A portrait of a tree in a landscape

Demonstrate through a series of direct drawing and individual practice sketches a basic understanding of how to draw a tree in a landscape.

Once students feel comfortable with the elements and composition, they draw their final image with white glue on black paper. Chalk pastels are used to add the color and detail to complete the project.
Students can express realistic colors found in nature or a more Fauvist approach to color/pattern.




Supplies: pencils, sketch paper, black construction paper, white glue in tubes, chalk pastels. Art prints and class handout of famous landscapes provide additional support to the student success of this project.

Autumn Still Life

This project takes several sessions to complete but is very engaging to students and presents new skills while reinforcing techniques. 

Supplies: tempera paint (with sponges and corks) water color, oil pastel, crayons, ruler, card stock or heavy watercolor paper, scissors and white glue

Part I painted paper

Part II draw with crayon and ruler then watercolor table and wall

Part III - look at still life elements, draw, cut, arrange and collage pieces using oil pastel for details, shadows and highlights.

Watercolor Sky

This project revisits the color wheel and connects to color theory as well as landscapes.
Using only yellow, orange, red, purple and blue watercolors (wet on wet) students create a sunset/sunrise sky. We did a direct painting process calling out each color together then painting an arch like stripe across the sky. Students were encouraged to keep the color edge wet and vary the width of the arches/stripes.

Part II using only black paper (great way to use up scraps) and glue sticks,  student tore the paper for the ground and then were given scissor and pencils to add other landscape type elements such as animals, trees, structures and rocks.  


Crazy for Klee

 Students were introduced to the artist Paul Klee and his work with color,shapes, form and design.
Using basic shape patterns (squares, rectangles, circles and triangles) as well as rulers they were guided in creating a castle like structure. These drawings were done with color pencil and metallic color pencil on black paper.

It's a nice alternative to the October Haunted House and can
carry on throughout the year.

This will be the go to project throughout the year
perfect for those students who finish projects early.

I like this project because it allows a lot of personal creative freedom. Reinforces skills such as tracing and using a ruler to make straight lines and connects to art history.

I have seen several lessons like this on line and really combined ideas from numerous sites so in no way is this 100% my original lesson.

Fall painted paper

Students in a variety of grades created fall painted paper using the colors (of both paper and Tempera paint) of red, green, orange, yellow and brown. This paper will be used by the students to create a numerous projects such as fall leaves, autumn still life and "I'm an applehead"...They used sponges and corks to apply the colors.

Mr. Bones Part I imagine...

A very fine web for a very busy spider

 This fun step by step lesson presents line direction (vertical, horizontal and diagonal) and can connect to science and or literature themes. I modeled a very simple process of creating a spider web. We practiced together then the students drew on their art paper with crayon/oil pastels.
Part II is the addition of night sky and an optional moon and salt stars. Using a limited range of cool night hue liquid watercolors students covered  over their web blending as they painted. A bottle cap with a tissue was used to blot out a cloudy moon. The last touch was a pinch of salt for starts. The the pieces were left to dry overnight and the salt brushed off, the result was grand. Spiders can be added as a collage element or drawn before the painting.

The book "The Very Busy Spider" makes a great connect to this project.


Day of the Dead

In honor of this cultural celebration 4th and 6th grade students are creating projects connected to this event.
Using a Sharpie to layout the details

4th grade students add details to skull

 4th graders drew and cut out (on newspaper) a large skull shape. This was painted with white tempera paint allowing some of the type to show through. This process is to reflect on the actual construction of paper mache skulls used to celebrate the day of the dead. Cardboard panels were given to each student and one sheet of foil. They covered the board with the foil leaving the surface as smooth as possible, names on the back of the board. The skull was glued in the middle of the foil area-this will provide the frame/background for the skull.
Part three is adding color and embellishments to both the sugar skull image and the background/frame. Artists used color sharpies, buttons, sequins and other decorative elements to complete these festive pieces.

Black and white skulls on silver foil panels

working at tables to add color and detail


This is Me!

 Welcome to the art room my Kinder friends, this is the project I start the year out with our youngest artists.

"This is me!"  a self portrait in color pencil/crayon on a pre-printed "frame" paper.

I learn so much just by this one simple project and hopefully the artists do too!


Apple still life

 Students in my mixed DHH class created wonderful painted paper apple still life collages. This was a two part project.
First the painting of the paper, reviewing colors talking about apples.
Part II:  drawing a horizontal line for the table looking at a still life (in this case by Cezanne), painting the background with water color, drawing and cutting out 5 apples, adding a tissue paper drape and then placing and attaching the apples/drape with white glue. Stems, leaves and a worm were added last.
I think they turned out grand and remind me of the work by author/artist Eric Carle.