How to Draw a Floppy Ear Bunny

This was very popular with my drawing class students a few weeks ago.
1. Students first folded and creased their paper in half in both directions to make guide lines that would help them scale their drawings. A circle was lightly sketched in the upper left corner as shown.
2. A round corner rectangle was lightly sketched, overlapping the head.
3. A pointier nose was added to the round head.
4. The straight body lines were turned into a fuzzy edge line.
5. Eyes and ears were added to the head.
6. A nose, whiskers and tail were added as shown.
7. Two left feet were drawn below the body.
8. The remaining right foot was added, along with a horizon grass line. Finally all pencil lines were traced with a black marker and the drawing filled in with crayons.
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One Point Perspective Drawing Exercise

I created this exercise sheet so students could practice creating their own one-point perspective. And why not practice with stars for the 4th of July?
1. You can download my practice sheet that has the type and stars in place HERE. Students begin by making a dot for their disappearing point somewhere below the stars. Using a ruler, they connect the dot to the widest points of each star.
2. Students draw a line to connect inside points to the disappearing point.
3. Students draw lines to any outside points that may show (see diagram). All of the lines are traced with a thin black marker and the art is colored in.
CA Visual Arts Standard: Grade 5
2.1 Use one-point perspective to create the illusion of space.
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How to Draw a Grizzly Bear

I was inspired to create this bear drawing from the diagram at Appalachian Bear Rescue. I altered their instructions a bit to make the bear symmetrical, which is easier for those just learning how to draw.
1. The students fold their drawing paper in half in both directions, crease and open again. This will create grid lines that help the students in scale their art. A round head is drawn above the horizontal fold as shown.
2. A triangular snout and nose and eyes were added, along with two eyes and ears.
3. The left side of the bear body is drawn.
4. The right side of the body is added, along with claws. Young students could just add trees and grass, and older students added layering of large and small trees to add dimension. When the pencil drawing was complete, the lines were traced with a black marker and the picture was filled in with crayon.
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Cityscape Painting

I’ve never been a big fan of tempera paints, they often seemed a bit dull to me. But if you team them up with a fat black marker, it makes for a bolder image, no matter what the age of the student.
1. Ask the students to start by drawing a ground line (in pencil) near the bottom.
2. They are to draw a series of rectangle buildings that touch each other. The tops may be flat, angled or round, but there should be a variety. Encourage them to keep things simple.
3. Give each student a permanent black marker to trace all their lines.
4. Distribute paper plates with an assortment of tempera paint colors, including white. This will encourage mixing of lighter colors that won't hide the black marker. Instruct the students to carefully paint in all the parts of their drawing.

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Tinted and Shaded Cubes

The California Standards of Visual Arts recommends that 4th graders learn to “use shading to transform a 2D shape into a 3D form”.
1. I gave students paper 18" x 8" long, and a 3" cardboard square template. They traced one square in the middle of the paper, and then one to the right and one to the left.
2. As shown, students make a 45 degree angles to the right of each corner, all in the same direction and same length. When they connect the ends of all the angles, 3 squares now look like cubes.
3. Each student got a paper plate, brush and dab of black and white paint. They were then able to choose one main color (I gave them 3 choices). They painted all the fronts of the cubes with just the straight, main color. Next they could make a tint, by adding white, and paint it on the tops of all 3 cubes. And lastly, they could make a shade by adding a little black to the color and filling in the remaining right side. The students then cut their cubes and mounted them on colored paper.
2.2 Mix and apply tempera paints to create tints, shades, and neutral colors.
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Wayne Thiebaud Ice Cream Cones

Wayne Theibaud is famous for his paintings of cafeteria-style food. His art often spoke to the repetition of pies and cakes, so having students create multiple ice cream cones is a fun way to play with that idea.
1. Give the students a 9" x 12" paper, and with a horizontal layout, show them how to draw in pencil one simple cone in the center, and then another on either side.
2. Have each student trace all pencil lines with a thin black marker.

3. Distribute oil pastels to color all the cones and background. The thicker and brighter the better!


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Art Journaling 135, Summer Flip Flops

I have trouble throwing away clean colorful food boxes, and was inspired by the beach theme of these cracker boxes for my art journal class.
1. I gave a 5" tall flip flop pattern (that you can download HERE), and gave each students lots of cut up box sections. They were to trace on the back to create two matching bottoms.
2. My assistant and I used a sharp scissors to poke a hole in each shoe. Two small colored strips of paper, about 4" x 1/2" were individually placed on a small brad, and then poked into the shoe. The brad was opened up in back to secure. The strip ends were wrapped around and taped in place.
3. Students used window screen and a crayon to rub a sand-like background. The flip flops were glued in place and a page title and edging were added with crayon.
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Toucan Painting

When young students are just learning how to paint, large size paper really helps allow for more freedom of movement.
1. Starting with approx. 18" x 24" drawing paper, have the students draw a branch across the paper (below the middle) for the bird to sit on. Next a “bowling pin” for the bird body goes above it, a bit to the left or right to leave room for a beak. A long beak that is almost as tall as the bird is added to the side of the head. A tail is added below the bird, along with wings and feet that curve over the branch. An eye and line for the breast color is added. Lastly, large leaves are drawn around the outside of the paper, in varying shapes and sizes.
2. All of the drawing lines are traced with a thick black permanent marker.
3. The classic toucan has a black body, yellow breast and orange beak, but many variations possible. I used tempera paint for this sample, which as a nice transparent quality to reveal all the marker lines.
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How to Draw a Lion

I saw this basic idea for drawing a lion in an Ed Emberley book. I think his books have been around for awhile, but the step-by-step drawing ideas are timeless.
1. I used a letter-size paper and coffee cup to trace the overlapping circles as shown in diagram one.
2. A third circle is centered below the first two. All of the circles need to overlap to create the middle triangle-like shape that will become the nose.
3. The middle black shape is filled in with black marker, and two eyes and two teeth are added.
4. Two ears are attached to the top circles and then whiskers that are coming out from the shapes next to the nose.
5. Lastly, a mane is drawn around the lion. I used a black Sharpie to trace and color my drawing, and then my new favorite Crayola Twistables Slick Stix to color in. I found mine at Michael’s, but you can also get them online here. I really hope stores continue to stock these as they are perfect for getting an oil pastel look without all the mess.
CA Art Standard: Creative Expression 2.0, Kindergarten
2.6 Use geometric shapes/forms (circle, triangle, square) in a work of art.
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Scratch Art Film

Kids these days just don’t know how lucky they are. There are so many cool new art materials coming out almost every day.
I’ve found Clear-Scratch Film Sheets to be a really great variation of scratch paper, but with a clear film backing instead. After line art is scratched on the soft matte side, the film is turned over to the shiny side and colored with Sharpies. I think they would be great for a stain glass window project.
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Pastel Kimono

Studying the art culture from other countries offers a a new perspective on common items such as clothing.
1. I made t-shaped cardboard templates for the students so they could start with straight lines. Mine measured about 10" wide x 15" tall. Have the students trace the templates onto white 12" x 18" paper. The sides of the kimono are added next, and then some details (see diagram).
2. Show some sample photos of kimonos and ask the students to draw their own. After it has been designed in pencil, they should trace all the lines with a black marker.
3. Distribute oil pastels and encourage use of bright colors.
4. Have the students cut out their kimono and mount to another paper (this helps get rid of any smudges).

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Oldenburg Style Installation Art

Most installation art is intended to have you look at your environment with a different perspective. Claes Oldenburg was famous for depicting ordinary objects in a monumental scale. I recently directed a temporary wrap job on our school’s outdoor posts to give our hallway a new look for a few weeks.
1. The metal posts were wrapped in yellow paper and taped in place. I had the students cut green panels of felt that wrapped the posts and were about 10" wide, and pink rectangles that measured about 5" wide. The two were overlapped about an inch and glued together.
2. Two long yellow strips of felt, about 1 1/2" wide were cut and glued in the middle of the green panel. When dry, the entire panel was wrapped around the top of each post and taped with clear packing tape.
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More Fundraiser Art for Haiti

My student’s art traveled to San Francisco last week. I flew up with this canvas of self-portraits for a fundraiser dinner, hosted by an amazing group of women I have joined – Project HOPE Art. We are going to Haiti in July to make art with children in schools and orphanages, and are now passionately raising money for the cause. Thanks to all the students who contributed their drawings, a professional artist won it in a raffle, and she was thrilled! Directions on how I made this art are HERE.
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Japanese Wind Sock Puppet

I found this project at “That Artist Woman” blog, and love how it made very batik-looking fabric, which usually takes hot wax and expensive dyes. This uses washable Elmer’s glue and just acrylic paint, which makes it totally safe for kids. Thanks so much for idea Gail!

SESSION ONE
1. I gave each student a white posterboard (22" x 28") that already had the sections shown above drawn in pencil. They students were to draw their own eyes, scales, etc. in pencil, and then trace everything with a thick black marker.

2. IMPORTANT: You need to tape a layer of wax paper over the posterboard, and then place your matching size rectangle of muslin on top. If you don’t, the fabric may end up really sticking to the poster. The cheap kind of muslin ($2/yard) is all that is needed. The black lines should show through the wax paper and muslin. Each student uses a bottle of Elmer’s Washable Glue Gel to trace all the lines. This needs to dry for at least a day or more until the glue sets up.


SESSION TWO
3. Using just the cheapest acrylic paints possible, have the students paint their fish in whatever colors they desire, making sure to paint over all the glue lines. Layering of paint works well too. Let the dry completely.

4. I removed the muslin from each board, and soaked in hot water for about 15 minutes. A little bit of soap and hand scrubbing removed the top layer of paint and all the glue, which kind of just turned to jelly. Smooth out and hang dry.


5. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and cut. With right sides together, stitch all around, leaving a 1/2" opening, 1/2" down from the top on each side. Trim seam and turn right side out.

6. Fold over an inch of fabric on the open end and stitch to make a 1" casing. Using 16 gauge wire (or less), and a needlenose pliers, make a small loop on one end of the wire. Slip it into the inside seam opening, and continue feeding it in until it makes a complete circle. Overlap the ends about a 1/4" and cut. Slip cut end of wire into loop and wrap around with the pliers to secure.

7. For final assembly, hook one paper clip around the wire in each of the two seam openings. Take an 18" length of string and tie each end to a paper clip. I used 1/2" dowels for my sticks, and notched a groove in one end so that the string would not slide off. Find the center of the tied string, and make a slip knot over the rod. Hang your fish in a windy spot and enjoy!
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Sharpie Drawing on Dry Wax Paper

I’m still having fun playing around with old family photos, permanent markers, and dry wax paper. I found my dry wax paper at Smart and Final, and it cost about $5 for 500 10" square sheets. Cheap stuff, and it is SO fun to color on as the marker just kind of glides on and looks like watercolor, but can be controlled more than any paint could ever be.
1. I printed my photo and taped a piece of dry wax paper on top. This photo had enough contrast that I could see the image directly to trace it in pencil. I’ve also used carbon paper if it’s a little hard to make out the photo.
2. Take a fine tip black permanent to trace the pencil lines, and then more permanent markers to fill in the open areas.
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Batik Baskets

One way to give any crayon piece of art an aged look is to crinkle it up in your hands, smooth it out, and paint over with watercolor. The paint goes in the cracks and makes a pseudo-batik look.
1. I gave students paper with the outline of a basket shape already in place so they could concentrate on the coloring. They made curved lines to divide up the basket, and then drew different patterns within each. Crayola Construction Paper Crayons were used to color all of it, pressing hard to make a very waxy covering. Regular crayons would work fine too.
2. The fun part, taking the beautiful art and crinkling it into a small ball. Smooth out and crinkle again to make lots of fine wrinkles.
3. Watercolor paint is applied over the entire page, which will help smooth it out.
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Paper-Mache Bowl

Paper-mache projects can work really well with any upcoming Earth Day themes. My favorite recipe for the mache is included below.
1. Tape a balloon to a heavy bowl so that is doesn't move. Apply strips of newspaper covered in mache in both directions. Apply 2 - 3 layers. Allow to dry for several days.
2. When the bowl is dry and hard, pop the balloon if it hasn't already done so. Trim the edges of the bowl evenly with a scissors.
3. Tape a round cardboard circle to the bottom of the bowl with lots of masking tape. Apply several layers of newspaper in all directions.
4. When the bowl is dry and hard, apply a final layer of paper towel strips covered in mache.
5. When the bowl is dry, apply acrylic paint in a creative fashion. Lastly, cover with a coating of Mod Podge to protect the surface. This bowl was made by a 1st grader.
Paper Mache Recipe:
1 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups cold water
4 cups boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
In a bowl, combine the flour and cold water. Add to the saucepan of boiling water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Let it cool; it will thicken as it cools. Once it does, it is ready to use.
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Chuck Close Portraits

This project takes a bit of prep work and digital photography, but I love the results so much that it all seems worth it.
1. I started by shooting large head shots of students against a white wall. The photos were opened in Photoshop, saved with a lot of brightness added (to lighten the image) and then printed in b/w out on plain letter-size paper. I also printed a 3/4" grid paper on 9" x 12" drawing paper.
2. Each student takes their face print, puts it on top of a sheet of carbon paper, centers that on the grid paper and lightly tapes all together. To make a simple drawing, the students are to trace just the edges of their hair, shoulders and then the inside of their face. No details are needed inside the hair and clothes. When the drawing is complete, the top papers are removed to reveal the drawing on the grid paper. They carbon lines are then traced with a black colored pencil.
3. To color, the students should think of their portraits as four sections: the face, the hair, the clothes and the background. Starting with the face, they need to choose two colored pencils to work with. My sample shows red colored in first, stopping at the edges of the face. When complete, the other squares are colored (my sample shows pink). I think the eyes look best colored with their natural color.
4. Repeat the coloring process for the hair and clothes and background.

CA Visual Art Standard: Creative Expression, Grade Five
2.4 Create an expressive abstract composition based on real objects.
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Giant Paper Mache Pencils

These giant pencils were a favorite among students and parents alike in my private art class. The basic shape comes from a mailing tube, which I found at my local moving supply company.
1. Provide one (36" x 6" diam.) mailing tube for each student. Prep it by cutting out narrow triangles (about 2" x 8") from one end so that the remaining pointed ends can be pulled and taped together to form one large point. Lots of duct tape is needed to smooth the edges together. Close the other end with a plastic cap.

2. Let the students tear lots of newspaper strips and apply with mache to cover the entire tube with at least one layer of paper mache.

3. When the tube is dry, possibly one or two days later, give the students lots of paper towels to cut in strips. They are to apply one layer of paper towel and mache to the tube. This really smoothes the edges and helps block out the newspaper color. This also means you won't have to prime the pencil before you paint.
4. It's best to paint the pencils in stages (I found out the hard way!) so I recommend the following: paint the yellow middle and pink eraser and tan and black pencil tip. Let dry for about one day. Lastly, use masking tape to mark off the green section, paint and remove tape. These would look great personalized too by writing the child's name with a paint marker.
These pencils were made by two girls in the 1st grade.
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How to Draw City Buildings

The very first lesson in perspective is learning to draw depth. This is basically turning squares into cubes, and making a city skyline.
1. It’s very helpful for the students to draw on paper that has light grid lines already on it. I made my own, but you could go to Free Online Graph Paper and print your own. I recommend 1/4" squares on ll" x 17" paper or larger. Working horizontally, the students draw a horizon line and connected squares and rectangles on top of it as shown.
2. An angle line is drawn at the corner of each building as shown, taking care to make them all the same angle and length.
3. The angle lines are connected. Building details are added, and then all is traced with a black marker. Finally, colored pencils work well for coloring as they allow lots of detail work.
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Maud Lewis Cat Painting

Renowned Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis (1903 – 1970) painted colorful scenes of rural Nova Scotia using random art supplies and painful hands as a result of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
1. Wet a 12" x 9" piece of watercolor paper, and paint the background bright yellow. Let dry. Using watercolor pencils (like Prismacolor), draw the cat eyes, nose and mouth as shown with a black pencil.
2. With the same pencil, fill in the area around the eyes with short dark strokes to make a head. Add ears, and an oval-shaped body below. A tail may be added to one side.
3. Heart-shaped flowers are drawn around the cat as desired.
4. Use a small wet paint brush to go over the pencil, which will turn the color into paint. Make short strokes in an outward direction to make the fuzzy edges of the cat. Black legs may be added to the bottom. When dry, trace over the mouth lines with a white pencil, and add whiskers.
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Updated Scratch Art Father’s Day Card

This is my favorite way for students to make a scratch art picture, a black marker drawing first, and then layers of oil pastel on top. The result is a very artsy image this is 100% their own creativity.
1. Students folded a letter size paper in half (heavy stock is best) and then wrote D-A-D in either block letters or very fat stick letters with a permanent black marker.
2. My favorite Portfolio® oil pastels really do work best in the layering of color. I recommended that they choose a combination of light colors to cover the entire paper.
3. A dark color (dark blue, dark purple, or black, etc.) was used to cover the entire page again. Lots of pastel needs to be used for the best results.
4. Students used a wooden stick to scratch off their designs. This could be just lines, or patterns and writing too. Be warned, this is messy, but lots of fun! I used it for kinder through 4th graders today and all walked away with a card they were really proud of.
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“Finish the Picture” Drawing

I often find that if students have an image to look at when they draw, they tend to surprise themselves in what they can do.
1. I used the internet to find animal photos that had a variety of shadows. After downloading the image and turning it black and white (thanks Photoshop!) I cropped it right down the middle and printed one side on my laser printer.
2. The students are instructed to lightly draw the edges of the missing side first, then come back and shade the sections in with their pencil. Soft drawing pencils will help them get the darkest grays and blacks possible. Encourage lots of contrast. The more range of darkness in the drawing, the better it will look.
3. I've found that students initially think of shading in just "light" and "dark" terms. They are to keep looking for details of the many shades and textures in the photo.
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Handpainted “Etchings”

I found a great website that has lots of FREE art to download, and every picture looks like an old etching. If you paint over printouts lightly with watercolor, you can get a very pretty handpainted effect.
My school has a Diversity Day celebration every spring, and I need some quick art projects representing many different countries. Irecently stumbled upon http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/ and was thrilled! There are 47,000 images all made for teachers to download, and they are all tagged so it’s easy to search for whatever you need. This picture was painted by 4th graders who chose Germany as their theme. I love the old-fashioned look them, and the students seemed to really enjoy just concentrating on their painting skills.
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