All my art lessons are posted on the link below with, generally daily, weekly updates of new lessons and or kids work. Feel free to like, comment and follow,
I won't for the time being be posting any more lessons on here.
So it's been a little while, well , let's be honest a full year since I have posted any art lessons on here. I tend to post more on facebook, Miss Rae's Art Lessons for Kids feel free to check it out if you want. Though in saying that, I'll be back on here a lot more, and also with a new section looking at self-care for teachers,.
But let's get back to Christmas, a super simple lesson you can do is finger painting, all you need is your finger, red paint, a black fine liner pen and some paper of your choice. This lesson can turn into anything, cards, gift tags, pictures - you name it have fun.
These simple lessons have had a Christmas twist- super simple and easy. You can find all the lessons on this page.
1. Word art (picture above)
2. Pop up Cards
3. A little birdy told me - with a Christmas twist and some friends.
2. Pop up Cards
3. A little birdy told me he loved Chritmas and his friends
A super simple lesson on Primary and Secondary colours.
I love this lesson because it's practical and simple and the kids love it too. It can be easily expanded in any way you feel. I have used simple colour wheels after, almost like a check in, recapping on what Primary colours mixed together make what Secondary colours, asking the kids, and getting the kids to do colour sums on the whiteboard, or a big bit of paper stuck on the wall if no whiteboard in room, to see if they have understood.
1.Get three clear plastic cups - put a little bit of red food colouring in one, yellow in another and blue in the other. Have three empty plastic cups ready as well - you'll need them for mixing. I would suggest doing this all in front of the kids, as they totally love seeing what happens, rather than having it set up before hand.
2. Top them up with water.
3. Discuss and talk about the primary colours - really up to you what you do here.
4. Start to introduce, share and discuss about Secondary Colours ( green, orange, purple) without giving anything away, some of this kids may have already mentioned this - again up to you what you feel to do here.
5. Then comes the fun part, I ask the kids ' okay so what do we get if we mix red and yellow together ( or any of the other two primary colours together) then pour a little of each colour into an empty plastic cup, and hey presto you should have orange. The kids love seeing the colours mixing. So do I.
A top tip is pour the lighter colours in first - otherwise you could end up with a suer dark mix, the same when painting. It takes less red to make orange if yellow is used first.
6. Next step, let the kids do it themselves, I tend to do it in table groups.
7. Have fun, enjoy and experiment.
A super simple lesson for all ages. I make these cards throughout the year, there doesn't have to be a special occasions, although you could adapt them for topics, seasons, birthdays, events etc.
I'm going to keep it really simple and share how to make a one tab pop up card, though you can make this with more.
Making the basic pop-up card
1. Get two sheets of A4 paper, fold both in half. Place one to one side for later on.
2. Take the other sheet of paper, hold horizontally at the folded edge, this is really important or it won't work, cut two lines up from the folded edge, just off centre, about an inch apart, then gently push through, lightly taking hold of the fold, till it can go no more, make sure it's folded properly and gently close the card. ( see photo 1, 2 & 3)
3. Cut a little bit off right round the edge of the card, this is so it fits inside your other sheet of folded A4. ( see photo 4)
4. Stick the card with the pop up tab, inside your other sheet of folder A4. Making sure the folds don't overlap, or it won't close properly. A voila - you have the basic pop up card.
( see photo 5 & 6) Now it's time to decorate it.
Pretty much have fun - do whatever you feel like, keep it simple, go for it, decorate the front, inside, whatever you want. ( see photo 7 - 11)
Here are a couple of tips;
1. Make sure you don't make the pop-ip shapes too big or they'll stick outside the card when you close it.
2. Make sure it is the right way round when you decorate the front, sounds like a no brainer, but hey we all make mistakes,
3. When gluing don't glue the white tabs, make sure you glue the shapes to go on the tab, and only the bit that will touch the card, otherwise the card might end up stuck together.
A super simple lesson that can be adapted for
all ages. The main aim of this lesson is to look
at the Visual Elements of line, pattern, shape
and colour. As I go through the demo we
talk about the different areas, with the kids
pretty much giving all the input and
1. With younger classes I tend to use a template, offering the kids a choice of three different birds, I like using a blackbird, robin and an owl. ( see photo 1)
2. We talk about line, shape and pattern, and breaking the outline of the bird into smaller shapes.( see photo 2)
3. Then in each of these shapes we fill in different lines and patterns, for this particular lesson this is all to be done in line, with no colouring in, you'll see why later on
( see photo 3)
4. Once completed, I photo copy the drawing. We put the original to one side and use the photo copied version for the next stage. The reason I do this is that we use watercolour paint for the colour part - and if water and black felt tip pen mix the black starts to go everywhere. You could easily use coloured pencils or pens.
5. Add colour - I let the kids go for it, they can mix and use any colours they want, I suggest they use different colours in each part. When using watercolours I make it more about the how to use the paint. ( see photo 4)
This is a simple way to teach basic 3D drawing and introduce light, mid and dark tone. I get the kids to work from real life objects such as wooden blocks and geometric shapes,the less colourful the better, as sometimes to start with people can find it difficult seeing the difference between mid, light and dark tone. I also tend to start with straight edged shapes rather than spheres, to get the basics. A tip and great support, is to use white objects or light objects as it's much easier to see the tonal difference, you can always expand this for upper years by setting up still life on each table in the classroom with a selection of different white objects to draw and ask the kids to do a tonal drawing of these.
1. I place the object at an angle as it's much easier to draw. Start by drawing one side of the object. What I do is show the kids how the angle of the lines on opposite sides match. ( see the V and the X in photo 1)
2. Draw one of the other sides, again matching up the angles on opposite sides. ( see the X and the N in photo 2)
3. Then draw the final side same as above. ( see the V and the N in photo 3)
Tip - a great guide and support is to use a pencil to check out if the angles of your lines are the same, I love things being super practical and find this a great support
( see photos 4 & 5 )
Bringing in the tone is easy, I would suggest to begin with keep it super simple with only mid, light and dark tone. In terms of pencil I prefer 2B as the lead is softer to work with through HB's will work too, though the variant in tone will be slightly different.
1. To start with I talk about light source, often switching off the overhead lights as these are not great for showing tone, as there is light coming form all angles. What I tend to do is make sure the blinds are open so you have a natural light source coming in from the window, if that's not happening you could always use a torch to shine on the object. You'll get quite dramatic tone with this, but as an example, the kids will be able to see it clearly. You could always bring in a discussion about different types of light.
2. I then talk about light, medium and dark tone and ask the kids where they can see it on the object, making sure to ask children at different sides of the table, as where you are standing will differ in the tone you can see.
3. We talk about how to create different types of tone, the way we can hold our pencils, do we need to press hard to get dark tone, ( p.s the answer is no), we talk about how we can build it up in layers. I let the children share here, doing demo's or show them examples
4. I then bring in talking about our body here, checking in with how we feel, is our body hard and tense when we are working or does it feel gentle. This can be used as a check -in throughout the class.
5. The kids can colour in in any direction they want, I leave it up to them, there is no right or wrong. Sometimes you get really lovely texture with this.
Tip - Every one will slightly differ in terms of how they use light, mid and dark tone, some will be darker, some will be lighter, and that's totally okay. Sometime I use the white of my paper as the lights tone and to other times I shade very light, both is fine ( see photos below).
I like to keep things simple.
So here's another simple lesson that looks great, and the kids love it too.
I usually do this with primary 6 and 7, but it can easily be adapted for younger ages and you don't have to go with cityscapes you could do any template; a butterfly would look great.
I tend to break this up into two lessons, the first lesson the template and the soft pastel outline, the second lesson the oil pastel buildings, river and reflection. You could easily do it in one lesson, but for now I'll break it down into two.
1. Draw out a simple outline of a cityscape on paper. This can be done on any size of paper, I tend to work A3 or A4.
2. Cut out the drawing. When working with kids I share with them to turn it upside down and cut out from the sky, it makes it easier and less likely to cut the wrong bits out. A great support if kids are unsure, is to take a pencil and draw marks on the bits to cut out.
3. Get a sheet of black paper, same size as you used for your template. Tape the four corners to the table, with a little bit of masking tape, this is to hold it in place so it doesn't move when you are adding the soft pastels.
4. Decide where you want the template, I like to leave room in the sky for a moon.
5. Use masking tape rolled over to stick down the template gently to the black paper (as you want to be able to peel this off later, if too hard it might rip) You don't need much, just a little bit as support to keep the paper in place, and also so the soft pastels don't go underneath it.
6. Chose your colours and go round the edge of the template. I keep one finger along the edge where I am working, as an extra little support so the pastels don't go underneath. If they do you can rub them out later.
7. Your choice here, smudge the pastels or leave it as it is. When I smudge them I use different fingers so the colours don't get mixed. . Gently blow off excess dust. Then carefully peel off the template. Don't throw this away, as it can be used for an extension lesson. Store somewhere carefully until following lesson as the soft pastel can smudge. You could spray it with fixative, or strong hold hairspray to stop it smudging, but depending on the paper used, this can dull the colours or leave marks.
1. Time to fill in the buildings - using oil pastels, I talk about light, mid and dark tone and how to blend oil pastels; this can be in any colours they want. Some kids go for one range of colour e.g. light to dark blue, (I prefer working in this way) and some kids like to use a mixture of colours, e.g light pink, mid orange and a dark green, Both are equally okay.
2. They can add lights to the buildings and extend them further down the page. Remembering to leave space for the water at the bottom. If they have drawn a moon, you could use oil pastels here too.
3. Creating the water and reflection is really simple, almost like sketchy lines with the oil pastels, leaving parts of the black paper showing through. I like to use a couple of different blues and a deep turquoise, though one child asked me if he could use purple instead of turquoise and it worked really well. Again personal preference.
4. Adding the reflection to the water is easy, think of looking at a river at night where the lights are reflected. One thing I would suggest is don't do all the buildings as this can be a bit much, but it's entirely up to you. I don't colour the reflection in solid, just a little hint of the colour of the buildings and lights through the water. .
Use the original white template to draw on. You could look at attention to detail, pattern, line and tone.
Here is another super simple and easy lesson that can be adapted for kids of any age.
This could be used to cover lots of different areas and topics from colour, line, pattern, mixed media, shapes, or even talking about people, places, homes, houses, communities and families.
What the kids love, and I do to, is to see what happens when you paint watercolour over the oil pastels.
1. This can be done on any size of paper, I prefer A3, but A4 works too, it doesn't matter what way round you have the paper, it can be lengthways or vertical.
2. I tend to start with the pattern at the bottom, using bright colours of oil pastels as a basis for the drawing. A point to note for this drawing, (as this is not always the case) is make sure the oil pastels are quite thick, it doesn't mean you have to press down hard, you can go over them a couple of times, but if they are too thin, the watercolour may not have the same effect.
3. From there I start to add different styles and shapes of houses/ buildings. When I teach it, I let the kids go for it, they don't have to be real or a certain shape, I give them some examples, then let them do their own thing.
4. A little tip to add; it's fun to use white oil pastel as this usually works really well showing up with the watercolour painted on top and the kids love seeing the magic happen.
5. I add a bit of colour with the oil pastels to the house, but not too much as you want to leave some of the page white to paint with watercolour. Sometimes I draw the sun, the moon or stars in the sky, I've seen kids dawning rainbows too.
6. You can either paint the whole page the same colour or you can paint it any colours you want, I take it as it comes and see how I feel on the day. Sometimes I paint different colours for the houses, rooftops and the sky, other times I blend colours while they're still a little bit wet, so they bleed into one another and get an almost rainbow effect. You can see it in one on the rooftops in picture 2 and 3.
7. Have fun and enjoy.
Here's a super simple lesson for kids of all ages. You can adapt it for lots of different lessons, covering the visual elements or different ways of drawing, or, simply just have some fun.
1. Choose your size of paper, for these I worked A5, but you could go bigger if you feel to.
2. If the kids aren't feeling that confident to draw straight in pen, go for it in pencil first, making sure they don't press down too hard, as they'll rub the pencil lines out later. I still finding using a pencil at times a great support. Another little tip for bubble writing, if you aren't too sure about how to do it, sketch out lightly the letter first then use it as a guide to draw around, leaving however much space you want (depending on the thickness of the letter you are after) you can go for either straight or curved edges, or a mixture of both, then you rub out the pencil lines later. See in the 'c' in the first picture.
3. Start to add the doodles and detail. It's up to you / the kids if they want to do the whole thing in pencil first, then go over it in pen, or a mixture of both and pencil to support in areas they maybe don't feel too confident in, There are no rules here; it's about having fun . Same goes for colours, no rules apply, they can be done in pens or pencils or both, or even paint for that matter. I tend to like working in one colour outline then adding colour from there. Sometimes I forget to let the pens dry before rubbing out the pencil, this ends up smudging the ink. .
4. Sometimes I change it slightly as ask the kids to create doodles that tell me all about them, it might be things they like, animals, insect, colours, anything they feel expresses who they are, (see last photo) this can be a great intro lesson, start to a new class or school year.
Gyl works as an art and design teacher with primary school children. Having previously taught art and design at high school, worked at the Venice Bienalle, and as an arts lecturer at further education college. She also enjoys making her own work.