One-Point Perspective Drawing

I’ve tried the perspective city street lesson before, but the students seemed to spend more time measuring lines than anything else. This lesson still teaches about one-point perspective, but is much less fussy.
1. Each student needs a 9" square paper, ruler, pencil and 2" square cardboard template. They are to trace 4 or 5 squares somewhat in a ring around the outside edge of the paper. Corners may go off the paper, but the center needs to be left open.
2. The students make a vanishing point dot somewhere in the middle of the paper. They draw straight lines (lightly) connecting it to every square corner that they can reach. If a connecting line would go into the square, it means it would be behind and wouldn’t show.
3. To create the cubes, lines need to be drawn as shown in the diagram, always parallel to the square.
4. All the lines that are not part of any cube need to be erased.
5. An organic shape is added to their picture in the shape of a rope. They are to draw holes in their cubes, and make one rope look like it is going in and out of each cube in a continuous fashion. When the drawing is complete, the lines are traced with a thin black marker. The cubes are colored in with colored pencils, using varying pressure to get different shades of color. Lastly the background is colored. White circle could be left to look like stars, if desired.
CA Visual Art Standard: Creative Expression, Grade Five
2.1 Use one-point perspective to create the illusion of space.
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Paper Collage House

Kinders spend class time talking about their homes and neighborhoods. This collage project gives them a chance to visualize what their home looks like.
1. Give the students a choice of 4" x 5" pieces of colored paper to use as their main home color. They are to glue them down in the center of a background 9" x 12" sheet.
2. Offer a variety of colored paper that they can cut into details of their house. These may be windows, then window panes, doors and knobs, landscaping and clouds. The more detail, the better!
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“Where Am I?” Art Journal Page

This project is possible only because I found a great source for paper crepe tape at Red Bow Studios on Etsy. The many colors and widths you can buy make this window a cinch to create.
1. Students choose a color photo from a magazine that interests them in some way. They cut it out and glue it down with a glue stick.
2. If possible, they use a wide tape to outline their photo, and a thin one to make a bar going across and and down.
3. I’m still using my Strathmore Art Journal Kits that come with several pattern paper pages. Students will cut out curtain shapes and glue them over the sides of the window with a glue stick.
4. Little tape sashes may be added on top if desired.
5. Students are to think about where they would be if they saw this image outside their window. An explanation, along with description, is written around the window with a gel pen.
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How to Draw a Fox

This fox is made from just a few simple shapes, but when placed on black paper and colored with oil pastels, he (or she!) can look really dramatic.
1. Students draw the fox following the diagram shown, using a pencil on black paper.
2. All the pencil lines are traced with a black pastel. The lines should be thick, so lots of pressure is advised.
3. The fox is colored in as desired. I prefer the Prismacolor® Oil Pastels, especially the Rust color for the fur, but other pastels will look good as well.
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Paper Mache Piggy Bank

These pigs did take a bit of work, but were worth all the effort in the end.
SESSION 1: Students covered a 12" balloon with a layers of paper mache. My favorite recipe is posted here. Tie the balloon really tight so it stays inflated while drying.
SESSION 2: Students covered their balloons with a second layer of newspaper strips, preferably in the opposite direction.
SESSION 3: To smooth out the body and whiten the overall color, students covered their balloon with a layer of mache using white paper towel strips.
SESSION 4: For the the pig feet, I took small white styrofoam cups (the 2" tall type from Smart and Final) and glued them with Tacky glue to the bottom of the ballon. Another was added over the knot of the balloon for the snout. A curved section of the cups was also cut and glued for the ears. This was done a day before class to make sure the glue would dry. During class, time the students made one more paper towel covering, making sure they covered the ears, nose and feet of their pig.
SESSION 5: At last, paint day! I limited the students to one acrylic color (pink) to keep things simple, but let them add any decorations they wished. After the paint dried, I cut the coin slots with a razor knife and sprayed the entire pig with a shiny varnish. Lots of work, but darn cute when complete!
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Nominated for Top 25 Creative Mom Blogs!

My blog has been nominated to the Top 25 Creative Mom Blogs of 2012 on Circle of Moms! Their top 25 list honors mom bloggers and will feature each in an editorial section called the RoundUp. Please click on the badge and vote for me, I’m so honored to be a part of this amazing group of women. Readers are allowed to vote once a day until March 15, 2012. Thanks for your support!

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Monet Pastel Iris Drawing

An on-going dilemma I face is how to help students draw new shapes, without giving them too much help. My current solution is to give them partial templates, so that they all have a good starting place to build upon. With these Monet-inspired Irises, the students were given just the center lower leaf as a template, and they had to follow my instructions to draw the rest of the flower.
1. The students used a 12" x 9" piece of paper, and a cardboard template for the lower Iris leaf, which looked a lot like an upside-down duck foot. I had them trace the petal in the center of their paper. Next, two more curved leaves were drawn to the right and left of that petal. Lastly, a center leaf is indicated with just one wavy line on top, and some small stamens were added in the center. After the flower was done, more were added to the right and left as space allowed.
2. When the drawings were complete, they were traced with a black Sharpie marker. I've learned that water-soluble markers will look OK initially, but bleed into the pastels over time. Not good if you want to keep all the nice detail your students have drawn.
3. After the drawings were complete, students were allowed to use blue or purple oil pastels to color their flowers, along with orange or yellow stamens. White pastel etched over the petals added a smudgy, Impressionist look to their art.

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Keith Haring in Chalk and Glue

Keith Haring (1958 – 1990) was an artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York City street culture of the 1980s. His simple and colorful figures are a great style to imitate when studying body proportions.
1. I gave each student a 9" x 12" sheet of black paper, and a cardboard rectangle about 3" x 5", which was centered on the paper and traced. My goal was just to have the students use this as the torso of the body, and they were to add "action" arms and legs in whatever combination they saw fit. The tendency is for them to draw small, so they need to be reminded that the middle of the torso would be the waist, so any elbows in their drawing should line up accordingly. The legs also need to be long and wide, and fill the bottom of the paper. Lastly, "energy" lines were added around the head, along with a simple horizon line.
2. After the pencil drawing was done, and the box lines were erased connecting the torso and the legs and arms, the students carefully traced the drawing with white glue. Let the art dry flat for at least 24 hours.
3. Show the students examples of Haring's simple primary colored figures. They are to use chalk pastels accordingly, coloring and blending with their fingers to get coverage all around the glue lines.
CA Visual Arts Standard: Grade Four
2.2 Use the conventions of facial and figure proportions in a figure study.
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Romare Bearden-Style Collage

Many art historians consider Romare Bearden to be one of America’s most important and inventive artists. Bearden loved collage, combining painting, magazine clippings, old paper and fabric together like a jigsaw puzzle. This project gives a nod to Bearden’s love of photos and texture, but also offers a kinder / 1st grade version of my “Collage Name Card” project.
SESSION ONE
1. Give each student a couple of colorful magazine pages, drawing paper, glue stick and pencil. The students are to center a large simple stick figure of their first name initial on the drawing paper, in pencil.
2. They then form their initial using approximately 1" wide magazine strips. Demonstrate how the magazine strips torn vertically, will stay be pretty even. The students are to trace their drawn initial with the glue stick, covering generously, and glue the magazine strips in place.
3. The students use a peeled crayon and a sheet of plastic canvas (sold at Jo-Ann Fabrics for about 50¢) to do a crayon rubbing with the side of the crayon, all around their collage letter.
SESSION TWO
1. The students use the Crayola Watercolor Mixing Set and water to paint just one solid color around their letter. When complete, they may take a paper towel to dab and speed up the drying process.
2. Finally, a small darker piece of peeled crayon is rubbed along the edges of the page.

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Watering Can Flowers

Instead of drawing your average vase, I tried having my watercolor class draw and paint flowers coming out of a watering can. Just a few curves and well-placed spout made the shape look really dimensional.
1. Students started by drawing the “U” shape of the can, leaving the top open. They added a spout on the left and the handle on the right. Different flower shapes were drawn above, with the leaves and stems added last.
2. All of the pencil lines were traced heavily with a crayon.
3. Students used the liquid Dick Blick watercolor paints to fill in all the areas. They learned that if they worked slowly, with no puddles, they could keep all their colors from running together.
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Make Your Own Color Transfers

This really works! I placed some cheap packing tape on a magazine photo and let it sit in warm water for about 5 minutes. The white peels right off so you are left with a color print on the clear tape. Inkjet printers don’t work, I read, just color photos or magazine pages. Hmmm, lots of possibilities.
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Dr. Suess Day Decorations

Our school had a Dr. Suess celebration, and with our modular classroom set up in California, we have a lot of long outdoor halls without much signage. I had students make up their own signs to help visitors while adding color and creativity to our school.
1. I started with large sheets of white foam core, and chopped it into approx. 6" wide strips with an old paper cutter. Two more chops made one pointed end.
2. Each student got their own blank sign, and a lot of Sharpie markers to color with. I discussed the purpose of graphic design for a bit, emphasizing that signs are not just about making them pretty, but making them readable. Large letters and contrasting colors were always a good way to go.
3. When the signs were done, I slip knotted two rubberbands together, and had the open loops go around our poles and then over the sign ends. Works like a charm and no wind has yet to blow them down!
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Dubuffet Cow Drawing

Jean Dubuffet painted “The Cow with a Subtile Nose” in 1954, and I’ve always wanted to see how close I could get to the look with a good old crayon and watercolor resist. I do recommend that you have your students use a light color for the cow, and a dark watercolor to get the most contrast for their wrinkles.
1. To draw the cow, first start with a large square with rounded corners. Older students may be able to follow the placement on the paper.
2. The feet and udder are added below.
3. A neck is extended from the body and a long head is added. Ears are drawn on the side.
4. Eyes and nose are added to the face.
5. The tail is drawn on the back. Lastly parts of the rectangle are erased so it looks more like a cow body.
6. The drawing is traced with a black Sharpie, and colored very heavily with crayon.
7. The paper is crumpled up, opened up and smoothed. Repeat 3 times.
8. Dark watercolor paint is generously spread over the entire painting.
9. Rub a paper towel over the entire picture to smooth. Moooove to a drying rack and enjoy!
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Support the Arts in Texas

Andrea McLester of Salado, TX has started a project to help schools that are eliminating their arts programs due to a lack of funding. Instead of standing on the sidelines complaining, she decided to do something about the situation. Please visit her Kickstarter campaign HERE and consider supporting her efforts to keep art in her local school system.
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Cityscape Drawing

I made my own graph paper for this project by printing a grid of 1/4" lines on a large piece of paper. This eliminates the need for rulers, and the students can just concentrate on their buildings.
1. Have the students start by drawing a horizon line, about 2" up from the bottom. Then the students draw a series of rectangles that are different heights, but share sides (buildings should look like they touch with no space between).
2. Starting at the top left side of the top left building, draw a small line up at a 45% angle. Draw angles like this for all of the corners of all the buildings, making sure these lines all the same length.
3. Starting at the left building, connect the tops of all the angles with a straight line. These lines should all be parallel to the building fronts.
4. Ask the students to add detail to their buildings such as windows, doors, signs, etc. Encourage them to think of buildings in their own neighborhood.
5. Time for skinny black markers to trace everything and good pencil crayons (believe me, cheap ones are not worth it) and lots of careful coloring. Ask the students to color everything in so no white paper remains.
CA Visual Art Standard: Grade 3
2.3 Paint or draw a landscape, seascape, or cityscape that shows the illusion of space.
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How to Draw an Angel Kitty

Even his simplest of grids can helps students fill up an entire paper when drawing. In this case, just four equal sections (by dividing the paper in half each way) helped set up the basic shapes of this kitty.
1. Students draw a very light line down the middle of each paper both ways. A head is drawn in the top left section as shown.
2. A round body is added below.
3. Legs that curve back are drawn.
4. Arms that wrap around are added as shown.
5. A heart is drawn, behind the paws.
6. The tail is added.
7. Wings are drawn near the top of the body.
8. Details to the face are drawn, along with the clouds. All the pencil lines are traced with a crayon, and liquid watercolor paints are used to complete the shapes.
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Symmetrical Jewels

This project offers students a chance to drw and color in a symmetrical fashion.
1. Students make a center dot all four sides of their paper. They are to connect all four lines, which should make a pretty balanced diamond. Lastly, they connect the top and bottom dots, and the left and right (to make a horizontal and vertical split).
2. They are to use only straight lines to divide the right and left side into smaller sections. Remind them that the lines on the left and the right are to mirror each other. Whatever they draw on one side should be drawn symmetrically on the other right afterwards. Young students should only be asked to make the left symmetrical with the right side. Older students could be challenged to make the top and bottom symmetrical as well.
3. Once the pencil lines are complete, give the students a thick black marker to trace all of them.
4. Oil pastels in limited colors are distributed. I gave my students about 5 pastels so that colors would need to be repeated.
CA Visual Art Standard: Creative Expression, Grade Two
2.5 Use bilateral or radial symmetry to create visual balance.
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Butterfly Specimen in a Box

I was inspired by a painted butterfly over at Genine’s Art Blog, and simplified the look for kids with Sharpie markers and origami box.
1. I started with an 11" square of white cover stock paper to make my box. Click on diagram below.
2. I made my butterfly by folding a 6" x 4.5" piece of white paper in half, lengthwise. I like using any kind of coated paper as the permanent markers glide on so easily. I drew my butterfly profile and cut it out.
3. I opened the butterfly and added the details in pencil trying to maintain the symmetry. I then traced the details in black and filled them in with permanent markers.
4. To mount my butterfly, I cut a strip of foam core small enough to fit behind the body and I taped it to the box. I then secured the butterfly with two small push pins – just like real entomologists do!
CA Visual Art Standard: Creative Expression, Grade Two
2.5 Use bilateral or radial symmetry to create visual balance.
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How to Draw a Teddy Bear

One last Valentine idea – a teddy bear holding a heart with message of choice. I loved how this worked out in my drawing class today.
1. This is a very symmetrical drawing, so to help students center their art I pre-drew a very light line down the middle of their paper. Students started by drawing a circle head near the top.
2. Two symmetrical arms are added as shown.
3. Two oval feet are added below.
4. Outline edges were drawn around the feet.
5. Connecting lines between the feet and arms were added.
6. A heart is drawn, looking like it is behind the hands.
7. Ears are added to the head.
8. The face is completed as shown. 
9. The drawing is traced with a black marker and colored in as desired.
Thanks so much to Giancarlo, a talented 1st grader, who drew this adorable teddy bear today.
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Art Journaling 122, Valentine’s Day

I plan to do this page layout with my afterschool art journal class. It involves layering crumpled tissue paper shapes with watery glue. I like how it looks somewhat like a poor man’s rice paper.
1. I folded and cut out some red tissue paper hearts, and glued them down to my paper with some dabs of glue stick.
2. I mixed up some glue and water until it was about the consistency of milk, and sparingly brushed it over...
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Valentine’s Day Card, FREE Download

To make a super quick Valentine’s Day Card, just click HERE and download my template that you can color, fold and deliver. The letters all come from one of my favorite education art sites, ClipartETC.com.
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Valentines from Texas

I’d like to share these two inspiring works of art that were emailed to me last week. Julia from Pearland, Texas wanted to show what her two children created following my “Valentine Heart Painting” project.
Joe, almost 7, is in the 1st grade and Bailey, age 5 is just in preschool. Aren’t these paintings beautiful? So neatly colored, but very creative at the same time. Julia wrote that she scanned the final art and is printing them on 3 1/2" x 5" cardstock to be given as valentines to classmates. Thank you Joe and Bailey for letting me show off your amazing artwork.
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Valentine Art Trading Cards

I adapted my earlier “Hearts of Many Colors” project, thanks to having some Strathmore Art Trading Cards on hand. They are made to work with a variety of media, but I think I’ll save them now just for watercolor.
1. Crayola makes a great Watercolor Mixing Paint Set that has allows for wider variety of color mixing. Students were given paint, paper trading cards, small brush and water (no pencils!) and were to paint rows of hearts, as small as possible but within their abilities. Skipping the pencil is important as students could practice “drawing” with their brushes.
2. While the cards were drying, students were allowed to write messages on matching colored paper with a gel pen.
3. The hearts and message card are slid, back to back in a penny sleeve. I buy mine at a local comic book store that caters to the “Pokemon” crowd.
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Get Creative with The Lorax

I am happy to be a part of a blog tour of crafts and activities inspired by Universal Pictures’ Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax movie, which will be in theaters on March 2. I was inspired by the colorful Truffula Trees, which I recreated here with just some twigs, yarn, paint and a little clay.
 
1. Collect thin twigs that are fairly straight and mount them in a small amount of clay. Let dry overnight. 
2. Paint twigs with white acrylic paint and the clay base with green.
3. Starting with an approximate 3" x 5" piece of corrugated cardboard, wrap yarn around it many, many times until it looks like the photo above.
4. Thread a length of yarn to go inside the loop and tie together very tight. Wrap and tie again to keep yarn secure.
5. Turn cardboard over and cut to release yarn from cardboard.
6. The yarn will be varying lengths, so trim to make them all the same so they look more like a round pom pom.
7. To make the pom poms “furrier”, hold the center securely and rub ends with a brush. Repeat until all the ends have been separated to look soft.
8. Mix up a gray paint and add stripes to the white twigs. Let dry.
9. Carefully stick twigs into center of pom pom. Arrange and enjoy your forest of Truffula trees!


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Paper Mache Valentine Heart Box

I used modeling clay to first form these Valentine heart boxes. If you can buy the clay at a ceramic supply store, it can be pretty inexpensive.
1. Each student got a piece of clay to form a ball to shape into a plump, round heart which they wrapped in plastic wrap.
2. The students covered the hearts with at least two layers of paper mache. The hearts were left to dry thoroughly over several days.
3. In the second class I used a utility knife to cut around the outside edge of each heart. The kids had fun opening up the heart and removing the plastic wrapped clay. They then painted all surfaces with acrylic paint.
4. Students coated all surfaces with Mod Podge, and some sprinkled on a little glitter for extra sparkle.
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Symmetrical Valentine Birds

I showed students how to create texture in their watercolor paintings, just by sprinkling a little salt while the paint was still wet. The salt absorbs the water and leaves interesting patterns behind.
1. Start by drawing the heart in the upper center of the paper. Students drew the birds in steps to make them the most symmetrical: Two upside down “U”s, two beaks, two wings, two tails and two feet. Lines were traced with a black Sharpie marker.
2. Crayons were used to add some extra color lines in the picture.
3. Liquid watercolor paints were used to paint the birds. Before the paint dried, a small amount of salt was sprinkled over them. The rest of the art was painted in. When dry, the salt was brushed aside.
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Oversized Chalk Self-Portraits

The idea of coloring with chalk over dried glue lines is not new to me, but trying it out on really large paper is. I loved how it let students draw with more control, so much more than if they had been working on a 9"x 12" paper. We had no puddles or unrecognizable shapes anywhere.
1. I demonstrated how to draw a face that would fill up an 18" x 24" paper. An oval that was just inches in from all sides came first, then the facial proportions were reviewed. Eyes are drawn in the middle, the bottom of the nose halfway down, and the mouth centered in the space remaining.
2. Students traced all their pencil lines with white glue, and let their portraits dry flat overnight. (Tip: this was done in their homerooms at the end of the day.)
3. Using chalk pastels, students colored in all the different areas and blended them with their fingers. One interesting result of watching students finish was that the scale of the project seemed to engage them more than usual. Perhaps more projects would benefit from just being plain BIG? It’s something I plan to look into.
CA Visual Arts Standard: Grade Four
2.2 Use the conventions of facial and figure proportions in a . . . study.
Thanks to Sierra, a talented fourth grader who made this beautiful artwork.
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Jim Dine Shiny Valentine

Jim Dine, an American Pop artist, used a lot of common images in his art, but is best known for his heart paintings. His creative style is one students can really appreciate as he liked to experiment with colors.  
1. A sturdy backing is needed for the aluminum foil drawing. Old matte board is good, but any smooth chip board would do. Cut the board into 5" x 7" rectangles.
2. Distribute a board, glue stick and many colored Sharpie markers. Tear or cut a rectangle of aluminum foil about 7" x 9" for each student. The students cover one side of the board in glue, and then center and wrap the foil around it with the shiniest side out.
3. Students draw one large heart in the middle of the card, and then 3 or 4 straight lines from edge to edge that dissect the card.
All the sections that are made from this are to be colored in with different Sharpie markers.
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Homemade Sundress Fashion Show

For those of you following HOPE Art’s Homemade Sundress Drive, would you like to feel like you were in Haiti when they were delivered last month? Melissa Schilling just posted an album in Facebook titled “Red Carpet: Strut Your Stuff”. She, Jenni and Stefanie set up all the donated goods like a little store in the hotel courtyard, walked the girls through and let them choose a dress, shoes, hat, purse, boa and sunglasses. What followed was an impromptu fashion show, complete with a red carpet. To all who gave their time and money and skills to make this drive so successful, I think the look and pride on these girl’s faces says it all. Thank you.
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Hearts & Trees

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright told his students, “Limits are an artist’s best friend.” That’s because they force us to find answers we might not otherwise have discovered.
1. The goal for this students is to make a really simple, bold image, so some restrictions are put in place. Ask the students to draw a picture with only one tree, one simple hill, and hearts that may be any size, and any place on the picture. No sun, no clouds, no flowers – just a tree on a hill with as few or many hearts as they wish.
2. After the drawing is complete, the students use a black Sharpie to trace all the lines.
3. Lastly, they colored in all the shapes with oil pastels, any color they want, any combination. I was amazed at the variety the kids came up with; no two were even closely alike.
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“Cool Shades” Art Journal Page

I like to give students photos of items as a kind of drawing prompt. In this case I was looking for images of sunglasses, and came across these heart shades, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
1. I found a variety of images by just Googling “photos of sunglasses”. These heart glasses are particularly great as they are already on a white background. I printed out an assortment from my search on my color printer. The glasses were cut out and glued onto Strathmore Art Journal Kit pages with a glue stick. Heads were drawn around the faces, followed by features and any other details.
2. All lines were traced with a black Sharpie marker.
3. The drawing was colored in with crayon. Stickers are optional, but always welcome.
Thanks to Lia, a kinder, for letting me share her beautiful drawing.
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Valentine LOVE Card

I’ve noticed that a lot of students are interested in drawing block letters. This project ties to a contemporary pop artist, and makes a nice Valentine card too.
Robert Indiana made a famous sculpture in the sixties that came to symbolize the peace movement. Students can make a similar image while practicing their 3D shapes and shading. I started with my school’s diecutter and made about a dozen of each letter cut out of chipboard. I cut 9" squares of drawing paper to go with the 3" tall letters.
1. To begin, the students fold the paper in half both ways to make 4 equal squares. Following the diagram, show the students how to first trace each chipboard letter in the center of a square.
2. Next, they move the letter up and to the right a bit and trace again. And as true whenever overlapping shapes, the front shape needs to have all the lines inside it erased.
3. All the corners are connected. The remaining letters are to be repeated in the same manner. The letter “O” is a bit of an exception as there are no corners, so only curved lines need to be drawn.
4. When complete, the lines are traced with a black marker and the letters and backgrounds are colored in. Show the students that if they color with medium pressure on the letter fronts, and then press hard to make shadows on the sides, their block letters will look even more 3D.
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