I've been waiting super patiently to do a project with black paint and this was my chance!

Black glue
Black Crayon or Marker
Paint (warm & cool colors)

After drawing out a basic sketch of a landscape to include a foreground, middle ground and background image with a black crayon or permanent marker, my 3rd, 4th and 5th graders were ready to paint.
Side note: I do not recommend using a pencil for the sketch- it only encourages erasers and perfectionists and nobody's got time for that!
To start, I only gave the kids red and yellow paint.
They mixed directly on their papers to create different hues of warm colors.
For the cool colors, I gave them blue, green and purple.
Since we were short on time, I needed to speed up the process.
You could just give your classes primary colors and let them mix everything.
My kids just get lost in the beauty of color mixing and would spend the whole class on the same part of their painting if I let them- so I narrowed the mixing fun it to just the warm colors this time.
Once they completed their paintings, they were set to dry until the next class.
Then came the part I was waiting for!
I've seen it all over Pinterest and couldn't wait to give it a shot.
Here's how I did it.
They simply traced over their original sketch with the black glue.
It really gave the painting a finished look.
Disclaimer: Large paintings (12x18) will come with a few complaints of cramping hands....
I told them they're building hand muscles just in time for state writing tests.
If you don't have state essays, you may want to use smaller paper. ;)
These make me smile!
The kids LOVED how the glue dried to a shiny rubber like texture.
So darn cool!

If you follow me on Instagram then you know I've been battling a cold all week.
No fun for sure.
So instead of making sub plans- which are way too much work when your head is congested- I did what all good teachers do...I hit the internet in search of an easy back up plan.
My kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE directed drawings!
Do yours?
There seems to be great debate among art teachers over this concept.
But I gotta tell ya'll- it leaves my kiddos with a sense of success and accomplishment when they have a drawing of a scarecrow that looks like a scarecrow instead of a heap of hay.
And when you've got tissues in one hand a pounding headache- finding the perfect fall themed directed drawing tutorial on Youtube is priceless.
ArtforKidsHub.com is packed full of these fab videos and step by step tutorials!
You should check it out!
It saved this teacher's cracking voice for sure.
My 1st and 2nd graders drew the cutest scarecrows and cornucopias just in time for Thanksgiving!
My first graders used crayons instead of paint- I just didn't have the energy for mess with the babies.
They didn't seem to mind- crayons are fun too!
These drawings were quick, easy, and the kids really loved 'em.
I was just happy to survive the week ;)
Now I'm back to the couch with my tissues in hand- wishing that Starbucks could deliver.

Happy Saturday sweet friends!
As soon as I found out that I was going to be teaching art this year, I began getting excited for this project.
It's one I remember doing in my elementary school art room many years ago!
It's a favorite of mine and my third graders did not disappoint!
You could use a variety of mediums for this project- this year, we used liquid tempura and oil pastel but I think next year, I'll use painted paper to switch things up and see how that goes!
So many possibilities and so little time!
But I digress.
We started off this project, like I do with the majority of my classes- front loading information and pulling out schema to get the kids in the "art state of mind". We used BrainPop Jr. to watch a short video about Vincent Van Gogh and impressionism painting. We also had a wonderful discussion about how colors can emulate feelings and emotions for both the artist and the viewer.
We did a quick directed drawing with a light colored crayon.
I like to use crayon because it encourages small hands to draw big plus any mistakes can be easily painted over.
Students used liquid tempura to paint in short strokes and they really enjoyed color mixing directly on their paper.
The problem with fun painting projects is that kids end up more engaged in mixing colors than completing the actual painting. Some of the kids had a ball just painting their vase one color and then completely painting over it another color. The artist in my gets so excited to see the kids experimenting with color- but the control freak in me panics because we're on my self-inflicted pacing guide folks and there's no time to waste- chop, chop kids.

Then I count to ten, take a deep breathe and remind myself that our kids haven't had art class in many years- playing with paint is part of the discovery process.

Then I repeat: count to ten, deep breathe....

You get the picture.
Once their completed paintings were dry (4 classes later) - students used brown or black oil pastel to outline and add definition to their vase and flower petals. This small touch really added definition!

I think they turned out really great for our first Van Gogh adventure!
PTL it's Friday ya'll!  
Even though Halloween is over, doesn't mean that you can't continue to celebrate fall in your art classes!
This week my kinder and first grade groups created the cutest little pumpkins ya'll!
If you're looking for a quick, fun and easy science integration activity- then you may want to consider adding this one to your list of fall projects.
We watched a quick Youtube video about the life cycle of a pumpkin and then I read them this Common Core text exemplar to get their minds packed full of non-fiction goodness!
Product Image

We started our project with a directed drawing of a very basic pumpkin. I don't always recommend directed drawings for your youngest kiddos- but this one was simple enough that I knew it would be achievable for even the littlest of hands.

We used 9x12 manila construction paper. I don't usually use this type of paper for paintings because it's so thin- but because I have a TON of it stock piled and the paper color matched the seasonal theme, I decided to roll with it.

They drew out their pumpkin with crayon. 
Crayon seems to force children to draw large and I wanted them to fill their whole paper. 
Big is beautiful- that's my motto.

I put only orange paint out first- little people need one step at a time.
Call me crazy but I let them finger paint their pumpkins. 
You could use a paintbrush as well- but I find that little hands move slower with a paintbrush so we opted for gooey fingers. 

When the kids came back for their next class, we used small paint brushes to trace their crayon lines with brown tempura paint. We used green finger paint for the grass. After lots of discussion about ordinal words and where grass grows, I still ended up with a few kinder babies painting grass above the pumpkin...I'm still learning to let go and let art be art.

I think they turned out absolutely precious!
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