Saturday, September 17, 2022

 Sorry...this blog is no longer active. 

Only the post with children's art projects have been preserved for the use of teachers, homeschoolers, and parents.

You can fine my art at:

or on Instagram: @katiefreyart

Mooooove on....

Monday, May 4, 2020

Art for Kids: Zentangle Ocean Project

This video was sponsored by the Liberty Lake Library. 
Support your local libraries!

This is a fun all age project. What you will need: watercolor paper, watercolor paints (or watered down acrylics), a permanent black pen, paint brush, and water for cleaning your brush.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Impressionist Art For Kids: Sailboat Silouettes

Supplies: canvas or heavy tag board to paint on, watercolor paper, watercolor paints (liquid works best), tempera paints, black construction paper, pencil, scissors, something round to trace (for the sun), glue, salt.

Key Art Terms: tints, analogous colors, horizon line, silhouette, perspective, warm colors, cool colors.

Artist to discuss: Claude Monet

I did this project with 1st – 3rd graders over two days, as the watercolor paper takes awhile to dry. It is important to make sure your watercolor paper is either the same size, or wide enough to cover your canvas edge to edge. I used 8 x 11 canvas and paper.

1.     First, I handed out watercolor paper and had students sign their names (they will look very similar a day later!) I gave each set of partners liquid watercolor paints in three colors: blue, green, and purple (cool colors) plus a small container of salt. We turned the paper vertical and I encouraged them to use horizontal brush strokes and to avoid blending all the colors together. Encourage students to paint all the way to the edge. 

2.     TIPS FOR ADDING SALT. Students should sprinkle the salt as they paint, not at the end! For the salt effect to work, the paint must be nice and juicy. Also, if they use too much salt, it won’t brush off later. When done, set aside to dry.

3.     Next, I handed each student a 8 x 11 canvas, which we turned vertical. They traced a circle with a yellow colored pencil (no ugly graphite lines to try and hide later), and painted the center of it with light yellow paint. Instead of giving them another color, I just added a little more yellow for the next step and they painted around the sun with dabs, dots, or swirls. Then I added a little pink (making light orange), and they did it again, getting further out from the sun.  I switched to adding a little red, and a little more, and a little more until they painted the last color all the way to edge of the canvas and below the middle where the waterline will be. This is a good way to learn about mixing tints and analogous colors!
4.     We set the canvas sunset aside, and I handed out small squares of black construction paper. We looked at Claude Monet’s seaside paintings and talked about what a silhouette is. I showed them how to draw a simple sailboat, but let them choose their own design. We cut our sailboats out and set them aside. Make sure there are pencil lines on only one side! As the “clean” side will face out on the painting.

5.     The next day, students brushed the salt off their watercolor paper, and we gathered up all three pieces. We talked about the horizon line and perspective (waves look smaller far away, and bigger close up) before tearing our paper into strips. I encouraged them to have a flat horizon line (waves are too far away to see in the distance) and to make wider rips for the paper up close. Make sure they have the paper facing the right direction before they start ripping.
6.     Once the paper was ripped, I handed out glue. They must glue working from the horizon line down! The ripped edges should face up, to look like whitecaps. It is important to remind them to glue their boat in before they reach the bottom of the canvas, as the boat should be tucked between two waves so it looks like it is actually in the water, not hovering above it.
7.     Lastly, we trimmed a few edges and signed our masterpieces! I was amazed. This was a zero-failure project. Every single painting looked great and had individual style!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Art for Kids: Indian Elephants

Supplies: watercolor paper, pencils, erasers, black sharpies, colored pencils (you could also use colored sharpies, crayons or pastels), watercolor paints, salt (optional)

1.     First, I led the class through a how to draw an elephant on watercolor paper. We used pencils to start and drew light, erasing as needed. DRAW LIGHT UNTIL YOU GET IT RIGHT is the mantra for my art room.
2.     We looked at pictures of Indian elephants (some are grey and some are brown) and talked about the designs and patterns painted on them for celebrations in India. You can go as culturally deep with this as you like, there is a lot of great information. Students drew their own patterns and designs on the elephants.
3.     When everything was drawn, I gave them a black sharpie to go over their designs. We erased any pencil marks that did not line up with our sharpie lines.
4.     Next, we colored in the patterns - ONLY THE PATTERNS - on the elephants with colored pencils, but in the past I’ve used colored sharpies, crayons, and oil pastels.
5.     Lastly, we used watercolor paints to paint the elephant’s skin, the ground, and the sky. Some students chose to sprinkle salt on their sky or grass. I thought it looked great for the elephants skin. For the salt effect to work, you must sprinkle the salt while the watercolor is nice and juicy on the paper, and brush it off only after it has dried completely. If it goes on too thick, it will not brush off. But this is just a “happy accident” as now their art has texture.

This project takes about 45min to an hour. Have fun!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Art for Kids: Seahorse Crayon & Watercolor Resist

watercolor paper
white oil pastels
blue watercolor paint (we used liquid).

1. Using a step-by-step I had the students draw a seahorse (in pencil) with me. Then they added their own original details, erased the mistakes, and sharpied over the lines. They added seaweed, coral, sand, and any other “under the sea” details to their picture before moving on.

2. Before handing out the crayons, I had students erase any pencil lines that did not line up with the Sharpie. Then they colored in their details. I asked that they use warm colors on the seahorse to make it “pop”. I reminded them that it is important to press hard, and color carefully, because anything left white will turn blue during the last step. Also, anything they want to keep white, must be colored in with a white crayon!

3. We talked about what it looks like when you open you eyes underwater. And then used white pastel (you could also use crayon) to draw sweeping horizontal lines, crisscrossing each other across the page. This is to look like light from waves under the water.

4. Lastly, we used blue (or blue-green) liquid watercolor paint to go over the entire picture. I had paper towels on hand to wipe up the paint puddles before setting them aside to dry. 

This is a great project for 1-3rd graders. Simple and fun. It takes about an hour.

Seahorse drawing, fill with crayons and cover with watercolor paint.

I used this example and the how to draw, but showed them how to curl the tail forward as well. Have fun!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Art for Kids: Mixed Media Watercolor Owls

Supplies: pencils, scissors, glue, black constructions paper, oil pastels, watercolor paper, watercolor paints and brushes, crayons.

Step One: I gave each student 2 pieces of watercolor paper and let them choose two of the following techniques:
1)   white oil pastel resist (white pastel with watercolor painted overtop)
2)   warm crayon resist (warm colored crayons with cool colors painted overtop or vise versa)
3)   salt sprinkled over wet watercolor
They needed to have one paper primarily warm colors and the other primarily cool. We used liquid watercolor paints.

Step Two: We set the watercolor paper aside to dry and drew a moon and branch (stars, clouds, leaves - all optional) on a large piece of black construction paper. NOTE: remind students to put the branch at the bottom of the page, not the middle!

Step Three: We cut out the body shape of the owl from one piece of watercolor paper. I had students draw on the back of the paper until they got a good shape before cutting it out (most tend to go too small).

Step Four: Have students fold the other sheet in half (colored side inward) and draw wing shapes on the back the paper. They must keep the paper folded and cut out the wings so that they end up with two matching wings – mirrored, not identical. Students can use their owl body as a guide to wing size.

Step Five: All scraps go into the “scrap pile” which students will now use to cut out eyes, feet, and a beak (Keeping to the warm on cool or cool on warm rule. Example: cool colored beak and eyes on a warm colored body). If you want to use templates for these shapes you can. I let them trace circles for the eyes.

Step Six: From black construction paper, cut out circles for the pupil part of the eye. Again, having a small circle to trace is useful.

Step Seven:
Glue it all together and add any final details with pastel.

This was a cute and easy project, which took about and hour and a half total. I did it over two sessions, so that the watercolor paper would have time to fully dry. My first group was 1-3rd graders, my second group 3-5th.


Friday, April 13, 2018

Art for Kids: Watercolor Peacocks

Supplies: watercolor paper, pencils, erasers, sharpies, watercolor paints in blue or turquoise, green, & yellow. I used the liquid watercolors by Blick.

  1. Using a step by step how to draw (links below), the class drew with me, in pencil, a peacock big enough to fill the page.
  2. I went around the classroom checking for major problems and making sure students had erased their mistakes properly before handing out the sharpies. 
  3. Students carefully sharpied over their pencil lines. Then we erased any place a sharpie line did not match up exactly with the pencil line.
  4. I gave students just three colors in liquid watercolor paint: turquoise, green, and yellow. I allowed them to paint the peacocks any way they wanted, though we did look at actual pictures and many chose to paint realistically. 

This simple, but fun project was completed in about an hour with the younger students, but took close to two for the older group.
For the 1st - 3rd graders I used this how to draw.
For the 3rd - 5th I this more detailed version.