, it gives the picture an “antiqued” look. Do you have left-over coffee or tea? Try brushing the cold beverage over the paper to see what happens. The paper will become quite soggy, so leave on testable to prevent tearing when lifted. After the paper dries a bit, you can transfer tho a drying rack. For a more colorful version of a bouquet, try this Watercolor Bouquet project. Perfect for kids ages 7-10. Find more lessons like this inside the Members...

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Over & Under Winter Habitat Art Project

Over & Under Winter Habitat Art Project

By on Dec 8, 2015 | 3 comments

Over and Under the Snow is a book that uncovers the “secret kingdom under the snow.” Children are offered a glimpse of where animals go during the winter months and what their homes look like. The artwork is beautiful–ethereal, soft and filled with atmospheric perspective. This was one of the prettiest winter art projects I have ever done. It’s a great project to integrate with science and literature and learn atmospheric perspective, mixing paint colors, texture and how to draw winter...

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Chalk Flowers Art Project – 2 Ways

Chalk Flowers Art Project – 2 Ways

By on Oct 16, 2015 | 14 comments

Chalk is an underused art medium. Too dusty. Too messy. High maintenance. And spraying? Forget it. I say ignore the bad rap and go for it. Chalk pastels, also known as soft pastels, are an incredible product for kid’s art-making. Similar to old school finger-painting, chalk is truly like painting with your fingers. Kids love it. And when I say that, it’s true. In all my years of teaching, I’ve had maybe two kids who didn’t like the feel of chalk. They totally get into it and come up with the most beautiful expressions of art. If you are wondering if you should spay chalk art, you can read this post. Here is one of my most popular lessons (with the kids!) that uses two techniques:  Pencil, white school glue & black paper for older kids ages 9-12 Black oil pastels on black paper for younger kids 5-8 Sometimes using the right art technique can make or break a project depending on the kids age group. Older kids can manage the handling of the glue better than younger kids. In fact, younger kids can barely brush glue onto paper, let alone draw with it. So unless you want to help your students a great deal, use oil pastels with the younger set. So much easier and age-appropriate.   For both projects you’ll need a black paper. Here’s the thing: it doesn’t have to be large. I like the 9″ x 12″ size or even 12″ x 12″. This makes it easier for the kids to color the entire paper and not get too bored. Start with the drawing. If you are using glue to draw with, it’s okay to draw simple shapes with a pencil. Some kids may want to skip over this step and draw with the glue. The trick to drawing with glue is to make sure the bottle can squeeze an even stream of glue onto a piece of paper. You should test it first. Then, treat the orange plastic tip as you would a pencil lead and just draw. Start at the left and move to the right if you are right handed. Let the glue dry over night on a flat surface. Don’t use a tilted drying rack. Drips.Drips. Drips....

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Fall Leaves Print-Making Activity & Video

Fall Leaves Print-Making Activity & Video

By on Oct 1, 2015 | 31 comments

Need a beautiful, accessible project for kids? This fall stencil project is perfect. You’ll need to gather 2-4 leaves per child or about 50 leaves for a 25-student class so that each child has a couple of leaves to choose from.  Make sure the leaves are fresh, not the crispy dried ones that have already fallen. This is important as the paint must adhere to the leaf well and it will also ensure that the leaf doesn’t crumble. Are you ready? Watch this short (1 min) video to see how to create these beautiful leaves… This is what you’ll need: 1 peace of black paper (about 12″ x 15″) White liquid tempera paint or acrylic (I like temper best as it’s easier to clean) Flat brush or even a sponge brush Colorful tempera paints (warm or cool colors) Leaves Scraps of white paper Kitchen sponge for stamping This is what you do: Place a leaf and black construction paper on each child’s desk/place. Put a stack of scrap paper in the middle of the table. Place one palette of white paint with appropriate number of brushes in middle of table. Demonstrate how to brush the white paint onto the “rib side” of the leaf. Be sure to coat the entire leaf. Place painted leaf carefully on black paper. Cover with a scrap and gently rub the leaf until you are sure all the paint is rubbed on. Lift up the scrap paper then peel the leaf off the black paper. Wow! The kids think this part is amazing. I do, too. Repeat step 5 at least 4 times. Encourage the children to go off the edge of the page for an all-over look. After all the leaves have been stenciled on, bring out the palettes of colored paint along with some small cut-up sponges. Using just one sponge per child, dip sponge in colored paint and dab around leaves. Kids can use two colors, or more. Leave it up to them. Tips and Tricks Many art teachers and parents have asked whether or not they should apply the colored paint to the black paper first. You could but you wouldn’t achieve the cool black and white affect with the leaves. If...

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