Ode to William H. Johnson Mural

In celebration of Black History Month, I've created this mural in the style of William H. Johnson (1901-1970), a very talented painter who had a difficult life. He came to be widely admired for his primitive style and bright colors, but sadly, only after he had passed away. I love the rural scenes that he often painted, so I’ve created a new mural with big, flat shapes in his style of drawing that you may color however you’d like – the bolder and brighter, the better.

This template contains 25 pages and measures 50"x 40" when complete. A color key is included, instead of color callouts, as this is an original artwork and may be colored any way you’d like. Click on the image above to see a preview of the template pages.

You can purchase my pdf file with instructions for just $5. Click the “Add to Cart” button to make your payment via Paypal and receive download instructions.

Add to Cart
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FREE Color Wheel Download

I’ve found that most color wheels are either too complicated (lots of sections and subsections) or too simple (three overlapping balloons) for your average elementary student. My solution is to make my own, and also diagram primary, secondary, warm, cool and complementary colors.

UPDATE: I have a new download link you can use HERE.
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Lois Mailou Jones-style Drawing

This Lois Mailou Jones-inspired drawing is in honor of Black History month (coming up in Feb). During Lois’ remarkable life, she painted, designed masks, textiles and stained glass windows, traveled the world and never stopped learning. Her “Les Fetiches” art has a style that is fun to imitate.
1. Starting with a black sheet of paper (I prefer art paper, not construction...
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“Cool Hands, Warm Heart”

This idea comes from Monica in Portland, Oregon who added a wonderful twist (the center heart) to my “Warm Hands” template. Monica works with patients at Legacy Emanuel Hospital and wrote “it’s a beautiful project to do – for obvious reasons – but also because ANYONE can do it no matter how young or old, sick or healthy.” I love it and all the Valentine possibilities. You can find more of Monica’s ideas at www.thecraftjunkieblog.com.
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Art Journaling 133

I’m so excited that I found a new combination of art supplies that I really like. This is made with 2" magazine circles, Sharpie markers and a glue stick, that’s it.
1. Craft stores have lots of circle punch tools, I like this one. I was able to cut through about 5 magazine pages at a time, creating a large pile of circles for the students to choose from.
2. Students chose their favorites, arrange...
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Bernard Hoyes-Inspired Dancing Lady

Jamaican-born artist Bernard Hoyes is a Caribbean national who has served his country well. Now residing in California, Hoyes is among the most widely collected and exhibited of contemporary artists. Through his art, many have been able to connect with Jamaica’s colorful traditions and culture.
1. Past experience has...
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Tinted and Shaded Circles

Once students know how to mix basic colors, they can learn how to tint (add white), and shade (add black) to a color.
1. Each student gets a paper plate with white and black tempera, a brush, some water,
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How to Paint a Clown Fish

I’m finding that I really like black Sharpies for tracing when it comes to painting with young students, like kinder and 1st grade. They just have a little trouble sometimes, tracing heavily enough with crayons to cover the pencil lines.
1. Starting with a 9" x 12" sheet of watercolor paper and pencil...
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Andrew Goldsworthy Land Art

Andy Goldsworthy is a brilliant British artist who collaborates with nature to make his creations. Go to his website to view his gallery of breathtaking art. Teaching in a city school, I wanted to bring in a little nature against our urban pallet.
In groups of two, students were given about 10 old flowers (donated from a local florist) to work with...
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Another Modigliani Portrait

I can’t tell you how much I adore this Modigliani-style portrait that a 4th grader made today. I find her Mona Lisa smile and hint of blush so sweet that I could look at it all day. Beautiful work, Francesca C. 

If you’d like directions on this project, see my posting here.

Note: My curriculum plan for this month is doing a series of self-portraits. First week is a portrait with standard proportions (eyes in the middle of the head, nose halfway down, etc). Second week is this Modigliani drawing with exaggerated proportions. Third is a lesson about Picasso and with his cubism portraits, which I have posted about here.
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Wild Side/Calm Side Self-Portraits

This lesson starts with a discussion about how lines and colors can show emotion. A great book to read first is "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" which shows a lot of emotion with simple line drawings.
1. Give the students a head and shoulder cardboard template to trace in pencil on a sheet of paper. Ask them to draw a line down the middle of the head.
2. After a discussion about...
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California Collage with PDF Template

My experience with collage is that students enjoy them, but often have trouble filling a paper in one class session. I thought that if they all work on one large project, they might stay on task a little better.
I’ve made a large multi-page California template that measures about 30" tall. The file may be downloaded HERE.
1. To make my collage, I first printed out and trimmed all the pages...
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Art Journaling 132

My afterschool art journaling class continues, and I’m determined to build on my most successful ideas from last year. One was to have the students fill the pages by asking them to draw from edge to edge, and the other was to always involve at least two “layers” of color.
1. Starting with a pencil and a 7" x 10" journal, the students draw two vertical lines as shown.
2. A horizontal line is drawn across the top, one partial, one full length, and another partial line as shown.
3. The students are to write “Hello” and “2011” in the two boxes near the top. The rest of the boxes are for drawing and writing all the things they are looking forward to this new year. My example has some simple seasons for those who may need inspiration, but more personal ideas would be even better. After all the boxes are filled, watercolor paint is used to paint in the shapes and backgrounds.
The next classs will start out with the students using crayons to trace the lines and add extra detail to their page. It adds a bit of punch to the overall look.
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Pick and Draw Card Game Giveaway

And the Pick and Draw Card Game Winner is. . .

 Melanie who wrote...
I am a huge fan of your blog! We have created so many amazing projects from your inspiration. Thank you so much! And wonderful and amazing give away...looks like loads of fun.

 Thanks so much to Rich Davis for sponsoring this giveaway.
 
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