There seems to be a universal appeal when it comes to projects with leaves! Young or old, male or female.... who doesn't like leaves?? This project is quick and easy, hard to mess up, and offers a "wow factor" as the vein impressions make these ceramic leaves look incredibly realistic! So, go out and gather some leaves while you still can. Big ones (like these) are fun, but … [Read more...]
20 Interesting Facts about the Sistine Chapel
If you're reading this post, you're probably a person who enjoys learning about art and the artists who create it. Yet we all know people who don't share this interest, and may even find art history to be dry and boring (gasp!). Well, art history is anything but dry and boring if you know the stories behind the paintings! From DaVinci's Mona Lisa to the diverse works … [Read more...]
Mona Lisa – Fact or Fiction? 50 Fantastic Things to Know!
My students became experts on all things Mona Lisa the year we ‘adopted’ the Mona Lisa as our Art Class Mascot! For generations, the Mona Lisa has captivated the imaginations of young and old alike. Her mysterious smile hints that there is much we don't know about this painting, and the woman in it. But there is also a lot we do know... or at least we think we know! I was … [Read more...]
Art with Math – How to Draw a Soccer Ball
What do you get when you combine geometry, art, and soccer?? A winning art lesson, that’s what! The excitement of the World Cup inspired me to come up with a creative way to teach kids how to draw a soccer ball. I was determined to develop a method that would be easy to teach and easy to learn, and would give kids a result they could be proud of. I ended up creating two … [Read more...]
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 Gerard Van Honthorst (1622) is a great example of … [Read more...]
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 hard move for Grant, who missed his farm animals and his life in the country. … [Read more...]
More about Picasso….
Self-Portrait 1907 by Pablo Picasso Yesterday's post, "Wild 'n Crazy Picasso Portraits", left me inspired to write a little bit more about this amazing artist... Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), is often under-appreciated by people who don't know much about him.... I usually have to remind students of "Rule #1" when teaching a class about Picasso for the first … [Read more...]
“Touch” Contour Drawing
A workshop participant trying out the "touch" method of contour drawingIn 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 way to train students to pay … [Read more...]
More Contour Drawing – “Memory” and “Guided”
"Guided" Contour Drawing by Austin, grade 5In 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 pattern and begin to notice all the amazing details … [Read more...]
Third grade self-portrait by ZacharyUse 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 "something that helps people know them … [Read more...]