“Watercolors are afraid of paper”

watercolors  Watercolors: lesson one – “Watercolor paints are AFRAID of paper”

While introducing my students to watercolor, I had them use

– one color per person
– small pieces of paper
– tiny paintbrushes
– and a light touch

No need to do dig their brushes into the paper… or make multiple swipes  – in fact, that is why I dramatically shared the secret that watercolor paints are in fact scared of touching paper…it is their biggest fear – so in order to make a pretty picture instead of a scary/ugly mess/all muddy brown and torn ….we need to gently introduce the timid paint to the paper.


make blobs – let dry – figure out what they are


earth balloon – lady in a bathing suit – and a snake – who knew?


Cityscapes -simplified


I love cityscapes. The possibilities for art projects are practically endless. Each year I try a different approach – night scenes – silhouettes – careful perspective drawings – sculptures – using blocks of wood – cardboard collages – newspaper – paint – charcoal and anything else I had around the classroom….


After half a year with my young 4th period students, I knew if we were going to pull this off it would have to be eeeasssy – both to explain, manage, and create.

(and fairly inexpensive – oh, who am I kidding – cheap or free works best!)

Cityscapes – Simplified

You will need:

  • Construction paper scraps (precut into rectangles, squares and triangles with my paper cutter – before class.)
  • Stickers – lots and lots of small labeling stickers
  • Glue and paint brushes (we actually used cotton swaps ) -glue sticks will also work of course
  • Crayons

    Very open-ended project

    1. Color the background
    2. Add buildings
    3. Add stickers for windows



cousins helping each other color the background


one city is an explosion of color – the other a creative design :)

  city12 city13 city3 city16 city18 city9 city11 city8

Love when projects cause such happy faces.

Portraits made Eeea-sy

Art class SUCCESS

Easy self portraits for ages 10 and up


I wanted my art class to delve into portraits…..but did want to deal with forty + children whining about how HARD it was…so – I did something tricky.  At the end of one class, I took a picture of each child on my phone. (Like the pretty little artist above.)

Then, at home I uploaded the photos to Word and used the artistic effects tab to create black and white images like the ones below ….

Now the fun begins…after having each child “find their face”  I instructed them to “cartoon themselves”
They could finish their bodies, color in the features, turn themselves into whatever they want.


Guarantee none of the boys in my class look “quite” this tough….actually a clean cut little boy did this cartoon – awesome.



This one is missing his head ….but I didn’t catch a shot once the head was attached… darn!

I loved the cowboy look for the boy below…


They had so much fun with this project that everyone wanted to do it again the next week – so we did…

Each one was so unique and they were all engrossed in making something special. – Just the attitude I love to see in class!

April 1st starts the A to Z blog challenge – I will be blogging daily here and on my main blog Sylvie Says... everyday in April…. consider that fair warning!