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Nativity Painting by Gerard Van Honthorst, 1622

Light Has Come!

Reli­gious paint­ings were a favorite sub­ject of the Old Mas­ters (trained Euro­pean painters who worked between the mid 1400’s to the early 1800’s). In paint­ings from this time period, Jesus was often depicted with a glow­ing light that would radi­ate out from him. This exam­ple of the Nativ­ity (or birth) of Christ by Dutch artist […]

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Self-Portraits Inspired by Grant Wood

Grant Wood (1891–1942) was an Amer­i­can artist best known for his paint­ings of rural Amer­i­can life.  My stu­dents were fas­ci­nated by the story of how his father died when Grant was only ten years old, and his mother had to move her fam­ily from their home on the farm to the big city. This was a […]

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Touch” Contour Drawing

A work­shop par­tic­i­pant try­ing out the “touch” method of con­tour draw­ing In my last teacher work­shop, I showed how stu­dents can improve their draw­ing skills with dif­fer­ent types of con­tour draw­ing. In pre­vi­ous posts, I’ve talked about blind, mem­ory and guided con­tour draw­ing. Last, but not least, is “touch” con­tour draw­ing. This is another great […]

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More Contour Drawing — “Memory” and “Guided”

Guided” Con­tour Draw­ing by Austin, grade 5 In her book, Art for Kids: Draw­ing, artist and author Kathryn Tem­ple reminds us that, “The most impor­tant thing an artist can do is pay atten­tion.” It’s amaz­ing how most peo­ple go through life with­out really look­ing at the world around them. Con­tour draw­ing will help you break this […]

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Teacher Workshop — Contour Drawing!

Blind Con­tour Draw­ing” of a stu­dent in my work­shop! I love this quote by Kathryn Tem­ple, author of Art for Kids: Draw­ing.… “Draw­ing has more to do with see­ing than it does with hold­ing a pen­cil in your hand.” So true!! In my teacher work­shop last week­end (“Teach­ing Draw­ing to Kids”) we focused on how […]

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Personalized Self-Portraits

Third grade self-portrait by Zachary Use the inspi­ra­tion of artist Frida Kahlo to have your stu­dents add a per­son­al­ized touch to their self-portraits. Frida Kahlo is known for her pro­lific paint­ing career.… paint­ings mostly of her­self! She often used sym­bol­ism in her paint­ings as a “win­dow to her soul”. I like to have stu­dents add […]

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Shoe Drawings

Third Grade Shoe Draw­ing by Brian Con­tour draw­ing is a great activ­ity for devel­op­ing your draw­ing skills, no mat­ter what your age or level of abil­ity. There are dozens of fun projects you can do with con­tour draw­ing, but here is one of my favorites.… Shoe Draw­ings!1. Remove one shoe and place it on your desk.2. […]

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