Watercolor Resist Tree Collage

I used to think that only watercolor paper could bring about bright and colorful watercolor paintings. This collage was made with just white card stock paper for the leaves. The difference was using good liquid watercolor paints, like the Dick Blick Student brand you can find online. Scrapbook paper for the background was also key – construction paper just doesn’t have the same quality.
SESSION ONE: The students started with a letter-size 65 lb. white card stock paper, and placed it over a sheet of plastic needlepoint mesh. They shaded the entire paper with about 3 or four different crayon colors. The students painted over the entire paper with slightly watered-down Dick Blick liquid watercolor paints and let it dry.
SESSION TWO: My scrapbook collection of paper had a variety of blues and greens. After choosing a background blue paper, the students were to cut a wavy strip of green for their grass, and several tree trunks out of black paper. All were glued down in place with a glue stick. After the trees were complete, scraps of the watercolor paper were used to cut and glue small “leaves” that were falling down.
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Gilded Halloween Portrait

I found a great book simply called “Halloween” by Joanne O’Sullivan, which has a ton of creative ideas. This is an adaptation of a portrait project, which I am including in an after-school class next month.
1. I started with one of those super-inexpensive unfinished frames from Michael’s. had some iron-on appliques in my stash of supplies. You could probably buy something similar from JoAnn’s. You just need something that looks decorative to imitate the look of a fancy old picture frame. I covered my frame with a thin layer of Mod-Podge, placed the appliques on top, and let dry.
2. When the frame was dry, I applied a generous amount of metallic gold acrylic paint on top, taking care to get paint in all the edges and on the sides.
3. I took a digital picture of my handsome son, turned it to a black and white image, and printed it out as a 3.75" square on some good matte Epson paper. To make the face look painted, I filled it in with colored pencil and added some detail on top. I can imagine printing out several copies for kids to work on so they could pick their favorite. I like the way this turned out and can’t wait to try it in a few weeks!
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Positive / Negative Pumpkin

One more Halloween project. This is short and sweet but makes a very graphic image.
1. Give each student a square piece of black paper and an orange that is half the width of the black. With the orange lying on top of the right side of the black, they are to imagine the center line as the middle of a pumpkin.
2. Starting on the middle line, they need to draw half of a pumpkin. Next, one eye and one half of a mouth are drawn. When complete, the eye and mouth are cut out, all as complete shapes, not bits and pieces. I show them how to cheat with the eye by cutting a line over to it and then cutting around to get the triangle out. The little slice will seal itself back up when glued.
3. The newly cut shapes are to be flopped from their cut out positions, and then glued down with a glue stick. Voila, a positive/negative and symmetrical pumpkin face!
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Tree Silhouette

One of the drawing tendencies I would love to break students from is making trees with blunt ended branches. I think it comes from thinking of them as a series of rectangles, when actually they are more like a bunch of very skinny and pointed triangles.
1. I had the students use a chisel tip black permanent marker on coated white paper (found some at local Kelly paper store) and start with drawing a trunk on the bottom half. They followed with adding five “fingers” that each touched the edge of the paper. The entire tree was filled in with black.
2. After reminding students that trees have a variety of thickness of branches, I had them add some randomly attached thinner ones.
3. To finish, all the closed shapes were filled in with different marker colors. I tried the unscented Mr. Sketch brand and was happy with the results.
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Fall Watercolor Tree Collage

This was recently a very successful project for 3rd to 5th graders. I like the contrast of the soft watercolor against the crisp cut leaf edges.
Week 1. Give the students two 9" x 12" sheets of paper and watercolor paints. Instruct them to paint one sheet with a green grass base and blue sky. Dabbing the wet sky with a dry paper towel can create a soft cloud effect. The remaining sheet is to be completely painted in splotches of warm colors - red, orange and yellow.
Week 2. Give the students a rectangle of black construction paper to cut out a tree trunk silhouette with branches on top and roots on the bottom. This gets glued to the blue and green (sky/grass) paper. The remaining splotchy paper gets cut into small triangle shapes and glued to the tree, sky and ground.

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Maple Leaf Drawing

Today I combined two past projects – how to draw a maple leaf and making a batik-looking watercolor and crayon drawing. The key is to use cheap copy paper. Strange as it sounds, good drawing paper doesn’t work nearly as well.
1.  I showed students how to draw a maple leaf, as shown in my post HERE. The goal is to draw a large leaf in pencil that fills the paper.
2.  The finished pencil leaf is traced with a thick, black permanent marker.
3. The leaf is colored in heavily with an assortment of warm crayon colors.
4. The finished drawing is crumpled and opened at least 3 times, or until the wrinkles in the paper become very fine.
5. The entire drawing is brushed with watercolor paint. I chose blue to contrast the warm leaf colors, but lots of other colors would look great too.
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Funky Witch Feet

Yep, another idea that originated from stock Halloween illustrations. I think it offers some colorful seasonal fun, and some good symmetrical drawing practice too with those curvy, funky boots.
1. I plan to have students start drawing the boots in very simple steps. For instance, two centered lines for the backs of the boots, then the right and left heel, then right and left toe, and so on. I’ve found that students are better able to match shapes in this manner. After the shoes are drawn (in pencil), the legs are added above and a zig-zag hemline.
2. All lines are traced with crayons, including X’s on the boots.
3. The shapes are painted in with liquid watercolors. I’ve grown partial to the Dick Blick Student watercolors, and the Turquoise Blue and Violet in particular.
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Make a Paper Pumpkin

This project turned out to be a very quick and easy way to make a 3D shape out of strips of paper.
1. I used orange construction paper in the standard 9"x12" size, and then used a paper cutter to make a pile of orange strips that were 1" wide by 12" tall. The students were given 10 strips of paper, a push pin and two paper fasteners. They were to stack the strips and use the push pin to help make a hole in each end through all the layers.
2. The pin is removed and replaced by the paper fastener. It's best to push it through just a couple of layers at a time.
3. The paper fastener legs are opened and the strips are adjusted around each pin until they are equally spaced apart and a globe shape takes place.
4. Black eyes and mouth are cut out and glued on with a glue stick. A string of yarn may be tied to one end.
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Student Fundraiser Art

The beautiful butterfly art was sent to me this week, along with a wonderful explanation of how it was made. I thought I’d pass it on as it is a very well thought out project, and so beautiful to look at. Thanks Mylien!

Dear Mrs. Barbro,
This was done in one of our 4th Grade classroom at Mirada Elementary School. We had 24 students, 6 parent volunteers, the teacher and her student intern and myself who help complete the artwork from start to finish (including faux canvas) in about 4 hours. Prior to working in to the classroom, I had experimented with sharpies, acrylics, and oil pastels. Between the three, oil pastels I thought had the best texture and were quicker to apply.

We had a mini art appreciation presentation before hand about Georges Seurat and his works. After deciding colors, we worked in groups asking students to create dots with oil pastels, starting with the lightest colors working their way to the darkest and leaving the black outlines for last. I’ve learned from past to tell them to start on the left side if they were right handed and vice-versa if the were left handed, and to wipe tips clean before starting. We had to show them how large the dots would be in order for us to finish the project in one session as we did not have the luxury of completing the project over several weeks. We assembled the wax paper using mod podge to adhear to canvas and a layer over the entire surface. I remember you told me pastels might bleed so we did not dilute the mod podge and tampered on instead of brushing on.

We have 25 classes, each class will contribute artwork to be auctioned off in our Winter Art Fundraiser in December. I’m not the art teacher, just the coordinator of the fundraiser and have found your blog to be both inspiring and invaluable to our project.

Thank you,
Mylien
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Scarecrow Painting

I found this idea of a watercolor scarecrow over at Artsonia.com. If anyone would like credit for the idea of drawing him in this closely-cropped fashion, please let me know. I love how my students could easily make a large detailed face, but still include faraway fields and trees too.
1. Students began with an 11" x 15" piece of watercolor paper. I wanted them to get set up with the outline of the body and head before they started customizing, but being that I had many kinders, I knew they would tend to make the shapes very small. To compensate, I had students make their own guides. I had each one align an extra 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper with the bottom of the watercolor paper, and use the top as a guide to draw the horizontal arm line.
2. To make the head, I had cut and folded 5" squares of newsprint into quarters. A cutting line on one side showed them where to cut to turn the square into a 5" circle. This paper circle was placed and traced on top of the arm line, near the right side of the paper.
3. The students drew the arm opening on the left, making sure the body would be centered under the scarecrow head. The rest of the drawing details were added and traced with a dark crayon.
4. I told my students they could color in small shapes in their picture with crayon and the big shapes with watercolor.
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Get an Original Turkey Art Print

You can receive a hand signed, original high resolution print of my turkey art, just in time for the upcoming holidays and support a good cause at the same time. Check out my Facebook page HERE for more information. US continent sales only, 8.5" x 11" size, scan of oil pastel scratch art turkey drawing.
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Contour Fall Leaves

Contour drawings are made with just lines, which also add a bit of visual energy to this picture.
1. I started by making a sheet of line drawings of different leaf shapes, which you can access here. Give the students one print of these leaves, and one matching-size blank paper. Have the students trace several leaves on their paper (if they can see through their paper) or use carbon paper to transfer the lines.
2. Once the blank paper has been filled up with about 3 leaf shapes, they are to be traced with black marker and colored in with colored pencil.
3. Lastly, each leaf is traced around with a colored pencil, following the edges of the original, and expanding as they proceed. As the shapes grow, they will eventually bump into the other leaf shapes and the students will have to decide which ones are in front and which are in back.
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Scarecrow Marker Drawing

I started an afterschool Marker Drawing class, and this was our first lesson. The goal was to make a nice composition that had good contrast in color. In other words, a light figure should be in front of a dark background, or a dark figure in front of a light one.
1. I walked the students through drawing the scarecrow, beginning with a round head and hat. The body was added below, attached to a pole. Corn stalks were drawn with hills and clouds in the background.
2. When the pencil drawing was complete, all the lines were traced with a permanent black marker.
3. The drawings were colored in with markers. I’m trying out a new brand, unscented Mr. Sketch which I like so far. I’m only finding that paper really sucks up the color, so I may try a coated paper to see if the color goes on a little more evenly.
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“Day of the Dead” Skull Pattern Drawing

 
Day of the Dead is also known as All Souls Day, and is celebrated in Mexico to pray for and remember friends and family members that have passed away. I love the Halloween-type subject matter without all the creepiness that is usually attached.
PREP: Print out a skull template, which you can download HERE.
1. Students fold the printed skull paper, and cut on the solid lines. The eyes and nose are cut out as well. When complete, the skull is placed on a sheet of black paper and traced in pencil. I like the good, black 8.5" x 11" scrapbook paper that you can find at JoAnn’s and Michael’s.
2. Using metallic markers, such as the Prang type shown HERE, have the students draw lots of round shapes that go around the inside edge of the skull and outside of the eyes and nose. Lastly, the inside of the skull is filled in. Limiting the shapes to round instead of square or random keeps a decorative look overall, which is the goal.
This skull was drawn by a talented 3rd grader. Thanks so much for letting me share your art Leanette!
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Tree Silhouette

I was inspired for this project by a stock art illustration. I really like how it turned out as it lets students focus on how detailed tree shapes can be. And it makes a good Halloween project too.
1. Give the students a 9" x 12" piece of watercolor paper, and some yellow and blue watercolor paint. Ask them to paint one large yellow moon circle in the middle of the paper, and then a blue sky all the way around it. Let the paint dry.
2. With wide, medium and thin-tipped Sharpie permanent markers, demonstrate how the students can draw thick tree trunks from the top to the bottom, and gradually add branches growing up and out from both sides, using lots of variation in line weight.
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Folk Art Halloween Cat Painting

Folk art has been traditionally created by those with no official training in the arts. This style really lends itself to children’s art as there is no expectation to make things look “real”.
1. A cat is drawn in pencil with very simple shapes: round head, oval body, long legs and curly tail. The lines are traced with a black crayon.
2. Details of the cat are added in crayon: the eyes, nose, mouth, whiskers, spots, leg stripes and claws.
3. Stars are added around the cat in crayon, along with a border.
4. The cat is painted in with black watercolor paint, the background with orange, and the border with another warm color (I chose pink).
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Pumpkin Festival Photo Op

My school's biggest annual fund raiser is our Pumpkin Festival. With Halloween themes galore, I decided to blow up my mural of “The Scream” to create a fun photo op.
1. I printed my mural templates at 130% on 11" x 17" 65 lb. cardstock.
2. The pages were colored in, trimmed off and taped together from behind. I used clear packing tape to handle the additional size and weight.
3. To mount, I taped together four 30" x 40" sheets of 1/2" thick foam core. I taped over the seams on both sides with duct tape and reinforced the back by taping down four 3' wood dowels.
4. I layed out the finished mural on the front to measure the excess foam core. I marked my cutting lines and trimmed with a box cutter.
5. With the mural now laying flush to the edges of the foam core, I folded over half of the mural, applied spray adhesive to the mural back and foam core and rolled the mural back into position. I then glued the other half down in same manner.
6. I used black duct tape to smooth the outer edges while creating a nice, even frame.
7. I used my box cutter to trim an oval out of the face and added a little more duct tape to smooth over the back edge of the oval.
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Pastel Indian Corn

Fall is full of colorful imagery, be it pumpkins or leaves or corn. For some reason, glue drawing on black paper with chalk pastels, seems to bring out the best qualities of all these materials.
1. On a 9" x 12" piece of paper, show the students how to draw a long rounded rectangle for their ear of corn. Save room at the top, where leaves are added. Horizontal and vertical lines are added for the ears of corn, and some kind of background may be added.
2. When the image is drawn, all the lines need to be traced with white glue. A yarn-size line of glue is ideal, but the blobs end up looking great too. Let glue dry until clear.
3. Using chalk pastels, show the students how to color in their image, taking time to rub the chalk into all the nooks with their fingertips. The chalk will stick to the paper, but rub off the glue.
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Mr. Model Skeleton Tutorial

I have a hard time throwing away multiples of anything, as I am sure they are just a few steps away from becoming a great art project. This is especially true for plastic, so it was only a matter of time before I figured out what to do with old watercolor trays. With just a few items from Michaels, you can make this cool little skeleton in his own carrying case.

Supplies Needed: Tray, Black spray paint, Crayola White Model Magic, brush, Sparkle Mod Podge.

1. Remove the inner tray from the watercolor case and wipe clean.

2. Spray paint inside and out with black spray paint.

3. Roll small tubes of Model Magic. Place as shown for the hips and legs. Make sure the rolls are not so thick that the lid will not shut when complete.


4.  Attach a center spine.

5. Form a head as shown. Poke holes with a pencil for two eyes and a mouth.

6. Add three skinny rolls for the ribs.

7. Roll arms and place. They should go down past the hips.

8. Add skinny rolls for the fingers and toes. Add small circles for knee caps. If the Model Magic is fresh, all the pieces will stick together really well. After a few days, the entire skeleton may need to be glued in the tray to stay in place.

9. Close skeleton and paint cover with Sparkle Mod Podge. Let dry until the cover is clear and sparkly. Have a happy recycled Halloween! 


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Black Cat Face

In my search for some new black cat art ideas, I found an extreme close up of a face that got me thinking...
1. I’ve got a wide range of ages in my afterschool painting class, so I plan to give students a template of just the eye shape that you can download HERE. Drawing their own is always better, but if you can’t aid in correcting this first step for all, a template at least gives them all an equal starting point. Students place the template on the letter size watercolor paper and trace. The eyes should be about one eye width apart.
2. Circles inside the eyes are added, along with the sides of the nose.
3. A nose is added between the lines.
4. The mouth lines are drawn below the nose.
5. Details such as whiskers, spots, eyebrows and pupils are added. All lines are traced with a thick, permanent, chisel tipped marker.
6. Crayons are used to color in the eyes (white), pupils (green in this sample) and nose (pink). When complete, the entire face is painted with black liquid watercolor paint.
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How to Draw A Haunted House

I love all the creative possibilities of Halloween. Students can practice their architectural drawing while changing just a few elements to make their houses spooky.
1. You could begin with a discussion of what so-called haunted houses have in common: they are usually old, have lots of add-ons, broken windows, and a generally dark palate.
2. Have students draw a house that fits the above description. I usually show them how they could draw a front entry, and then add on lots of sections with boarded up windows and crooked doors. The landscape should be trees and bushes without many leaves on them.
3. After the drawing is complete, they need to trace all the lines with a thin black marker.
4. Lastly, the drawing is to be colored in with pencil crayons using lots of dark and dreary colors. Spooky!
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Batik Crayon Pumpkins

Batik is a resist-dyeing process that originated in Indonesia. Children can simulate the look with crayons and watercolor.
1. Show the students how to draw overlapping circles to start their pumpkin picture. Stems are added near the top, and lines that radiate out curve down to the bottom. When complete, the drawing is traced with a permanent black marker.
2. The pumpkins and background need to be heavily colored in with crayons. More advanced students can try to make a highlight spot on each pumpkin by coloring it with a lighter orange. Remind them that any highlight spots should pretty much be in the same position on each pumpkin (a quick light-source talk could be added).
3. This is the fun part as students are usually shocked to see how they need to take their carefully colored picture and just crumble it into a little ball like trash. Open the balls and recrunch about 3 to 4 times until the paper starts to soften.
4. I've tried both black and dark blue liquid watercolor, which are brushed slowly over the entire paper. They students will be able to see the cracks in the paper, which absorb most of the watercolor. Smooth out and let dry.
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Haiti Market Day Mural

I created this mural to celebrate the colorful work of Haitian artist Berny Mathias, and to continue to raise funds for Project HOPE Art in its commitment to bring creativity and a few basic needs to Haitian orphans.

This fundraising mural contains 12-, 24- and 35-page versions (preview HERE) of Berny Mathias’ “Market Day” painting. Instructions and color guide are included. To purchase this fundraiser at the special price of $10, click the “Add to Cart” button to make your payment via Paypal. Download instructions will follow upon completion of payment. All proceeds from the sale of this mural will benefit Project HOPE Art.

Add to Cart
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Watercolor Pumpkin

I feel that you pretty much can’t lose when you make pumpkins your subject matter for a painting. The line work alone is perfect for teaching kids how to give their circles dimension, let alone all the shading possibilities.
1. I used my step-by-step diagrams shown on my “How to Draw Thanksgiving Pumpkins” posting. This time though I gave the kids letter size watercolor paper and about a 6" plastic bowl for them to trace to get the starting circle.
2. Once the circle was traced in pencil in the center of the paper, a stem was added (it should be inset a bit from the edge).
3. For the vertical lines, it’s best to make the center one first, and then add the curved ones to the right and left afterwards.
4. Lastly, to keep the pumpkins from looking like smooth basketballs, the sections were curved out a bit between the lines. Not a lot, just a 1/4" or so. This step is not advised for kinder to 1st graders or so, it’s a bit beyond their perception at that age.
5. Add a background to the drawing, trace with a black permanent marker. This art was painted with Dick Blick® Student Watercolor Paints.
Thanks again to the amazing Cassius who is letting me share his pumpkin. P.S. He’s only in 3rd grade!
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Ceramic Halloween Pumpkins

This project comes from Ellen at Clayworks Studio. It's basically making two pinch pots and blending them together. My kids grade 3-5 loved making these and the success rate was very high.
1. Give each student a piece of clay about the size of a small apple. Instruct them to remove a small piece for the stem and set aside. The rest of the clay is to be split into 2 sections.
2. After warming and softening the clay with their hands, each of the 2 sections needs to be turned into a ball and then into a smooth pinch pot. Two bowls should roughly match each other in size.
3. Any time clay pieces are to be blended together, they need to be scored (scratched) and "puttied" together with slip (clay mud). Roughen up the edges of each bowl with a fork, wet with slip, and gently push the two bowls together. Use clay tool to blend together and hide seam.
4. A small stem is to be formed from the last piece of clay. It also gets scored and slipped on what is determined to be the top of the ball. Encourage extra blending on stem base as they are prone to fall off.
5. The students hold the pumpkin in their hands and use a round tube, such as a jumbo-size pencil to push in ridges. If they rock the pencil from the stem to the bottom, rotate, and press again, they will form what look like the ridges of the pumpkin.
6. The next day, I had students draw lightly on the clay what they wanted their faces to look like. I kept it simple with only allowing circles, triangles or squares (no teeth!). It takes a sharp knife to cut out the faces, so I did it for them with an xacto knife.
7. When the clay is no longer cool to the touch, do a bisque firing with all the pumpkins. Have the students paint the pumpkins with glaze, and fire again.
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Art Journaling 136, Tissue Paper Fall Leaves

Fall leaves are made of lots of fun curvy shapes, so I had my art journal students trace them today to make a tissue paper collage of maple, white oak, elm and maple leaves.
1. Download my leaf line art file HERE, and print a page for each student. Pass out lots of rectangles of tissue paper that are large enough to cover the largest leaf, and have the students trace them with a thin black marker.
2. The leaves are cut out in rounded manner, and glued to the journal page with a glue stick. Light rubbing of glue on journal paper, followed by placement of tissue paper is best.
3. When the page is filled with leaves, the outline of each leaf is traced with a metallic marker. Leaf names may be added afterwards.
4. If any other space is left, more leaves may be drawn and traced with a marker and colored with colored pencil.
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Munch’s “The Scream” Self Portrait

There’s no denying the popularity of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”. It’s one of the most famous paintings from the Expressionist movement, and is fun for students to imitate.
1. A discussion of the painting is a good place to start, followed with digital photos of each student making their own “scream” face. Make color prints of each photo.
2. I gave the students some colored art paper, had them cut out their colored head and arms, and glue down to the bottom right corner.
3. The original painting has lots and lots of different colors, but there are some basic shapes that I indicated to the students. The sky is made of mostly warm colors, the water dark blues, and the ship lots of browns. I asked the students to outline these shapes on their paper, and then go to town filling them up with layers of colors indicated. This was a very popular project as both the students and homeroom teacher loved the results.
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Plastic Bag Mache Pumpkin

This pumpkin is made from about 40 plastic grocery bags, some Saran wrap, 3 rubber bands, newspaper, paper towel and mache, topped off with a beautiful new orange glitter paint I found at Jo-Ann Fabrics. I'm so excited to have found this beautiful way to recycle plastic grocery bags. For my complete tutorial, click HERE.
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How to Draw an Owl

My students really enjoyed learning how to draw this owl last week.
1. Follow the steps shown above to make this pencil drawing of an owl.
2. All the pencil lines are traced with a black marker.
3. The owl is colored in with crayon or colored pencil.
Thank you Cassius for letting me share your adorable owl.
You have read this article 2nd grade / 3rd grade / 4th grade / 5th grade / crayons / pencil crayon with the title October 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://anitalaydonmillersmiddlegradeblog.blogspot.ca/2011/10/how-to-draw-owl.html. Thanks!

Coffee Mug Fundraiser for HOPE Art

I’m happy to announce that some of the amazing art that was created on Project HOPE Art’s last trip to Haiti is now being offered on CafePress products. Lots of combinations are possible (bags, t-shirts, etc.) but this simple coffe mug is my favorite so far. This portrait was created by an 8-year child, which I think is just stunning. You can purchase this mug for $16.99 (plus tax and shipping) and $5 will support HOPE Art’s next project in January of 2012. Please visit our Cafepress shop HERE, and consider doing some early holiday shopping with this amazing original art.
You have read this article with the title October 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://anitalaydonmillersmiddlegradeblog.blogspot.ca/2011/10/coffee-mug-fundraiser-for-hope-art.html. Thanks!