Category: Art Education

I have been immersed in the art education field for a number of years, and as a high school art teacher and daughter to a 30+ year elementary art teacher, I have compiled a number of my favorite art lessons. Here I will share my lessons, experiences, how tos, and examples of student work.

As an art educator, I am constantly on the lookout for new ideas, materials, and techniques. I have found countless lessons on other people’s websites and I hope this will be a way for me to give back.

If you have an amazing lesson you would like to share please e-mail me at [email protected] You can also check out my teaching products at my Teachers Pay Teachers shop here.

TPT Winter Sale: 25% off

It’s that time of year again, the winter TPT sale! My entire store will be 20% off, with an extra 5% off at checkout, just enter the code: ticktock. As usual, I have been working hard on developing new products and I have a new curriculum bundle ready for you to save big money on tomorrow and Wednesday.

Intro to DSLR Photography Curriculum

Since August, my talented and wonderful coworker, Meagan Brooker, and I have been working on an Introduction to DSLR Photography curriculum. This bundle is a hefty 100 dollars, but is worth every penny. It includes 18 photography projects, 13 critiques, 9 artist research assignments, a focus on the history of photography, semester long timeline, how to set up a class blog, and more.

With this bundle you will not have to plan a single day of the semester in your photography class. If you have never picked up a DSLR camera, you will also be able to teach yourself with the step by step instructions in the lesson that teaches aperture, f-stop, ISO, manual mode and more.

Plus, in addition to all of the lessons and activities, there are also eight printable posters to decorate your classroom with examples of important photography basics. Save $25.00 on this bundle during the sale, tomorrow (2/26/19) and Wednesday (2/27/19).

Zendoodle Worksheet Bundle

Another bundle that has come together between August and now is my zendoodle worksheet pack. This pack includes nine worksheets that cover tips, techniques, and how tos with zentangling. These worksheets are a perfect introduction to adding patterns to a project or end of an assignment early finisher handout.

Each worksheet includes examples of different types of zendoodles on the front (scallops, triangles, organic, adding color, combining multiple techniques) and a space for the students to practice on the back. At $14.40 you can get it for just $10.80 on TPT the next two days.

Printable Art Supply Labels

The last product I will share with you is my most recent, my art supply labels that were posted this afternoon. I have been working on these for the last few weeks and am so excited to finally share them with you.

My students always ask where supplies are located, even though every single cabinet and drawer in my classroom is labeled. One day the light bulb went on, maybe by adding a visual students would have an easier time tracking supplies down and finding their places when they are cleaning up. After all, artists are visual people.

After making a list of every single supply I would want a label for. I got to work. I drew art supplies, painted watercolor blobs, scanned them both into my computer, and combined them together. They are bright, modern, and easy to read. I think they are perfect for K through college, readers and non-readers, and any style art classroom.

These are listed for $25.00 and you get two different style labels, in two different sizes, of 46 different art supplies. There are a ton in this pack! Tomorrow and Wednesday you can get them for just. $18.75 on TPT.

Today I have been preparing for the big TPT sale and settling back into reality. My little family and I returned home today from a brief Florida visit for a wedding. Cooper and Kennedy spent the weekend with my in-laws in Tampa while Nick and I continued on to the Florida Keys, Islamorada. Is was sunny, hot, gorgeous, and turquoise. I am not ready to be home but I am excited for tomorrow!

If you want to see some other resources I have been working on since this time last year check out my August sale blog post hereand the cyber Monday sale blog post here.

Thanks for taking them time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word about my blog, my TPT art resources, and the big sale tomorrow by sharing with others! Thanks for stopping by.

TPT Cyber Monday Sale

Don't miss the TPT cyber Monday sale!

I just want to drop a quick note to let everyone know about the Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Monday sale, starting tomorrow, November 26th (2018) and running through Tuesday, November 27th (2018).

My entire store will be marked 20% off, plus you get an extra 5% off at checkout with the code cyber18. I only discount products in my store during TPT promotions, and this will be the last one for awhile. If you have been eyeing any of my products, especially my larger bundles, this is a great chance to get them for a steal!

Learn how to incorporate color into zendoodle designs.

The most recent products I have been working on are a series of zentangle based art handouts. These step by step printables show students how to create design based doodles. The most recent one I created (shown above) gives examples and tips on incorporating color into zendoodle designs.

You can check out my other zentangle worksheets below:

➢Check out my zentangle how to worksheethere.

➢Check out my zentangle pattern example worksheet here.

➢Check out my zentdoodle organic patterns example worksheet here.

➢Check out my zentangle line pattern how to printable here.

➢Check out my zentangle checkerboard pattern how to worksheet here.

➢Check out my zendoodle nature inspired handout here.

➢Check out my zentangle triangles and arrows example worksheet here.

➢Check out my handdrawn Zentangle worksheet here.

➢Check out a way to apply this technique to an art project here.

➢Interested in more drawing based projects? Check out my semester long drawing curriculum here.

➢Check out my other products here.

Learn how to create a photo journal.

I have also been working on a number of digital photography lessons with my amazing coworker Meagan Brooker. We are currently working on our first semester long Photo I bundle. Check out one of the first lessons of the future bundle, creating a photo journal, here. I will be sure to post more information about that product once it’s complete.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving week and are getting into the holiday spirit! Don’t forget to spoil yourself with teaching products to help make your life easier in your classroom. Check out my last sale post for more details on the many bundles I created over the summer.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help spread the word by sharing with others. Thanks for stopping by!

Gelli Printmaking Crash Course From a Self Taught Printmaker

This year I taught myself how to create gelli prints a few days before I started teaching it to students. I had been interested in trying it for a couple of years, especially after seeing a demo of it at the New York NAEA conference in 2017. When it came time to plan a quick, easy, and pretty looking project for an annual art fundraiser my school participates in, it all clicked in place.

This process is so easy, fast, and fun! It creates beautiful results with little risk. It’s perfect for a fundraiser project because generally every student will create a successful print. After playing around with the process I decided I wanted to take it a step further and incorporate this process into my intro to watercolor assignment.

But let’s start back at the beginning with a little how to.

Gelli printmaking supplies

For this project you need a gelli plate. I had enough plates to pair up my students, but it helps to have at least a few to pass around. Don’t cheap out! I tried buying two more at the last minute at an arts and crafts store. It was easily half the thickness and the paint didn’t transfer as solidly from the plate. I highly recommend the Gelli Arts brand. I especially loved the round print shape.

You will also need…

  • High flow acrylic paint (or the cheap craft store paints or slightly watered down acrylic paint. Open acrylics work really well because they are slow drying)
  • A brayer
  • A barren (or a wood spoon or flat object)
  • Thin watercolor paper (if incorporating the watercolor portion of the project), drawing paper works fine if not doing the watercolor addition
  • Printer paper
  • Leaves and other natural materials
  • Stencils and texture plates to add additional texture as you print.

For the watercolor portion:

  • Watercolor paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle
  • Salt
  • Waterproof pen, or thin Sharpie
  • Masking fluid

HOW TO:

Leaves and pinecones you can use to print with in gelli printmaking.

STEP ONE: Collect materials to print with. You can press textures, such as pine cones, into the plate and place flat objects on the plate to print with to create negative space. Look for leaves with interesting shapes. Large, simple shapes won’t print well. Think little leaves, ferns, interesting contour lines.

The natural objects don’t last well overnight. You may end up needing to collect new natural materials before every class. You can try pressing the leaves between flat, heavy objects to keep them from curling as they dry.

STEP TWO: Set up your station with your paint colors, paper, texture plates, and natural objects. You will need a sheet of paper for the first print and a sheet of printer paper for the ghost print. A ghost print is a print taken after most of the paint has transferred during the first print. The ghost print helps clean up the plate for the next print, no need to rinse these off in between, and it creates a beautiful second image that can be displayed or used in collages, visual journals, etc.

A gelli plate with acrylic paint rolled on top.

STEP THREE: Apply the paint. Put 3-4 dime size dabs of paint on the plate. Try to keep similar colors together, don’t scatter random colors all over the plate or you will get a messier look. Consider color theory, what colors work well together? What happens if the colors you selected mix? Remember, complementary colors (yellow/purple, red/green, and blue/orange) create grays and browns when mixed. Roll over the paint with the brayer, roll over the plate until the entire plate is covered. If you see paint “peaks” where the brayer leaves texture behind, you might have too much paint on your plate. The above plate is a little heavy with paint.

TIP: Place one color on one side of the plate, another on the other side, and roll the brayer up and down until the colors start to mix in the center.

How to press a textured plate into a gelli plate.

STEP FOUR: If applying a texture through a stencil, stamp, pine cone, or similar, do that before placing your leaves. Press your texture object into the plate, then lift it off. Paint should pull up with the object, leaving signs of the texture on the plate.

Gelli prints with brushstrokes.

You can also add paintbrush texture by adding a few drops of paint onto the already rolled plate and spreading it out using a paintbrush. This texture will also transfer to the plate.

See how to print with leaves using a gelli plate.

STEP FIVE: Place your leaves on the wet plate. Don’t move them once you place them, otherwise you may create unwanted lines and texture.

TIP: Try to move through these steps as quick as possible, unless you are using slow drying paint the paint may start to dry on the plate.

STEP SIX: Lay your printing paper on top, press the leaves down with your hand before rubbing over the back with the brayer. Make sure you move over the entire plate with the brayer, ensuring all the paint is being pressed to the paper.

STEP SEVEN: Lift the paper and enjoy your print! Set it aside to dry.

Gelli print and ghost print.

STEP EIGHT: Remove the leaves and place a sheet of printer paper onto the plate. Rub over the back with your hands or a brayer, lift the paper, and enjoy your ghost print! This step also cleans the plate. After this the plate is ready to be reused right away.

TIP: The above ghost print shows the correct amount of paint was used because the majority of the paint stuck to the first sheet of paper, leaving only the paint blocked by the pine needles and leaves behind for the ghost print. If your students have messy prints and a lot of paint left on the plate after printing, have them cut the amount of paint by half the next time around.

If you aren’t adding any watercolor to your print you are done at this point! Cut the extra paper off to center the print in the paper, try to leave a border for display. Mount the prints and display them. OPTIONAL: Display the prints with the ghost prints.

Gelli print supplies to add watercolor.

STEP NINE: Add watercolor to the negative space of the print. For this assignment, I had my student print until they got three successful prints. They selected two to test out 12 watercolor techniques and selected one to leave as is.

I have a watercolor handout and an instruction sheet that I give to my students to reference as they work. Both of these are included in my gelli print lesson plan. This lesson is now serving as my introduction to watercolor before moving into a more in-depth watercolor assignment.

Gelli print with watercolor.

This example shows the wet watercolor painting to the left and the painting after it dried with ink added. The ink helped define the fern and add texture.

Gelli prints

Display the three gelli prints together. Cut the excess paper off, mount them, and enjoy!

How ghost prints and gelli prints can be collaged into a visual journal.

If you have sketchbooks or visual journals in your class, encourage your students to save mess up prints and ghost prints to collage with in their journals. I will blog about collaging my ghost prints in the near future!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word about art lessons, printmaking, gelli prints, and visual journaling by sharing with others.Interested in more visual journal stories, tips, and how tos? Check out my visual journal blog page here and my visual journal bundle on TPT here. Interested in other printmaking lessons? Check out a relief printmaking blog post here and my printmaking lessons here. Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help spread the word and get involved with visual journaling by following, sharing, and commenting!

I’ve been sharing a lot of my day to day activities, student work, and art and yearbook lessons on my Instagram. Follow along here!

TPT Bonus Back to School Sale!

I have been terrible at blogging this summer, surprise, surprise, this reflects no past patterns whatsoever (insert eye roll here). Even though I plan to get back into regular blogging, I wanted to drop a quick note about the Teachers Pay Teachers back to school bonus sale!

I just found out this was happening at the end of last week, and I am so excited because I don’t remember participating in a bonus sale in past years. So many schools start back in September, so this a great way to give those teachers a sale day if they weren’t in school mode and back to school shopping at the beginning of August.

The bonus sale is one day only, August 21st (2018). My entire store will be 20% off with an additional 5% provided by TPT at checkout. I have still been posting regularly, although not as often as I was over the summer. I am back to school and my time is now spent 90% art teachering and 10% TPTing (with being a mom, wife, dog and chicken mom, and homeowner lumped somewhere in those two).

I have been working so hard getting my classroom set up and ready to go. I have done a good bit of clearing out, organizing, and rearranging this year. I plan to post about my classroom transformation soon!

I also reprinted and laminated my elements of art and principles of design posters. These are available at my TPT store and will be included in the 25% off on Tuesday, 8/21.

I felt like my life revolved around laminating for a few days. But I also got my brand new “Save the…” poster series laminated and hung. I will be posting pictures to my instagram about these sometime next week. You can find these posters on my TPT store here.

If you missed my post recapping all the TPT products I made over the summer and the new bundles I am working towards, read about them in my back to school TPT post here. 

Happy bonus sale day, make sure you mark your calendar! Thanks for reading this quick note, I look forward to sharing some of my projects more in depth soon. Thanks for stopping by!

My Summer of TPT + TPT Back to School Sale (8/1, 8/2/18)

I can’t believe it’s that time of year again. It’s BACK TO SCHOOL! Where did summer go? My summer went to pools, beaches, baby snuggles, and a ton of TPT ing.

My little family enjoyed a much needed out of town vacation in Hilton Head Island, SC. One of my favorite parts of being a teacher is the time I get with my sweet babies during summer. I ate up every minute of it while the babies were awake. But, every minute their little heads were on their pillows I was at my computer getting ready for today. The back to school sale!

I have seemingly endless ideas for TPT products, and my ever growing to do list certainly reflects this. I have hit it hard since the start of summer and have put together a bunch of new products and some major bundles. August 1st and 2nd my entire store will be 20% off, plus an extra 5% from TPT added at checkout. This is huge especially for my 5 curriculum, $300.00 bundle. See details below.

This is a goal I have been working toward for a couple of years. When I first started working on curriculums, with my Intro to Art curriculum, I realized there was a market out there for these types of products. That motivated me to post my personal curriculums for drawing, painting, advanced 2D, intro to sculpture and ceramics, and AP art. My goal has always been to build each curriculum individually then create a mega bundle, a complete high school visual art course load. Originally I wanted to also include 3D, but it will take more time to get there. Instead, I went ahead and put together my 2D high school mega curriculum bundle . It includes:

I have this listed for $300.00, a $35.00 discount. This is everything you need to teach every single day in 5 different art courses. With 25% off this bundle will be just $225.00, a lot of money for an art teacher, but a steal for the amount of content.

I already wrote about my AP Art curriculum here, so I won’t repeat myself. But I am so proud of this bundle. This would’ve been a huge help to me as a 1st year AP teacher, and I hope it can serve that for someone else. I have already gotten a number of questions about this curriculum vs. my advanced 2D curriculum. They are totally different and if you teach both I recommend getting both. That way you won’t have to redesign AP once your advanced kids move up. This will be just $75.00 with the 25% discount. 

After completing my 5 curriculum bundle I decided to return to a project I started last year, a save the brushes poster. It was a quirky way to show students what happens if you don’t care for supplies and tips on how to prevent ruining brushes. As an art teacher I have many supplies at risk of student abuse. Over the school year I made it a point to photograph supply disasters as they happened in my room. I then turned those photos into save the glue, palettes, markers, paint, paint pumps, paint tubes, sinks, erasers, and pencils. I now have a poster bundle of “Save the…” posters. This is bundled for $17.60, and will be marked down to $13.20.

In my advanced 2D and AP art curriculums I made it a point to develop critiques to go along with every project. That lead me to the idea of creating a critique bundle. This includes 20 general critiques that could go with any type of project at any level. They are fun. get kids moving, thinking, and verbalizing their opinions. This lists for $37.60, but will be marked down to $28.20 on 8/1/18 and 8/2/18.

In addition to my own massive to do list, I have also decided to team up with my amazing coworker, Meagan Brooker, and my amazing mom, Anne Ward. Meagan teaches drawing, photography, and AP art at our school. She is also a professional photographer on the side and is responsible for all our family photos for the last six years, many of which are proudly printed on our annual Christmas cards. Photography is a hobby of mine, but professional, manual photography is totally out of my comfort zone. I know there is a need out there for good digital photography lessons, so that is where Meagan comes in. She hands over her awesome lessons and I TPT ify them: adding detailed lesson plans, PowerPoints, and clarifying instructions so anyone, professional photographer or not, can follow them.

Meagan and my first collaboration is an introduction to photography lesson. This focuses more on setting up a successful photograph from step 1, rather than relying on editing later. It emphasizes the elements of photography and rules of composition. This has two projects in one. It lists for $8.00 but will be marked down to $6.00 the 1st and 2nd of August.

My mom is a retired art teacher of over 30 years. She has a ridiculous wealth of knowledge in this subject area and still teaches private lessons, summer camp, and consults in her former school county. She specialized in printmaking in college, which is why I am so excited that the first bundle we are working towards is a K-5th printmaking bundle. It will not only include amazing lessons, but also how to set up your classroom to help printmaking run as smooth as possible. We will be working over the next year (or more) on a comprehensive K-5 yearlong curriculum. Our first printmaking lesson is a kindergarten fish monoprint. More is coming soon!

School starts for me 8/6/18, I am equal parts ready and not ready. But, I am making some changes in my classroom and can’t wait to share them here. I am hoping I can keep my summer stamina going and keep posting almost as frequently during the school year.

I have new motivation as my husband quit his job in May to pursue building is own company. This is something we have discussed for years, and TPT has made it a reality. I am so proud that my hard work is paying off and I can support my family in this way. TPT has provided a space for teachers to share their ideas with others, and I am so grateful I discovered it, gave it a try, and stuck it out.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Don’t forget to check out the TPT sale 8/1/18-8/2/18. If you are reading this after the fact, I promise my products are still worth every penny even at full price! Thanks for stopping by.