Saturday, April 04, 2020

Marker Prints on Foam Plate

Gather your Supplies
Some Tips
1. Make sure that students wipe the paper with the sponge just enough to make it damp - not wet.
2. Do not wipe multiple times in the same spot or the paper will start to pill.
3. Make sure that the markers they are using are not dried out.
4. When students lay their foam down to make a print, make sure that they use their finger to gently (but firmly) rub over the entire design. They should use the fingerprint part of their finger, not the tip or nail. It takes me about 10 seconds to fully press down and rub the back of my foam.

5. Don't write words. They'll print backward.

THE BEST part of the project is that you can create as many prints in as many colors as you would like to just make sure to wash off your foam in between colorings.

Cut out your printing plates from the foam plates. If you need help with this step make sure to ask.

Draw out your design with your washable markers on your styrofoam plate

Draw over all of your lines with a pencil, pressing into the styrofoam
This is what it should look like after your first tracing

Using a ballpoint pen go over the design a second time to get a nice, deep impression. When you're done wipe the plate clean of marker with a damp paper towel.

Now, color in your design with your washable markers. Notice how I used different values of the same color to create shadows and highlights on my tulip.

Grab a damp sponge or wet paper towel and gently wet your paper surface (a damp washcloth may work as well)

Now with your paper dampened (not too wet) you're ready to print your image

Use your fingertips or the side of your hand to press the foam plate FIRMLY into your paper. Be careful to make sure that the plate does not slip or slide around so you get a nice crisp image.

Peel up your printing plate to reveal your gorgeous print

You can iron your print to flatten out the wrinkles and you can frame it to give it a special touch

Here is the print I drew for my round plate

Does this remind you of an artwork that we've learned from past lessons?
(Hokusai's Great Wave of Kanagawa)
I actually saw one of the original wood block prints of the Great Wave while at Balboa Park in 
San Diego last Christmas
These are some photos that I took. It was so wonderful to see in real life!


Have fun creating and please post your creations to Instagram and tag me at 
or email me a picture of your prints.

You can also visit my youtube channel to see a short one minute video discussing the materials used.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Woodblock Printing- Suzuki Harunobu

Hello, my most amazing art students!
How are you today?

Woman Admiring Plum Blossoms at Night, Suzuki Harunobu 1725-1770
Edo Period
Woodblock print with embossing

In this print, one of Harunobu's most poetic images, a nymphlike beauty dressed in an elegant kimono stands holding a lantern and gazing dreamily at the plum blossoms. The image of admiring plum blossoms at night is a classical theme in the East Asian poetic tradition, and Harunobu's lyrical rendition has much in common with the art of the Heian period (794–1185). The stylized shape of the cloud at the top of the print reinforces the classical references. Harunobu and his patrons from the elite merchant and samurai classes in the capital, Edo (now Tokyo), admired the literary and cultural tradition of Kyoto, which was the capital during the Heian period.

In this print, the artist applied one of the techniques of embossing uncolored areas. To emphasize their softness, the inner layers of the kimono and tabi socks worn by the woman are raised on the paper. (The Met)

Please watch this video for a great tutorial on how a polychrome (multicolor) woodblock print is made. It's fascinating.

For next week's upcoming art project

You will need:
A styrofoam plate (any size or shape will work, the $store has rectangular ones that are great as well)
A dull pencil
A ball point pen
markers (not permanent)
a spray bottle or wet paper toweling or A SPONGE

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Create a Color Wheel

There are THREE primary colors
and BLUE
all other colors are made from those three colors
Color Wheel - How To Use Complementary Colors & Colour Wheels

Now that we're all distance learning I'd like you to create a color wheel out of objects you find at home. Take a picture and email it to me or you can tag me on instagram at

You can also watch this great video by OK GO! on the 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Fourth Grade Chinese Blossom Paper Lanterns

Our fourth graders are studying Ancient China. Did you know that the most famous cherry blossom parks exist in China are due to Japan's  brief occupation of China and later their gifting of cherry trees to them. We discussed this as a class and looked at images of Cherry Tree Parks.

Each student started with a 12x18 piece of white sulphite paper.
Our first step was to watercolor branches horizontally across our papers.
Next they dipped their brushes into magenta tempera paint and "splooshed" the paint randomly onto their tree branches. After that they dipped their brushes into white paint and "splooshed" the white paint on top of the magenta spots.
Day 2
The students folder their papers in half with the floral design on the inside. They then used their rulers as a guide to draw a line along the top edge of the long side of their papers. After that they used the ruler to draw vertical lines along the length of their papers. Finally they cut up the length of the vertical lines until the reached the horizontal further
Now, they fold their papers back the other way with the design facing out. It's a little tricky with all of those slits in the paper.
Next, they wrapped their papers into a circle, overlapped the edges and stapled the top and bottom together. 
At this point I had them squish their lanterns down and create a nice crease at the middle folds in the paper. 
The students god a two inch wide piece of 18" long, white sulphite paper that had been painted with gold tempera. They cut their gold piece in half length wise with a wavy cut. They also got a 12x1.5" piece of brown construction paper for their handles. 
They stapled the handle to the top of the lantern.
Now they wrapped their gold pieces around the openings of the top and bottom making sure to cover the staples and securely glued them on. 
This was the finished lantern. We plan on hanging them from the ceiling in the elementary hallway. Can't wait to see them all displayed.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Grandma Moses Shape Lesson: First Grade

Observing shapes in an object can help us draw accurately. Look at a few objects, going from simple to more complex. What shapes do we see?

Bases on lesson by

Grandma Moses
Week 1
Watch this video on Grandma Moses
Life of Grandma Moses

Image result for Grandma Moses winter

Give the children a piece of gray construction paper. Show them how to paint a snowy bank along the bottom. While this is drying on table...
Discuss the different shapes used in the paintings.
Have the children choose three squares or rectangles for their buildings. They can choose to use the rectangles horizontally or vertically. Have them pick three matching triangle roofs.
They will then glue the pieces onto their papers making sure that the buildings are in the snowy bank and not floating in the air.

Give each of the children a strip of black paper. They will snip this paper to create windows and doors.

Week 2
Finish with windows and doors if neededGive the children a construction paper crayon to create walkways, fences or other small details to their paintings. Have them paint their roofs white with "snow". Demonstrate to them how to load up a paintbrush with watered down white paint and tap it to create falling snow.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Joan Miro Kindergarten Lesson

Miro Slideshow

Joan Miro was born April 20, 1893 in Barcelona, Spain. Like Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Salvador Dali, Miro is one of the great pioneers of twentieth-century art. Miro began drawing at a young age, and his choice of subjects -tufts of grass, insects, birds- revealed an early affinity for the organic. Though based on his observations of nature, his works were abstractions, and bridged the gap between realistic and abstract imagery.
 Woman in the Night

Present lesson on Joan Miro and show images located on thumb drive. Discuss abstract art and how lines and shapes represent things in real life. Most of his lines are curved. He shows the sun with stars.

Week 1
Using a thick sharpie have students draw a large figure that fills their paper. Then have them use the Miro idea sheet to add extra elements to their drawing.  You can choose to let them use an extra fine point sharpie to give a variation of line weights. (Possibly use gray or brown construction paper)

Week 2
Have students paint their works of art using tempera paints with #3 brushes for control. Limited color palette of white, turquoise and red. (I tried yellow on the brown paper and it did not look nice). 
Have students go back over lines that might have been painted over.

I think this is something our kindergarteners can pull off, can't wait to see the results. Will update.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

First Grade Turkeys: Happy Thanksgiving

I had so much fun creating this directed drawing for the first graders. I knew they would have a blast and that their turkeys would ultimately be much cuter than mine! Delving into color blending.
Happy Thanksgiving!
The stripes!!!


I love how this turkey simultaneously looks like a baby wearing a technicolor dreamcoat and a turkey. This student did a lot of blending on their wings. Bravo!


I love seeing the various interpretations of turkeys. Patchwork, rainbow, large feathered or small; they're all wonderful.