“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?

A new perspective

A silly photo on Facebook started the wheels turning for a cool drawing project. At first glance, the boys’ outstretched arms looked unnaturally short…he is actually folding his arms across his chest, but thanks to the –  A. lighting B. clothing choice and the fact no one else has their arms folded, he looked sort of like this…big head little arms 2

Entirely okay with me, since this sparked an art project. Thank you, Nick!

Perspective Drawings

  • Without revealing the project – I had the kids trace their hands and feet on a sheet of paper.
  • Hands at the top (could be overlapped, or run off the page if necessary)
  • Feet at the bottom (some chose to take their shoes off, others left them on)
  • To make the perspective clear, I had them draw “finger wrinkles” and the sole of their shoe, or “toe wrinkles”
  • Then, I asked them to draw their body – BEHIND the hands and feet. (and showed them an example)
  • Be sure the arms end at the base of the hand and the legs run into the feet.

Some kids nhands3eeded a little help visualizing this – but once they got it Ba-BAM!  they were off and running.

Here are some examples of student work hands4hands1


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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!