Lollipop Warmup Drawing

My after school drawing class needed a new warm up exercise. A chance crossing with a candy store brought me this week’s solution – lollipops. I handed out the pops and the kids lightly traced the circle and then drew their own stick. The drawings were then traced over with a black marker and filled in with colored pencils. Older students were shown how to add shadow to the stick by just shading half of it gray. And of course, they got to eat the lollipops when they were done. Now my biggest problem is finding something just as tasty for next week...
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FREE Butterfly Drawing Download

For the study of butterflies, or for symmetrical coloring practice, here’s a blank butterfly I created a while back. I thought it might be helpful to some busy teachers and/or parents. To download the pdf, just click HERE.
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Student Art from Chilliwack, BC, Canada

A teacher in Canada wrote that she created a series of lessons about peace, and shared the role that my Warm Hands template played.  I love the way she built her unit around a theme, which you can read about HERE.
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Student Art from Mukilteo, Washington

How cute is this? Can you believe that 1st graders made these amazing Picasso Cubism faces? Sonji Sackett, a dedicated art docent, followed my Cubist Paper Bag Costume project and emailed me her results. She noted that “This was one of my best projects this year in terms of the kids being excited by the process and happy with the result. Being able to then put the bag on made it a home run!  Thank you again for all that you share.” Thank you Sonji for keeping art in our school’s classrooms, and thank you to the talented 1st graders at Mukilteo Elementary, WA. Keep on drawing kids!
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Giant Paper Mache Giraffe, Part 1

My experimenting with juice boxes continues. This giraffe requires 32 juice boxes connected with plenty of packing tape to make it extra sturdy. A couple of flat box panels at the base of the neck add contour, and I used small cups for the horns. More to come...
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FREE Dr. Seuss Template Download

I’ve made a blank hat template and posted it HERE to help celebrate Dr. Seuss’ upcoming birthday. I once used it as an art history lesson by reviewing a couple of famous artists (Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh, etc.) and then asking students to create a hat in their style. I’m sure there are other possibilities, I’d love to hear about them if you have a chance to share.
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Student Art from Eagle Mountain, UT

I love these Andy Warhol-style cats painted by a third grade class at Hidden Hollow Elementary in Eagle Mountain, UT. Debbie, a mom and art volunteer in her son’s class wanted to proudly share their work, and I can see why. These cats are all so cute and colorful, congrats to teacher and students on a job well done!
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Student Art from Roseville, CA

This beautiful Kandinsky art comes from Ms. Domen’s 2nd grade class at Maidu Elementary in Roseville CA. A parent, Tisha Chinn, wrote that the watery glue and canvas worked really well for her. She also recommended “BIC brand permanent markers...their colors are so rich, much more so than Sharpies. The pens were 70 cents each at Staples if you purchased 10 or more and I had the kids takes turns and share to keep my costs down.” Thanks for the tips Tisha, and thanks so much for taking time out to share your beautiful artwork. Best wishes for your school’s annual art auction!
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Cityscape from Book Pages

I was about to get rid of an old box set of paperback dictionaries, when I realized the pages had just the weathered look that I wanted for a collage project. Lots of other books would work too, it’s just best if they are aged a bit to get that gray cast.
1. Starting with a black sheet of paper (I like scrapbook paper if it is on sale) and several printed pages from old torn up books, students first cut out building shapes. I also handed a printout of black and white city skylines for students to get inspired by, which you can download HERE.
2. Students were to draw lots of windows on their buildings with a fat, chisel tip black marker and then outline the edge of each building with a medium tip black marker.
3. The buildings were glued down with a glue stick.
4. White details were added to the sky using a white colored pencil.
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Laurel Burch Cat Heads

This cat project was inspired by a talented artist named Laurel Burch, who sadly passed away recently. She had a wonderful style of drawing abstract cats with large eyes that met in the middle.
1. Ask students to make three dots (in pencil) across the center of a paper as per the diagram. The 3 dots are connected to make the eyes. A triangle nose is added, nose lines and mouth. Lastly, the outside of the head is drawn around the head.
2. Students use a black Sharpie marker to trace all their lines.
3. Distribute oil pastels and encourage the students to use unusual colors to fill in their cat and background.
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Van Gogh Starry Night

I like having students make their own simplified version of famous paintings, which can encourage their appreciation of the original.
1. View Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”, and discuss the composition; the foreground tree, the middle ground hills, and the background stars.
2. On a 12" x 9" turquoise paper, have the students draw their own simple tree or bush, just to the left of the center. Behind the tree are several simple hills. In the sky are at least 3 small circular stars. The students are to make the stars and hills "grow" with a series of larger circles and curves. Encourage them to make just a few of each with lots of space in between.
3. The pencil lines are traced with a thin black marker.
4. Lastly, good colored pencils are used to color all the shapes in.

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How to Draw a Dragonfly

Today I demonstrated the basics of drawing a dragonfly to a room full of kinder and 1st graders, and they added so much 6 and 7-year old charm (hearts, flowers, hairbows, etc.) that I could hardly stand it!
1. Students draw a circle head, wide oval, smaller oval and tail, all across the middle of the paper.
2. Three wing lines are drawn going up from the widest oval.
3. Each line is continued and turned into a wing.
4. Two lines are drawn up in the middle of each wing.
5. Small angled lines are added. The face is completed, along with the feet. The drawing is traced with a black Sharpie and colored in with crayons.
A special thanks to Yuna, a talented 1st-grader, who let me share her drawing with you.
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Drawing Class Tips

I’ve been holding afterschool drawing classes for a few semesters now, and I’d love to share a few things that seem to be working pretty well. Whether you’re looking for extra income or just volunteer ideas, here’s what might help you run your own class, should you be interested.
1. I start with a quick exercise using just paper, pencil and some small plastic toys like these. The students have just a minute to slowly draw only the outside edge. When...
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Glitter Heart Painting

One last heart project that I want to share because it’s the first time I let students use only Dick Blick Glitter Watercolor Paints. The results were more like finger paintings, and the glitter is only visible close up, but I love the colors.  
1. I used a die cutter to cut one heart in the center of a 7" square piece of chipboard, and then trimmed my oversize watercolor paper to allow two rows of three hearts, 21" x 7". This was good for kinders as they had to practice lining up the squares.
2. I gave the students only crayons to draw the hearts and squares and then patterns inside. I’ve learned that pencils often lead too complex pattern drawing that takes too long to trace.
3. When the drawing was done all, the hearts and boxes were painted over with different watercolors.
Thanks to Lucy L., a wonderful artist in 1st grade, who let me share her painting.
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An APFK Butterfly in Haiti

I recently received this amazing email:

Hi Kathy,
As a fellow art teacher and a fan of your fabulous blog, I wanted to share with you some pics of where the butterfly mural that I'd downloaded from your blog has been. A group of five woman (myself included) ...
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Valentine Heart Painting

Jim Dine is considered an important contemporary artist who helped to create the Pop Art movement. He used different popular imagery in his art, but hearts seemed to be his favorite.
1. This watercolor resist painting uses rubber cement to help make an ...
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Tinted and Shaded Valentine Heart

Layering oil pastels to make smooth gradations takes practice. This project will let students do just that.
1. Starting with a square paper, students draw a large heart in the middle, and then use a ruler to draw at least four lines completely across the paper.
2. Using smooth oil pastels, like my favorite Portfolio® brand, students color in the heart and background with just one color each. Because of the transparent nature of my pastels, I could still my pencil lines when I was finished.
3. Students use a gray pastel to color a shadow over half of each blue background section. On the opposite side, a white pastel is used to make a tint on the remaining side. This process was repeated randomly to all the background sections, and then to all the red sections.
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Wayne Thiebaud Cupcakes

Wayne Theibaud is famous for his paintings of cafeteria style food. He used lots of repetition, so having students create multiple cupcakes was a good way to imitate his style.
1. I gave each student a 3.5" square piece of paper and pencil and had them draw a simple cupcake. Then I gave them a 3.5" square of carbon paper and showed them how to trace and make a copy. If they traced their first drawing onto the middle of a 9" x 12" paper, and then one on the left and one on the right, the drawing had a good chance of being balanced.
2. A table line was added, all the lines were traced with a black marker.
3. The cupcakes were colored in with any colors the students chose.
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Custom Light Switch Plates

I saw this project in an Arts & Activities magazine. When your fridge and walls are already filled with your child's art, have them paint your switch plates!
1. Your local hardware or home improvement store carries plastic switch plates for every need and they're quite inexpensive.
2. Provide the students with lots of acrylic paint and a switch plate and maybe some ideas of subject matter. Small motor skills are needed so they should think of detailed images to make the most of their “canvas”. Be sure to have lots of thin paint brushes too so that painting tiny details is possible.
3. After the plate is painted, spray with a sealer to protect from scratching.

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