Reeves Wax Pastels Giveaway!


GIVEAWAY! I have six sets Reeves Wax Pastels to give away, courtesy of the nice people at ColArt. If you are going to NAEA ’14 in San Diego, please be sure to stop by booth 537 and check out all of their wonderful art supplies.

I use my Reeves Watersoluble Wax Pastel Sets and Shrinky Dinks Shrinkable Plastic – 8 x 10 inches – Frostedcreate these terrific and fun prints. After mono printing, you can shrink your plate in a home oven!

You'll need wax pastels, frosted Shrinky Dinks, watercolor paper, and an oven.

You’ll need wax pastels, frosted Shrinky Dinks, watercolor paper, and an oven.

mono printing with shrinkable plastic pin


Reeves wax pastels can be used wet or dry. They have a nice, rich color. Find out for yourself: enter the giveaway!

To enter, leave a comment with your name and email adress. Six winners will be chosen randomly. Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. only.



See You at NAEA ’14 in San Diego

Welcome to San Diego!
While you are in town, try to visit the museums in beautiful Balboa Park, including the Mingei craft museum and the San Diego Museum of Art. The New Children’s Museum has the amazing FEAST! exhibition – you will get lots of ideas at this unique contemporary art museum for children and families.
If you can, try a fish taco ūüôā
I’ll be at the pre -conference tour of Zamorano’s mural installations, the opening dinner, hat party, elementary luncheon and shadow puppet session.
If you see me, please say ‘hi’!

Enjoy San Diego and NAEA ’14!



iPad Symmetric Butterflies


Spring arrives this month. It’s time for a butterfly art project. This year our 6th graders created symmetric butterflies using iPads and the free app Sketchbook X. We are a 1:1 iPad school; students created a butterfly on their own iPad during a single 40 minute class.

We used two basic tools: the symmetric drawing feature and flood fill.


Background design

Students had the option of using a colorful background, or of filling the negative space with a design. I love how this student created a background design that echoes the wing design.

Flood Fill to Color Individual Sections


Notice how the lines are symmetric but the colors aren’t?


Love it!


Using Layers For Complex Designs

Finally, here is the butterfly from our most advanced student. This design incorporates the layer tool on Sketchbook X. I’m going to ask this student to guide the class through a layer tool lesson at our next iPad art session.

Use Shared ‘Turn in’ Folder on Google Drive to Collect Student Work

Our sixth graders use Google drive in their general Ed classrooms and are familiar with it. Here are the steps we used to turn in digital art:

1. I set up a ‘turn in art’ folder for each sixth grade class.
2. I shared it with each student in the class. To do this, I had to individually enter each student’s school email address. I walked around the class with my iPad and had each student type in their own address. This took less than a minute per student, and I did it while they worked.
3. The students saved their butterflies to their camera rolls.
4. The students opened google drive and uploaded their butterflies to the shared folder. They had to rename the photo with their first names.

Here’s what the turn in folder looked like at the end of class


Don’t be Afraid

Check out Sketchbook X tutorials on YouTube. Ask students for help ahead of time – I did! My students are ‘digital natives’ – they mastered the whole process better than I did. In fact, our school has a ‘genius bar’ staffed by tech savvy sixth graders.

Here is a basic Sketchbook X tutorial for the art room from Tricia Fuglestad.


Desert habitat paintings

Each year our third graders study habitats (also known as biomes) in the science lab, in the General Ed classroom, and in the art room. These colorful watercolor paintings are our contribution to the habitat unit.

We began by looking at All about Deserts (Question & Answer Books)by John Sanders and Patti Boyd.


The book was full of fun facts and charming illustrations. We looked carefully at the desert landscape illustrations and identified foreground, middle ground and background. I emphasized that to create a sense of depth, items in the foreground should appear larger and more detailed while items in the background should appear smaller. I modeled several simple line drawings so they could get the hang of it.

We used just three materials: sulphite drawing paper, black crayons, and pan watercolor. We created the black crayon drawing on day one and painted it on day two.

Third grade results:


I am happy to report that this project was highly successful with the third graders.



Fun Photo Illustrations Inspired by Javier Perez

sixth grade cinta scotch pin #3

Our sixth graders just finished a quick, highly engaging photography/drawing project.

This project was inspired by the work of Ecuadorian artist/art director¬†Javier Perez , also known by the nickname¬†‘Cinta Scotch’. He uses found objects plus ink to create simple, witty illustrations which he shares with his followers on social media.

I gave each table copy paper, sharpies, and a bin containing a bunch of random objects (office supplies, pasta, some kitchen tools, corks and other odds and ends). They created these artworks, and photographed them with iPads. Each kid was able to create at least two during a single 40-minute class.

You can see Javier Perez’¬†body of work on Instagram¬†or on his Facebook page.¬†

sixth grade cinta scotch pin #1


sixth grade cinta scotch pin #2


sixth grade cinta scotch pin #7 sixth grade cinta scotch pin #6 sixth grade cinta scotch pin #5 sixth grade cinta scotch pin #4

After our sixth graders completed the project, I shared these photos with Mr. Perez via Facebook. He was pleased with the student work. Cool!


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