Happy New Year’s Card

I’ve collected a variety of decorative letters from clipartETC.com and arranged them on a jpeg file that you can print and hand color for a quick but fancy Happy New Year sign.
1. Click on the image above to download my prepared jpeg file. Print on a sheet of heavy 8.5" x 11" paper with the landscape setting and all footers removed.
2. Use ultra fine point markers or pencils to fill in the letters and surrounding shapes.

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Tissue Paper Poinsettias

Tearing shapes from tissue paper can create some very organic shapes, and end up looking pretty similar to poinsettia leaves.
1. Give each student some rectangles of red, green and yellow tissue paper (the craft kind, NOT any that says ‘bleeding paper‘). Show them that there is a grain to the paper which makes it easier to tear in one direction than the other. They are to tear petals, leaves and a center for 3 flowers.
2. After all the shapes are torn, give each student a brush and 50/50 water+glue solution. They need to cover a white sheet of paper with the glue, and then arrange their flowers on top of it. When complete, another layer of the glue goes over the entire paper to seal the shapes down to the paper. Let dry for a few hours.
3. With an oil pastel, color around all of the torn shapes, leaving a bit of white edge around the tissue for a more dramatic effect. I like the Portfolio pastels for this because they are so smooth to color with, and make a nice contrast to the bumpy leaves.
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Abstract Shape Drawing

I’m finding that almost anything looks good when drawn on black paper, and colored heavily with oil pastels. This is more of an exercise, but can look like a cool abstract drawing when complete.
1. Give each student a sheet of black construction paper, and ask them to draw one circle, one square and one triangle, with space in between. They may fill the page with more of these shapes, with some of them overlapping. When the page is filled, they need to decide which of the overlapping shapes are in front, and erase all the lines that are inside it. Lastly, they add at least two lines that divide up the background. The lines may “jump” over any objects in front.
2. When the pencil drawing is complete, all the lines are traced with a black pastel.
3. All the enclosed shapes are filled in with pastel, along with all the background areas.
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Pastel Penguin

Penguins are a very popular subject matter. Looking at some large photos before beginning will give students a chance to see colors and detail they may not have noticed before.
1. I first gave the students oval cardboard templates about 5" tall by 3" wide to trace the body on colored construction paper. They then drew the head, wings and feet. Circle eyes and a triangle beak completed the face. A horizon line was added to the background along with sky details.
2. The students then outlined their drawings with a thin black marker and colored in the shapes with oil pastel. Because this image has so much white, it's fun to do on almost any colored paper so that the white can be colored in.

CA Visual Art Standard: Creative Expression, Grade Kindergarten
2.6 Use geometric shapes/forms (circle, triangle, square) in a work of art.
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Nutcracker Painting

One way to have students draw LARGE is to instruct them that their art must touch the top and the bottom of a piece of paper.
1. This project requires 10" x 18" paper, tempera paints, black sharpie marker and a gold opaque metallic marker. Have the students fold the 10" x 18" paper in half, crease, and open.
2. Show them how to draw in pencil a nutcracker that has a hat that touches the top edge, a belt that is on the fold, and shoes that are sitting on the bottom edge. Fill in the nutcracker with details such as boots, shirt button detail and face. The shoulders should nearly touch the sides of the paper.
3. Paint the nutcracker with tempera paints. Lots of red and black make for festive holiday colors.
4. Once the paint is dry, trace over the pencil lines with a black sharpie marker.
5. Use a gold opaque poster marker to fill in detail such as the buttons and cuffs.

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Crayon Resist Snowflakes

If you go to the holiday decoration section at Michael’s, you can find these amazing laser-cut wood snowflake decorations that are cheap (about three for $1) and perfect for making crayon rubbings. These are the same snowflakes I used for the Plaster Paperweight project.
1. I made this picture with a white crayon, but younger students could use bright colors they could see more easily. I placed the snowflake under my paper, and rubbed over it with the side of a large crayon, going back and forth in many directions.
2. Liquid watercolor was painted over all the picture, and dabbed with a paper towel to soak up the paint on the crayon.
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