• Elizabeth, I’m so glad you like the project! Adding in the information about Newton is a great way to promote cross-curriculum learning-the kids & science loved that too!

    • wow . thanks that is a great lesson – i work with elderly teaching art and I think this will prove reallys succesfull:-)

  1. Matt East

    On Nov 1, 2012, at 10:58 AM, Michelle East Fine Art Blog wrote:

    WordPress.com Michelle East posted: ” Volume control of students talking is one of my challenges in classroom management. So today I made a Voice-o-meter to help the students have a visual clue on what I want there voice levels to be. Since I teach 2nd grade through HS in the same classroom”

  2. Pingback: Adire Eleko Cloth & Senufo Animal Art Lesson (Part 2) | Michelle East Fine Art Blog

  3. Pingback: Adire Eleko Cloth & Senufo Animal Art Lesson (Part 1) | Michelle East Fine Art Blog

  4. Pingback: Warm & Cool Colors Handprint Pattern Watercolor & Crayon Resist Painting | Michelle East Fine Art Blog

  5. This is really awesome! And it was along the lines of what I was going to with my seventh graders! I will definitely be trying this! Thank you for sharing!!

    • You’re Welcome Jillian! Don’t skip the step of SEALING it-this is a vital part of the project! I tried it first without doing it & found that we could only do one print, the paint soaked in very fast & prevented good printing. I used the Walmart brand clear coat acrylic spray & that worked just fine. Have fun!

  6. This is the first year I’m required to teach art to my 5th grade class! Yikes! Your site has given me some great ideas! Thank you! Thank you!

  7. Hello. I would like to use ur images for a blog post about jazz music, to visually demonstrate the concept of negative space. my site is speakingcode.com, I write about programming, code-related concepts and things I find interesting. I will give you credit on the page for the image. Please let me know if that isn’t okay. THank you very much!

  8. How long did this take your students to do? I am assuming the painting had to happen in one session on its own, and the other session(s) happened after it was all dry, correct?

    • Hi! It took my 2nd graders 2 -30 min classes to do the background. We learned about tints on day & applied it, then Shades the next day. The final day was the pastel drawing (the paint had to be completely dry before we could draw on it). So 3 -30 min class periods in total.

  9. Cute Idea. I’m really trying to work on my classroom management skills and noise is a big factor for me. Thanks for the post!

    Lindsey @ GrowingKidsMinisry.com

  10. Hello, this may be a silly question. But I thought you would know the answer. I want to do some drawings and then outline them and then add watercolour. When I did this last time, the marker leaked and ruined the artwork. What marker do you use, so it doesn’t run? Like in your seahorse artwork. Thank you for your advice. Jen

    • Hi Jennie! I only use a permanent marker like a Sharpie when outlining, then painting with watercolors! Regular felt tip markers like Crayola markers will bleed when water goes over them (this can be a cool project in itself!). Definitely stick with Sharpies or Bic brand Permanent markers for outlining & painting-hope this helps!

    • I don’t have a template, I just made it in word 🙂 Hope it helps- it has worked well in my classroom!

  11. Great idea! I created a template in Word easily tonight. Thanks for the brilliant idea to use in my classroom.

    • Wonderful! Remember that the key to these tools is implementing them on a consistant basis- this is where you will see success with them!

  12. Love this lesson, have seen it elsewhere , but with scissors. I prefer this version as with the knife, one can get much more detail. How well do the 5th graders handle the Exacto knives? Do you get a release from their parents prior to their using them?
    Love your blog too!

    • Hi! Before we begin any cutting we always go over correct cutting & safety techniques. Students know if they don’t use the tools properly they will be given an alternative project that doesn’t involve using the exacto knives (this is a big motivator to use the knives correctly). I have not sent home info to parents, I really haven’t feel the need to. Thank you for your encouragement-I love teaching art & this blog is a really fun adventure!

      Have fun creating!

  13. Awesome project; I plan to try this with my 8th graders. Is it necessary to use linoleum blocks or do you think it can be done (with a little less detsil) using the softer safety-cut (also called EZ-cut or soft-cut)? If it requires linoleum, I’ll have to order some.

    • Hi! I don’t think you have to use linoleum, in fact last year we used the soft -cut blocks & it turned out exactly the same (the students loved how easy it carved!) We are going to try this project this year doing a reduction method so we can get more colors! Happy Printing! Michelle

  14. What a great project – thanks, Michelle! I plan to use this with my 5th and 6th grade students. We begin each year with a unit on color and I want the first lessons to be approachable and fun. This will be a new way to talk about warm and cool colors. I’m sure that using the resist will create lots of art excitement!

    • You could use the 14 gauge. That will be thicker I believe, but still workable. Younger children may have a harder time manipulating it.

  15. first of all, great website. so i have a question on this lesson on positive and negitive. i have been reading over the direction and the materails and looking at the pictures. does the construction paper that the students are using, is it double sided. two different color on it? did you have the cut though two sheets of paper. i am trying to figure it out. thanks for your help.

    • Hi!, Yes, the paper we were using is called “Fadeless 2-Color Duet Paper” that I got from Sax Arts, Dick Blick sells it too-it is 2 complementary colors on opposite sides. Its adds a little more color variety to the project.

    • I don’t have the full instructions on the dry pastel sheet, but will be adding that on this week- right now is just the worksheet.

  16. These are so great! I am going to try this with my class this week. I wondered if you could tell me how long it took. My class is an hour and a half. Also are there sharp edges that they need to be careful about? Did you have them cut their own ornaments?
    Thanks for sharing this!

    • Hi, I have my HS classes for an hour & a half too. This was a teacher guided project that took about a full hour to do. Maybe an hour+ depending on the size, age & complexity. The edges are sharp-be careful, but really if you instruct them ahead of time not to run their fingers along the edges, some cuts will be prevented. In my experience you will always have a few kids who test what you’re telling them. Have fun!
      Tip: if the make a mistake in coloring you can use rubbing alcohol on a q-tip to remove the color!

  17. Love this idea and I think my middle school class will really enjoy it! Wanted to know what you’d recommend for embossing tools? We have hole punchers and tortillons… anything else you used?


    • Hi! Metal embossing is SO much fun! ALWAYS make sure you have a foam cushion underneath the metal!
      The tools we use in class are from DickBlick- Ten Seconds Studio Metal Tools-here’s the link to them: http://www.dickblick.com/products/ten-seconds-studio-metal-tools/
      We have both the basic tools & the texture sets. They work great & are worth the investment! We also have texture plates for rubbing-from Fiskar-I think they are supposed to go in a cuddlebug, but we don’t use that we just put the metal ontop of the plate & rub with the crochet tools or tortillions.
      Less expensive options are crochet or knitting tools & wooden sticks (only if it is a thick metal)

  18. I was looking for a new slab project for my 3rd graders. I love these! In the past I have build Adobe houses with them. I love the lesson but I am finding they are struggling with the process lately. Maybe we will make some little cylinder fairey houses this year. At what point did you remove the form and did you keep them covered to dry slowly?

    Kim @ Art on my Hands

    • Great idea creating adobe houses! We found that it was best to remove the form right after we had cut out the doors and windows. Otherwise the clay & paper will stick to the cup (this was NOT good!). We keep them covered until we were almost finished because the form is so short, we did not have many problems with forms collapsing. The main issue was having the bottom form hard enough to support building the roof on top. Have fun creating!!

    • If the tempera paint was pretty watery/runny, it would probably work (but then you start to lose vibrancy of color). It would be more likely to work if oil pastels were used instead of crayons. I have done a similar project with oil pastels & tempera “cakes” and that worked well. Have fun creating!!

  19. Black Tempura could also be used for black background.
    It also becomes a fun, cooperative activity if children trace each others’ hands.

    • It might work on watercolor canvas since that is designed to absorb water media. On a regular primed canvas paint sits on top of the canvas. You could try it with oil pastels & really watered down acrylic paint. Let me know what you find! Art should be an experiment!

  20. I saw a great still life drawing lesson on your blog yesterday (I think???) involving drawing on a ground of brown, black and newspaper collage. I can’t seem to find it again!! and I really thought it looked like a different way to have high school students complete a value still life. Was it here or am I completely having information overload?
    Jerry Goodwin

  21. Absolutely LOVED this lesson. I am a teacher in a small private school that needed someone already on staff to teach art. You helped me so much to teach value and shading to my students and their projects turned out wonderful!! They are falling in love with painting and drawing 🙂

    • Sue, the safest way to finish an edge is to fold it under-easy to do on straight edges, but more difficult on curved edges (especially if children are doing it!). You can also lightly sand the edge with sand paper to soften the sharp edge. Another way would be to mount the aluminum onto another surface like heavy paper or foam sheets. Hope these help-if you find other ways please let me know 🙂

  22. Just found your blog while doing some research on sketchbook assignments. This is a life saver! I am going to assign 10 for now to see how it goes with my students. Thank you for sharing!

    • Great Cynthia! These are good assignments for developing creativity & imagination. I have used all of these in my classroom & seen success with them! Let me know if you have any suggestions.

  23. What age group did this project – Heart Art Mixed Media Jim Dine project? Thanks for sharing – I love the project!

    • Hi! I actually did this project with an “after school art class”, so there was a range of students between 1st grade-5th grade. They were all able to draw the heart & patterns. I did encourage them to make sure to press hard with the crayon/ oil pastel because the little ones tend to not press hard enough for the resist affect to really work well. The kids loved doing the resist technique! Hope that helps!!

  24. I am currently student teaching and will be trying this lesson with my Elementary students!
    3rd- 6th grade) I am tweaking the materials list a bit though because I don’t have access to ink or water color. Wish me luck!

    • Exciting Jessica! What materials are you using instead? I’m always looking to improve & expand projects? It’s important to remember to create the color part first. Thenfor the black & white portion for the project it is VERY important to use some type of permanent ink or markers (like sharpies). If you use regular markers, they will bleed if any water touches them (which is another fun project in its self).The color portion can be done in a variety of mediums-marker, colored pencil, tempera paint or tempera cakes, acrylic paint. I don’t suggest dry or oil pastels because of the smaller surface area to work on, but it could be done. Let us know how it does! I’d love to see some samples from younger students!

  25. Pingback: Heart Art – Mixed Media Lesson | ideas fo...

  26. Hi! I plan to do this project this week with my 5th and 6th graders. I hope to add a component of shadow in there and I love your lesson.

    • Awesome Angie! Are you going to use Styrofoam or linoleum to create their chops? I usually use linoleum (or vinyl erasers). Have fun creating!!

  27. How did you get the work at the top to have the black background? It seems like there may be another step to do this? thanks so much! This is a great lesson when the classroom doesn’t have a press!

    • Hi! I actually printed that print onto black paper, that’s how it has a black background! I experimented on a couple of different colored papers & definitely liked the black best with that print! Have fun!

    • We used 3″ squares for my middle school students. I had pre-cut templates made out of mat board that I gave to each student. Have Fun Creating!

  28. Cool! I’ve tried this before w/a green-blue-indigo-purple gradient. I used acrylic paint, then Palmolive to drizzle (tho’ I just stuck it in a thin-holed condiment bottle – like the old-fashioned ketchup bottles you’d see @ fixin’s bars) & then sprayed a flat dark gray spray paint over it. The nice colors come right through the dull gray & it really makes a great piece of art! 🙂

  29. Thank you for sending this out! I am in the same mind set that we could really help one another. I too am on Pinterest the best
    thing to happen to art teachers in a long time!! Mine is under Sherry Kerley and I have several elementary art boards. I have subscribe to your board and thanks again!!!

  30. I think this one looks like it could be used for a lesson on shape and/or color. I may use this to take the classic Notan expanding the square assignment and add a color focal point. Right now I am gearing up for a summer session with some neighborhood kids (7-12) and I have been subbing at a high school. I will make a handout and reference this as the source.

  31. Wow! The history of these jugs is so fascinating. Thank you for sharing this. I have been developing a face pinch pot lesson without an art history component but this will make the lesson so much more. Thank you!

    • Hi! I think we used Krylon Gloss Black Spray Paint, it was close to $5 per can & with my whole camp we used part of 2 cans (both going at the same time). I do NOT recommend using the cheap stuff, it did not work as well!

  32. This looks really fun and I’m sure my school kids would love it! I’m just wondering if this damages the grass at all. I’d rather not have the principal or custodians on my case. 😉

    • Hi Rajean, My school has a big open grass courtyard in the middle-this is wear we sprayed off our paintings. I did not see that there was any damage to the grass, nor did I get any complaints from the facilities manager or administration. That being said, I would encourage you to spray these off in an area of low traffic as it might take a little while for the spray paint to dry on the grass. The soap did not affect the grass. Have fun creating-this is a really fun project!!

  33. Okay, so I tried this today with myself and two children. I attempted 3 different soaps to figure out which one I liked the best. HOWEVER, upon rinsing the canvas, the black paint actually washed the color right off and left me with white canvas again!!! It was the most bizarre thing ever!!! I’m not sure if the spray paint is wrong, the acrylic paints are wrong or what. The paint dried long enough and I even hit it with a hair dryer before we started the soap just to make double sure…

    • Hi Stephanie! I’m sorry that the project didn’t go as expected!! Here’s a couple of reasons why that might have been the case:
      1. The paint used on the canvas was not ACRYLIC paint (Was tempera or poster paint used instead?- those would wash right off!)
      2. The acrylic paint was glossy-it works best to use a matte ACRYLIC paint
      3. Gel soap was applied over the whole canvas instead drizzled in only some areas
      4. The spray paint didn’t dry enough before spraying off
      5. The hose was on too high pressure or sprayed for too long.

      Please check if any of these reasons were the cause & try again. Let me know how it goes again-I want to make sure you have a successful experience!!

  34. I love the idea of this project, and I am thinking about implementing at least part of it into my lessons this year! My only issue is that my Art 1 high school kids are…well they are not very imaginative this year. They STRUGGLED through the Elements unit. So now I am trying to choose my projects carefully, making them as SIMPLE as possible. It is so strange how some years I can have a group that really gets it and we roll along and other years are just painful because we have to go over things again and again.

    My digital art class is different, I blogged at digitalartteacher.com about a digital version of teaching the Elements. It might be good to do something like this in digital form, too…

    Anyway, great lesson, thanks for sharing!

    • Chelsea, my students often struggle through the elements & principles units too. Creativity can be learned-developing the imagination. It’s a privilege to have part of our job to help student grow this creative ability (which means we have to be working on nurturing our own creative skills). We have to help them see unusual visual connections & possibilities. This is where the sketchbook is so vital, it provides a place for them to experiment and develop concepts without risk.

      I think this would be a GREAT project to create in digital form!! Are you working with Illustrator? If you do it & post it please let me know, I will add a link to your blog as another “medium” to create this project in!
      Have fun Creating! Michelle

      • Thanks! I will keep that in mind. I do work in Illustrator. I find this to be the best program to use for beginners. Next semester we will dive into PhotoShop for some variety, but for now Illustrator has everything we need to get started.

    • Hi Kristin, we use both the “cray pas oil pastels junior artist” & crayola brand oil pastel (24 count). Both of these have good pigment quality & are very smooth (which is good for blending). This project usually takes about 8-10 class periods if you include the oil pastel technique worksheet (at least one class period for the worksheet, but worth it!).
      Have fun creating!

  35. How many days did it take for your students to do this project? What watercolor pencils do you recommend? How many did you need for your class to share? And to get the details, I would need to purchase the “Beach Umbrella” lesson? Thanks!

      • Hi Kristin, We are using Crayola Brand Watercolor Pencils (24 ct) & I am very happy with the results. We have also used Kimberly brand as well and I like the color variety in these sets. The example that is on the blog was done mostly with Crayola Watercolor Pencils-so you can see the vibrant colors! I have one set for every 2 students. ALL the details plus the patterns worksheets and Watercolor Pencils worksheet is included in the Beach Umbrella lesson. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  36. Great lesson! Thank you. I am going to try this this week with my elementary Ceramics students. They were asking if we could make Turkeys and this lesson is so cute.

  37. Just voted for you–fantastic blog! I’ll be referencing if over and over for ideas for my after-school art classes. If ever you’d like to guest blog for my site, I’d love it!

  38. Pingback: Jim Dine Hearts – Fanciful Art Room

  39. Pingback: Art Journaling for Beginners – Bug-a-Doodles

  40. Hello, I really like this lesson and I will be doing it with my High School Art Elective course at Rio International School, Brazil.

      • Hi Michelle,
        The lesson went splendidly! The students engaged productively and pushed themselves to create something unique and “beyond the border”. Thanks for sharing.

  41. Thanks for the opportunity to win this game. I teach art to my homeschooled grandchildren and I’m looking for a good art game to do for a change.

  42. Looks like a fun game. I am a grandmother who teaches art for my home schooled grandchildren. I am always looking for ways to engage them.

    • We fired at cone 06for medium speed because that’s what our glazes were supposed to be fired at. The glass beads were just cheap floral beads/marbles that we put in the birdbath for the glaze firing-it is NOT an extra firing.

      • thanks, so if i already fired once they glazed, and did not put marbles in, then i can’t refire?

        • Sandra, I believe you can add the marbles/glass after you have done the glaze firing BUT just to be sure I would do a test piece before hand! Don’t want to mess up all those precious pieces!

  43. Pingback: Studio 1 Ceramics – Carmen Lucas

  44. Looking forward to doing this, but I had one question. It says not to use a canvas at the beginning, but the picture caption says “Paper surface used for example, but a canvas would work better”

    What does that mean? Do you mean you should put the paper against a canvas or to use a canvas?

    • Hi, sorry I need to remove that caption. Paper does work best, the canvas seemed to wash the paint off more, even where there was no gel soap. I used a 90lb. Paper taped to a Masonite board-this is what I would recommend! Enjoy-this is SO MUCH FUN!!

  45. How did the paper react to being hosed down (was it still flat after it dried?). Do you think a piece of cardboard would work?

    • We used a thicker piece of paper (90lb) and limited how much we hosed the paper off, so the paper reacted well & remained intact. A 140lb watercolor paper would probably handle more hosing off, butI don’t think more is needed. We also let it dry completely on the board we taped it to (taped with masking tape).

  46. would a canvas tile work whereas a stretched canvas does not? this looks very interesting and anxious to give it a try!

    • Are you talking about canvas panels (canvas mounted on boards)? If so, I haven’t tried that yet. What ever surface you try MUST be gessoed! If you try it, let me know how it goes and I will add your results to the post.

  47. Hello Michelle,

    I would like to use this lesson for my students at Rio International School Brazil. I have some excellent students and I think they will enjoy this project. Thank You.

  48. Thank you for this project. I homeschool, and it’s invaluable to have people like you share their expertise with the rest of us! My 8 and 11 year olds and I all enjoyed making these!

    • Becki, I’m so thrilled you and your children enjoyed the project so much!! My elementary classes live doing these too! And my older students ask why they can’t do them as well-LOL!! ~Michelle

    • Hi Marilyn, I do not think a hair dryer will work because it does not get hot enough to melt the shrinky dink sheet. You do not want to put it in an oven either because The oven will just shrink and flatten out the sheet instead of warping it to look like one of Chihuly’s bowls. Hope this helps! Michelle

  49. Hi,
    I have 8 tables, 34 students (4 to 5 students per table). How many shaving cream cans will I need?
    Thanks! 🙂

    • Hi Jane! I usually have 1 can per 6 people and still have some left over. So I would say 6-8 cans would work?? It’s better to have too much than too little!! I will always use the leftovers for other projects like paper marbling with shaving cream (another FUN activity!).

  50. Pingback: Ceramic Fairy House – Ceramic Art

    • Oil pastels would be harder to rub, and wouldn’t come as far into the body of the jelly fish. They would work, but I don’t think as well as dry pastels.

  51. I would have written all the same blogging tips! I think I made all those mistakes. For watermarks, I have use a watermark plug-in that adds them automatically. So much easier. I don’t have many options to customize the watermarks, but it is one less thing to worry about.

  52. Between my three kids, a science summer camp I teach and my pre k kids I know I will make use of an awesome game! Thanks for the opportunity to enter to win. Have an awesome day!

  53. Pingback: notan designsPattern World | Pattern World

  54. This is amazing! I always struggle with inspiring myself on what to draw, and this is perfect! Something new for every day 🙂

  55. Hi Michelle!
    I am so happy to find your blog. I too wear many of the same hats as you and am a believer. I am going back to work this fall as a middle school art teacher in a public school after being home with my girls for three years. I am going to take a risk and try TAB for the first time this year…..YIKES!! Thanks for the great resources! Your art is beautiful:)
    God bless,
    Melinda Plamann
    John Long Middle School, Grafton, WI

  56. Thank you for the ideas! I am just starting out and find these very helpful. Are these assignments done at home or in class? What type of sketch books do you require? Spiral, bound, hand made?

    • Hi! These assignments are homework-outside of class (unless they finish a project, then they can work on the sketchbook assignment). I require a 70+ page spiral bound sketchbook (I like the single loop & if it has a folder that’s awesome!). I also prefer a heavier weight (80-90#). I will add a link to the top of this page with what I prefer.

      Blessings on your school year!!

  57. Aloha Create with Me,
    Your site is insightful, inspirational, and has organized my lesson for pen & ink with watercolor.
    I cannot thank you enough for your gift, truly, your sight is a gift!
    Elizabeth Oh
    Art Teacher
    Kawananakoa MIddle School
    Honolulu, HI

  58. Pingback: Construction Projects For High School Students | Plan for Wood Work

  59. Hi. I tried to get the pumpkin and gourd watercolor pdf and it kept giving me and error message. If you could check on that and find out if it’s me or the site, I’d appreciate it!
    Angie Brown

  60. Pingback: Principles of Design | Visual Art @ CCAU

    • Hi,
      This lesson is free. The information provided in the post is what I currently have available. I don’t have a scratch art lesson for purchase at this time.

    • Hi Andrea,
      I did this with my after school art class which currently has Kinder-4th grade students enrolled in it. All ages very successfully completed the projects (and parents were thrilled with the art)!

  61. I LOVE the moon idea! It’s so simple! Why didn’t I ever think to do this? I’m going to do a project with it for my 3rd graders. If I write a blog post about it, I will definitely give you all the credit! Thanks for giving me inspiration!!!!

  62. These are absolutely adorable! After 14 years in elementary ed, I am a first year art teacher and follow you faithfully! I’m wondering if you have any ideas on how to make the principles of design definitions more kid-friendly. I’m having a tough time explaining what I mean by balance, composition, etc. (Yes, I realize composition isn’t a principle, but still a tough one for my littles to understand).

    • Hi Brooke! Welcome to the art teacher world-WAY different from a traditional classroom! I hope you are enjoying your new position-you are bringing so much teaching expertise into the art room! Teaching the principles of art to elementary is challenging. What I try to make sure to do is have LOTS of visual examples and discuss them as a class. I also don’t teach every principle to every grade. K-1 can pretty easily comprehend balance and the concept of visual movement (especially looking at Van gogh’s artwork for movement). Repetition & Rhythm are scaffolded-basic patterns in the younger grades and adding in the 5 types of rhythm as they get older. Is your school using a curriculum? I have Art Connections levels k-6 which helps with ages and introducing elements/principles. Hope that helps a little! Biggest thing is knowing what the kids can understand and providing visual examples with age appropriate explanations (which I usually have to write myself). -Michelle

  63. Thanks for this! This is my first year teaching and I’m working on this with my 8th grade Art I students right now!

  64. This a wonderful art project. Thank you. I did want to clarify the use of the ‘copy paper’? I can see the purpose for the coffee filter and the black construction paper for final artwork, but couldn’t understand the need to spray the filter paper on the copy paper. I think we know copy paper as ‘carbonless paper’. Could you help me understand? Thank you.

    • Hi Joy! This was such a fun project! The “copy paper” was just plain white paper & we used it to put under their coffee filter to easily keep track of who’s project it was & for it to fit on the drying rack. The coffee filters by them selves would not fit on our drying rack. The paper underneath also absorbed some of the extra water if the kids sprayed too much water on the filter. Hope this helped! Blessings-Michelle

  65. I love this idea. What materials do you have the students use once they have finished this and they start rubbing it on a paper?
    Thank you for sharing this!

    • Hi Patricia! This was so much fun and there are SO many possibilities of different textures plates to create! So when we are ready to start using the plates we usually use 60lb or less weight paper. This is thin enough for the texture rub on to the surface more easily. We almost always used crayons (on their sides) to rub on top, but pencil, charcoal or pastels could also be used. Oil pastels don’t tend to work very well because they are too soft. Painting over the crayons is a fun way to make the texture show up more. I do this with elementary up through HS-they all love doing it! For MS & HS they could use the texture rubbings as backgrounds for mixed media projects or an altered surface for sketchbook assignments. Hope this helped! Blessings-Michelle

  66. Hi! Love your blog…was just wondering if you had anything on scope and sequence. I would like help with lesson progression.
    Thanks! Jill

  67. Thank you Michelle for this, I am an art teacher in Zimbabwe.Africa and love the way you relate tutorials to art history and cultures. Also your reference to the Elements of Art is great.

  68. What a great idea! Looking for ways to connect more with my students’ parents AND boost our art program. I also teach art at a private Christian school in Lafayette, Indiana. Next year we will be exploring the “Greater” theme with different character traits focused each month. Love is one of them and this fits right in. Thanks so much for sharing this idea!

    • Hi Angela! This is turning out to be a hugely successful way to connect with student’s parents and our students at the same time! Some were asking if we could do it twice a year!

  69. What is a brand of gel dish soap? I am not sure I know what “gel” dish soap is. I love this idea and think my adult students with disabilities could be successful doing this. I look forward to trying it . I have all the supplies but wondered about the soap. Is it just regular dish soap…like dawn or such?

    • Hi Carole,
      I used Dawn liquid dish soap (non-powder), it said it was “concentrated” & seemed a little thicker than some of the other dish soaps out there. The thicker the dish soap is, the less likely it is to run all over the place. Your adult students with disabilities would have a great time with this! To me it is about the process of creation and this process was fun!! Blessings ~Michelle

  70. Unfortunately, I do not have a facebook page. I would like to enter your drawing to WIN Mark Kistler’s New Book!

  71. Hi, I think your website is incredibly good! I’d like to enter to win the book, “You can draw it in just 30 minutes” by Mark Kistler.
    My favorite thing to draw when I was in 6th grade was Horses, every day all day!
    Now I like to draw free form, abstract shapes, textures, free flowing. I love to see the the shapes and forms that appear, that were unplanned and just happen!
    Thanks, Susi Wingenroth

  72. I love all the art ideas from Create With Me. I taught art art for 33years and used Mark Kistler’ s drawing techniques with my younger students . They loved it.

  73. I am the home school art teacher for my grandchildren. They love to draw and I am looking forward to doing more sketching this year. What a great book to help them!

  74. Ohhhh I loved Mark Kistler as a kid! I used to watch his show every Saturday morning! To this day I still love drawing 3D objects with little eyes and creatures popping out of them just like in his show!

  75. I love to draw people! I have my students do a gridded self-portrait. I try to give my students a lot of drawing practice – so a book like this would be helpful!

  76. I love to draw zentangle designs (if I’m sitting in a faculty meeting ^_~) or start drawing an eye and see where it goes. Sometimes it’s a person, sometimes a dragon, I just let it go where it tells me it wants to go.

    • Hi Susan! CONGRATULATIONS! You are the winner of Mark Kistler’s NEW Book “You Can Draw It in Just 30 Minutes: See It and Sketch It in a Half-Hour or Less”! If you can please send me your mailing address, I will get that sent to you ASAP! Thank you for entering the giveaway and don’t forget to tell others about my Create Art with ME site! [email protected]

    • Congratulations Susan Schmuelling! You are the winner of Mark Kistler’s NEW Book “You Can Draw It in Just 30 Minutes: See It and Sketch It in a Half-Hour or Less”! If you can please send me your mailing address, I will get that sent to you ASAP! Thank you for entering the giveaway and don’t forget to tell others about my Create Art with ME site!


  77. I love drawing trees and leaves. I grew up in the woods, but live in the desert now. Trees and leaves take me to my childhood and happy memories. 🙂

  78. Right now my favorite thing to draw is faces. I’m trying to do a daily practice of drawing the same thing over and over in preparation for doing this with my students.

  79. What a great book! I love the step by step directions. My favorite things to draw are nature items: leaves, plants, seeds, rocks, insects, flowers, Euc.
    Thanks for sharing your talent with others!

  80. Mark Kistler is a favorite in my classroom, too. Looking forward to putting his new book on my class shelf. I love drawing faces, hands and plants.

  81. My favorite thing to draw are items from nature. I like to draw trees and flowers in particular.

  82. This would be a great resource for me to use with my middle and high school art students! I love to draw portraits so this will help me become a better teacher, as well.

  83. OH my gosh, I love Mark Kistler! My favorite things to draw are always any kind of animal, especially the cute and the awkward! Thanks!!!

  84. I love to draw people and cats! This book would be so fun for my awesome middle school students. #artteacherlife

  85. First year Art Teacher and I want to do it well. I love to draw and think all students can draw if given the right instructions. We are all artists until someone says we aren’t or can’t. I want my students to know that they are and can!

  86. Pingback: Music and Art to Express Ourselves, G7 | Mrs Jardin's ART room

  87. Very helpful for my Grade 10 Art class.
    P.S. Is the line that says “Futurism embarrassed modern technology” really supposed to say “Futurism embraced modern technology”?

  88. Hi, I was wondering what you used for photo references? Anything more you can say about this part of the project I would appreciate. Did students use a grid to help them draw? Were students asked to bring in photos? thank you

    • Hi, We used various resources for photos (old calendar pages, magazines, internet, photo books. We try to make sure they are not copywritten first or that the copyright is expired). If students had a photo from home they wanted to work from, they were allowed to bring it. We also have iPads in my classroom so students could work from those too.

  89. Pingback: My Pinch Pot Project Finished – Alondra Garza Art.

    • Hi Amanda, We have 5 45 minutes classes per week and this project will typically take about 3 weeks from delivery to finish depending on the size of the paper used. Have fun this is one of my favorite projects!

  90. Pingback: 6th Grade – 1/25-2/02 – Hilary Whitson's Blog

  91. Good lesson. I appreciate that you included a Biblical Integration section. I teach art to six of my grand-kids who are home-schooled; they are being brought up in a Christian home and I am a believer as well. So I view our creativeness as one of the traits we inherit from being created by God in His image and I try to glorify God in the lessons I teach.

    • Thank you Juanita! I am a believer and teach at a Christian school so biblical integration is a natural part of my lesson plans. Blessings on you as you invest in your grand-kids! What an incredible legacy you are leaving with them!

  92. Pingback: Artists that Inspire Delight, Emotion, and a New Perspective

  93. This is a FANTASTIC project and i would like to try it with my Grade 10 art class, all the way up in Manitoba, Canada. But i was wondering, do you have an artist that influenced you in the creation of this lesson, or a watercolour artist you introduced to your students ? I like to attach someone to each project so they are exposed to different artists but i am stumped on a appropriate match for this one.
    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Roberta! I did not have a specific we were studying. I was inspired by a piece of art I saw in a nursing home, but unfortunately there was no artist name anywhere to be found. Our project is very loosely inspired by that piece I saw because it had color on the main subject and a black/white graphic style design around it.

  94. Your instructions say use the paper, but other hard surface that has been gessoed will work. In the comments you say that whatever surface you use must be gessoed. Does this include the paper, or is it only for using a material other than watercolor paper?
    Thanks! Looking forward to trying this one.

  95. Pingback: The Art of an Idea: Sol LeWitt Instruction and Concepts

    • It is fun!! I’ve never tried it on a t-shirt. Because you are apraying with spray paint, I’m not sure you’d want that on a shirt and I dont think it would be washable.

  96. Pingback: 6 Early Finisher Activities Featuring Works of Art | Art Class Curator

  97. Pingback: Brava Art Press » Students who finish their work early

  98. Pingback: Abstract Art Concepts – ART WABU

  99. Pingback: 10 Trendy Ideas For A Graduation Party

  100. Pingback: 10 Fantastic 6Th Grade Graduation Party Ideas

  101. Hello,
    So I understand what materials are need to do the spilling paint. But can you (do you remember) the actual steps to achieve it. So for the pvc pipe stands how did you do them. The hole in the paint can was drilled where to put the monofilament ( to make the can look as though it spilling)?
    Trying to do this in August for a church function ( I know it’s been like 2 years or so but if you can help me it would be greatly appreciated).

  102. Pingback: 17 Hall Pass Ideas You’ll Want to Steal | Education Discussion

  103. I love your site. As a mature adult who received no art education, I’d been struggling with the logistics of teaching myself more about art than just technique. I started painting & drawing 18mths ago, having done neither since 30yrs ago, when a thoughtless relative insulted my untrained adolescent sketches & left me feeling discouraged. Upon my return to painting & drawing, I wanted to learn more, but found it difficult to absorb information by simply wandering through art galleries. Your lesson plans will help me a great deal, as the content is not just aimed at one type of learner. I look forward to learning more with you.

  104. Pingback: Classroom Decorating Ideas to Rock this School Year

  105. I love the glass beads to look like water! What kind of glass beads did you use? Where they special ones you bought for firing, or were they just the kind you can buy at walmart in the aquarium section?

    • Hi! We used glass beads that go in the bottom of vases! I’ve gotten them at Hobby lobby, Amazon, Ealmart & the $ store-they all work the same! Make sure to fire at a low temp (cone 06) to prevent bubbles!

  106. Just what I was looking for!!! I did a lesson on both Wayne Thiebaud and Jim Dine. We did oil pastel bakery and fake 3 d cupcakes. I wanted to display them and was trying to come up with a good support for the background. This will work!

  107. Love this… additionally, yours is the only blog I’ve found that a truly appreciate. I even look forward to your e-newsletter!

  108. Pingback: Cubism Art Lesson Plan – Art Coronium

    • I totally agree with you! Artists need to always be stretching their skills and this is an excellent exercise for doing just that! As an artist and art educator, I usually do a project first so I can work out exactly what needs to be taught throughout the lesson. This one was challenging and engaging for me and I felt my personal skills grow!

  109. Wish I had these comments when I was teaching .. Each comment had to be different and there was just so many ways to tell the parents that their child was doing fine. I’m sure the teachers reading this will be very thankful.

  110. Saved my keester! Thank you! Computer on the fritz and couldn’t do my lesson. Grateful to have this to teach tomorrow!

  111. I am currently a volunteer art coordinator for a local retirement home. Many of the residents in their 80s and 90s are experiencing art for the first time. I would like permission to pull some of your directions and illustrations for creating the Fleztangle. Your visuals for coloring and putting together the Flextangle are very good. We have already learned to fold our watercolor creations to create boxes and explored zentangle so this project fits right in with what they have already learned. They get so excited when they create.
    I’ve enjoyed looking at all the Flextangles your students created.

  112. Thank you for such explicit instructions! I will follow next year as we are all ready making castles in 4th grade and I am experiening some of the same problems you described! I did have the early finishers place the blue glass beads in their moat after the bisque firing and then I glaze fired them. BUT I did not have said students glaze the entire castle…..do you think they can be fired a second time with the glaze applied or will it cause the blue gems to crack, etc.? Thank you in advance for your time and wonderful ideas!

    • Hi Karen,
      I always do the beads in the glaze firing and only glaze fire at cone 06 (we use Mayco Stroke and Coat). They “should” be able to be fired a second time as long you use the cone and speed. I have not fired my castles twice, so honestly I’m not 100% sure. Best of Luck! Michelle

  113. I am going to try this lesson out with my 7th graders, looking forward to them exploring more into these different types of media! Thank you for sharing!

  114. Hello & thank you for posting all of this great info! I have a b of a in psychology – but do you think I can teach an after school art class without a teaching certificate??

  115. Do you have to use a hose, Im doing this at my youth summer camp and I may not have access to a hose, I will have access to a sink

    • No you don’t have to use a hose! The last time I did this with my students I had a gallon size bucket & “threw” the water on it from a sideways motion and it worked great!

  116. Pingback: Pagodas - Leah Newton Art

  117. Hi Michelle, I seen this lesson when I was subbing and needed something to do with students that were finished with their projects. It was on a small scale due to time. Students really enjoyed it. Now that I was hired in as the art teacher, I want to make it into a lesson (changing a few things for each grade level). Thank you for sharing; credited in resources 🙂

  118. Pingback: 20 Ideas for Fun Art Projects - Best Collections Ever | Home Decor | DIY Crafts | Coloring | Birthday | Ideas

  119. Pingback: 10 Dale Chihuly Art Projects for Kids

  120. Pingback: Piano Lesson Grade 1 – Piano For The Broskies

  121. Pingback: Piano Lesson Plan – Piano For The Broskies

  122. These are great! What kind of paper do you use? I would think watercolor paper would be too thick to do rubbings on.
    Also, how do you teach students to draw the iguana? I know some of my students might get overwhelmed at trying to make the iguana look so realistic.


  123. Hello, I love this lesson plan. I also went to Ms. Shepard’s link and see how you changed it. Both are lovely lessons. I’ll use both of them somehow. And I will most definitely add your links to my lesson plan for our district because they like to know where we get our inspiration. I teach 3rd thru 5th, and I will also have to change things. I’ll show you examples of my students work when we finish.
    Mrs. D.

  124. Pingback: The top 20 Ideas About Summer Art Project for Kids - Best DIY Ideas and Craft Collections

  125. Pingback: Bathroom Decor Hobby Lobby | The best interior equipment

  126. Pingback: 20 Of the Best Ideas for Summer Art Project for Kids - Best DIY Ideas and Craft Collections

  127. Pingback: Best 35 Personalized Graduation Party Ideas - Home, Family, Style and Art Ideas

  128. I really love this lesson! I have a question. I struggle with how much clay to hand out, really for any elementary lesson. Any suggestions, guidance. Thank you! And this is one of my favorites, my students love it. I just struggle with how much clay to give out!

    • Hi Shannon! Before doing the project, you need to create an example so you can figure out how much clay to use for each part. Before the class comes, I always pre-portion out the clay into individual sandwich size zip lock bags! This helps a TON in getting the project done faster and more effectively. It’s helpful to have a small scale to make sure all the portions are close in size (don’t worry about getting them to the exact weight-close will do!).

  129. Pingback: 10 Laurel Burch Art Projects for Kids

  130. Great project! Did you leave the paper towel tube in there and let it fire out? I know it won’t hurt anything, just wondering what your experience is with a class of them.