“My Pet” Art Journal Page

This was a lot of fun today, watching kids make adorable little creatures based on color prints of real animal eyes. They were allowed to draw their own pet, or come up with a “wish” pet, as the 2nd grader did above.
1. I collected a bunch of low-res animal eye photos that I have uploaded HERE. Print as needed on photo paper to get the best results. Students cut out the pair that they like, and glue to an art journal page.
2. The animal body is drawn around the eyes, traced with a Sharpie marker and colored in with crayon.
Optional: If you use the Strathmore Art Journal Kit books, you could cut out little bows or collars from the printed paper inside and add them to the drawing as well. 
Thank you Neariah, for letting me share your Wish Pets. I can’t help but smile when I look at them!
Note: My sample page of eyes now has a permanent home (not on Scribd). 
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Symmetrical Elf Feet

My Halloween Witch Feet project prompted one of my readers to suggest elf feet for the holidays. Thank you, whoever you are, as it was a great idea and I’m working it into all my 2nd and 3rd grade classes this week. 
1. Students draw a light vertical center line to help space the two legs apart. They followed along as I drew the shoes in small segments, i.e.: right heel, left heel, right arch, left arch, right toe, left toe, and so on. When the shoes were complete, legs and clothes were added above.
2. The pencil lines were traced with a black marker.
3. Students could design and fill in the clothes of their elf with markers. A blank background is recommended to keep the interest on the elf.
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Watercolor Cardinal

I’ve been on the lookout for a new way to draw a simple cardinal. This one, inspired by a stock art illustration is built on some very simple shapes that I think young children can draw.
1. On a horizontal sheet of watercolor paper, students draw a cardinal in pencil, following the diagram above. I made some wing templates that you can download HERE, if desired. If used, students place it on their paper as shown, and trace. The body is drawn around it, and then the head. The facial details are added, as well as feet and tail.
2. When complete, the cardinal is traced with a black permanent marker, and the black face is filled in.
3. Details of the cardinal are colored in with crayon. Branches may be added around it, as well as lots of little snowflakes with a white crayon.
4. The background is painted entirely with blue watercolor paint.
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“Where I Live” Art Journal Pages

My Art Journal class is focusing on themes that describe their life as they know it. Here is a collage page in my Strathmore Art Journal Kit that I made from old LA street maps.
1. To keep young students from cutting shapes that were too large for their book, I precut Thomas Guide maps to 5" squares. A ground shaped was cut and attached with a glue stick. Students then cut squares, rectangles and triangles as needed to make the type of building they lived in. They were glued on top, as well as any other details like simple trees.
2. A medium tip black marker was used to trace all the cut edges, as well as add smaller details like windows and doors.
3. Extra color was added to the buildings with crayon, as well as any desired background. I love how the map lines show through all the art!
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“Thankful” Bubbles Art Journal Page

I love finding ways to have students write in a non-linear fashion. Here is a writing and painting page that I made in my Strathmore Art Journal Kit, and the color held up wonderfully!
1. I have a die cut that can make 2" and 3" circle templates, but you could trace jars or lids instead. Students write “I am thankful for...” in crayon, and then trace a lot of overlapping circles around the page. Names of the people or things they are thankful for are written inside, using crayon and pressing hard. Using a tiny 3/4" round stencil, they fill in any extra space with lots of little circles. Multiple crayon colors in each make them look a bit like marbles.
2. Liquid watercolor is used to fill in each circle. While wet, and with a thin brush, a partial ring around the edge is added to each. A light hand with the painting will bring about the best results.
NOTE: To buy these Strathmore Art Journal Kits online, visit artterro.com.
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Snowman Drawing

One simple change to a snowman’s face can add a ton of charm to a picture. I tried this out in a drawing class today and really liked the results. Young students could just make a simple snowman, while older ones could concentrate on a skyward-looking face.
1. Students followed my drawing lead by first drawing the bottom circle of the snowman, then the middle, and then a rectangle on top (the scarf). A head was added on top, along with a face that was very near the top of the circle. The hat was drawn, as well as the arms and rest of the scarf.
2. All lines were traced with a black Sharpie maker.
3. The snowman was colored in with crayon, and snowflakes were added all around.
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Like to Sew? Support Create HOPE Designs

I recently learned about an organization that seeks to raise funds for orphans of the world through the sale of electronic sewing patterns. Create H.O.P.E. Designs are a group of artists selling beautiful patterns or tutorials for a very affordable price, all of which benefits designated foundations serving orphans and their communities. For more information and a look at their beautiful pattern collection, visit HERE.
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Scrafitti Indian Corn Card

You can buy your own scratch art paper, but it’s a lot more fun to make your own. Just be sure to test out your oil pastels first as I’ve found older, harder pastels don’t work nearly as well as soft and slippery ones.
1. Each student started with a 5.5" x 8.5" white cardstock paper. They drew a simple ear of corn and husks and traced all the lines with a wide, chisel tip black permanent marker.
2. The corn and background was colored in heavily with oil pastel.
3. A black pastel was used to color over all of the art. The heavier the pastel, the better.
5. Students used a stylus or stick to scratch away the top layer. Younger students may want to just scratch, but older could try working in different directions to add more interest.
6. A folded piece of black paper with a message written in metallic marker made a nice envelope for the card. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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My Guest Post at Art of Education

I am happy to announce I have my first guest post over at Art of Education, a site dedicated to the development of art teachers. I illustrated the inspiration for a couple of my classroom projects in hopes that my process might also be useful to others. Thank you Jessica for the invitation to do this, and for all the work you do to support the arts in our schools.
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Fall Landscape Drawing

My first step in teaching perspective drawing is that foreground features are larger than similar background features. I recenty showed my new kinders how to apply this concept when drawing a landscape. 
1. I demonstrated how to draw a large tree to establish the foreground and how adding a horizon line and smaller trees creates a distant background. They then added any details the wished.
2. They traced their pencil drawings with black Sharpies.
3. The drawings were completed with color pencils.
Can you believe this adorable drawing was made by a kinder? Thanks to Koa for letting me share his artwork.
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Kandinsky Watercolor Painting

This project worked really well with my last afterschool watercolor class. And that was with over 40 kids (kinder through 5th) in one not-so-large art room! I'll add my tips on how to paint with these conditions below.
PREP: I pre-printed the grid lines on letter-size watercolor paper using my file posted HERE. About 80 spillproof cups with a variety of Dick Blick Student Liquid Watercolor paints were also set up before class.
1. With Kandinsky’s original painting in view, students drew concentric circles in each square with a crayon (no need to start with pencils). They were to press really hard to make a wall that would help keep colors from running together. They also traced the straight, computer-printed lines.
2. Using the liquid watercolors, students could take one color and use it randomly throughout their drawing, then go on to another. It would speed things up and allow paint to dry to minimize bleeding. I also now leave a roll of paper towels on each table to catch the inevitable spills. That’s it, I think this would make a great fundraising project.
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One More Turkey Drawing

I’ve found a lot of great drawing ideas over at www.fotosearch.com. If you ever get stuck for new ways of drawing common items, try searching their clip art to see what comes up.
1. I started by drawing my turkey on black paper with a pencil. If you want to see the steps, follow the project I have posted here and then add some more details and patterns to the feathers and body.
2. Trace all your pencil lines with a white Marvy Opaque Stix. The white is really fun to draw with as the line first seems clear, and then turns bright white after a few seconds.
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Turkey Coloring Page

Need a quick activity for class or family get-together? Here’s a turkey that I drew (inspired by a stock art illustration again) that can be customized in many ways. Click HERE to download the blank page. Happy coloring!
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Haiti Sundress Drive in WA State News

How exciting! Project HOPE Art’s Sundress Drive just received press coverage in the Peninsula Daily News in Washington State. Jefferson Elementary School Y-Kids program leader Cathy Haight (far left) taught this group how to make sundresses for their friends in Port-au-Prince and the local paper covered their charitable work. Nothing warms me more than children coming to the aid of children. For the entire story, click HERE.
These 7 very special dresses will raise our total is 193! Thank you all for your wonderful work!
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Abstract Turkey Drawing

I used my favorite method to Draw A Turkey for this project, but had students use Sharpie markers instead of paint. They also used coated (shiny) paper again, so filling in the background and then adding detail was the easiest and cleanest way to finish the art.
1. On letter size coated paper, students drew the basic shapes of their turkey. When complete, the lines were traced with a black Sharpie.
2. All the of turkey shapes were colored in with Sharpies. This was to be a very abstract turkey, so unusual colors were encouraged.
3. Fun feather lines were added last at the end. Lots of lines and dots could be added in the background as well.
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How To Draw A Turkey Tutorial

This is my new and improved version of how to draw a turkey – a bit more realistic than my original post, but still very symmetrical and easy to draw. Just follow my 13 steps HERE and you’re on your way.
















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Layered Fall Leaves

You can show students how to overlap leaves and blend colors with oil pastels, and have very lovely picture as the result.
1. I tend to think of the maple leaf as the classic fall shape, and made templates out of chip board with the stem left off. Give each student one leaf and ask them to trace at least two leaves that overlap. Ask the students to choose which leaf is on top, and explain that all the lines inside that leaf must be erased. They can then add some leaves going off the page, and some veins as well.
2. All of the pencil lines are to be traced with a thin black marker.
3. Ask the students to use at least two oil pastel colors in each leaf, overlapping as they go along. Oil pastels are the best for blending colors together, so the goal is to not have any "hard" edges between the colors.
4. Lastly, the background needs to be colored in with a contrasting color.
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Cat Collage Art Journal Page


The Strathmore Art Journal Kits I've been using come with an assortment of colored paper pages. I’ve found that kids as young as kinder can make some great collage work, they just need extra guidance with the cutting.
1. Students got to pick a 4" paper square, and then rounded the bottom corners with a scissors to make the cheeks. Two triangles were cut from matching paper to add on top for ears. All were glued down to a colored journal page.
2. Features on the face are all very geometric: triangles inside the ears, half circle eyes, triangle nose, rectangular nose bridge and whisker strips. All were cut from other samples of colored paper and glued down with a glue stick.
3. The eye pupils and mouth were drawn in with a marker. A message about a cat was written below.
NOTE: You can buy these Art Journal Kits online at Artterro.com.
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Mayflower Ship Tutorial


In late 1620, the Mayflower landed near Plymouth, Massachusetts. This amazing ship is made of dozens of sails, ropes, masts and windows. I simplified it to some main compartments so that students could focus on making the sails look like they were full of wind. This sample was drawn on Krafty Cardstock and colored with my favorite Reeves Coloured Pencils.














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Bracelet Collage Art Journal Page

I like to encourage students to make art that spreads across two pages. The more entries that are tall or wide or even upside down, the better!
1. Students trace their hand and arm in pencil across two journal pages. Kinder and 1st graders may need help with this. The arm is traced with a thin black marker and colored in with skin color. My sample uses colored pencil, but crayons would work too.
2. Various rectangles are cut from the pattern paper and glued over the arm to look like bracelets. Boys could make one colorful band and add a paper circle to create their own watch.
3. I started with a writing prompt of “I like to wear _____.” Students filled in with whatever description worked for them. The words are written in pencil, filling up the page as much as possible, and traced in black marker. Lastly, the background is colored in as well.
4. Enter my Art Journal Giveaway. Just a few hours left!
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“Queen for a Day” Art Journal Page

One of the nice features about the pattern paper in the Strathmore Art Journal Kits, is that they are double sided. The back coordinates with the front, so colorful collages are possible without wasting a lot of paper.
1. I had students cut out a rectangle from one of their pattern pages, and then triangles from one side to make a crown. A small rounded rim was cut out, as well as 3 circles to stick on the top points of the crown. All were glued down to a white journal page.
2. The face and shoulders were drawn in pencil under the crown. When complete, all lines were traced with a fine-tip permanent marker. A writing prompt was added on a side saying, “My name is Queen _______.’
3. The face and hair were colored in with pencil crayon, and the background was shaded as well.
5. Don’t miss entering my Art Journal Kit Giveaway.
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Hot Air Balloon Art Journal Page

Here’s an idea for using the beautiful pattern paper in the Strathmore® Art Journal Kits. Hot air balloons can tie in nicely with future dreams of travel.
1. Students cut 3 circles from the pattern paper, ranging in size from 1.5" to 2.5". The circles are glued to a white page in the art journal kit.
2. With a ultra-fine tip marker, students draw a basket under each balloon, and connect them to a ring around the balloon.
3. A travel wish is written around the balloons in permanent marker.
4. Using watercolor pencils, clouds are drawn, colored around and painted with water.
5. Don’t miss entering my Art Journal Kit Giveaway posted yesterday...
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Recycled Turkey on a Stick

This ingenious idea for making turkeys from old food boxes comes from My Plum Pudding. It’s a great use of those colorful coated boxes that I love to collect.
This turkey is made entirely from cut up boxes that are attached to a 1/4" wooden dowel from Michael’s. This bird may look fairly simple, but I learned that the proportion of all the circles were important so I made a visual diagram for those interested in making their own. Click here to view.
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