Art Show 2014: A Rainbow of Color

art show 2014 stage

SSF art show 2014: paint cans spill a rainbow of color down the stairs; Bob Ross painting video plays throughout the evening.

We had our annual art show last week. It was amazing! Over 1000 pieces of art; at least two from each student. This show featured a rainbow theme (designed by Devan, our AMAZING parent volunteer art show chair), a FEAST! food art area, and an iPad photography/digital art showcase.

Rainbow theme:

Devan used real paint cans purchased at Home Depot. The colored ‘paints’ are plastic table cover rolls. The 10 cans on the stage were drilled and hung on monofilament. Hidden PVC pipe stands hold up the freestanding paint cans.

Spilled paint decorations

The show featured Devan’s amazing freestanding paint can decorations.

Giant crayons and a rainbow of color.

Giant crayons and a rainbow of color in front of the plaster masks.

FEAST! Food Art

I taught food art projects in grades K-4. Click here for kindergarten cookie collage, first grade feast collage, second grade Wayne Thiebaud geometric dessert, and fourth grade Seurat pointillist food. Devan decorated the tables with real cooking utensils and ingredients.

Five FEAST! art projects (clockwise from left): clay cupcakes with roses and alphabet pasta; Seurat pointillist food; Thanksgiving feast collage; cooking plate collage; Wayne Thiebaud geometric dessert.

Andy Warhol activity:

We had a coloring contest again this year. I used a blank Campell’s soup can sheet courtesy of E is for Explore blog. Click here to get yours. We used a real soup pot and real cans of Campbell’s soup.

Our interactive coloring contest ties in to the FEAST! unit.

Our interactive coloring contest ties in to the FEAST! unit. Check out the pot of crayons!

iPad Art Showcase:

We put the iPad showcase right up at the entrance. I printed out a few samples of the second grade iPad photography project, then stationed two iPads looping slideshows of our other digital art projects.

This achieved three goals: 1) display student art, 2) advocate for the art program and 3) thank the parents who raised money to bring iPads to our school.

iPad photography print outs, plus looping slideshows at the iPad art showcase.

iPad photography print outs, plus looping slideshows at the iPad art showcase.


Thanks to our PTO and parent volunteers

Our entire art program is made possible by the parents at our school. A big thank you to the art room and art show volunteers for all their hard work during the year and for three CRAZY days hanging the show. We also had the help of a college student, Abby, who spent two weeks observing our art program. The gorgeous room layout and decorations are the vision of our amazing art show chair, Devan, a professional party planner. We are so lucky to have Devan on board.

100% of our art program is funded by our school PTO. Thank you.


What’s your best tip for a successful art show?

Seurat Pointillist Food

seurat pointillist food: Q-tips, pan watercolor and markers. Very successful!

Fourth grade just finished their Seurat pointillism art project. Our students used pan watercolors, Q-tips and markers to make pointillist food! The project was inspired by this project by Jessica Young at Miss Young’s Artroom.


  • pan watercolors
  • Q-tips
  • colored markers (we used Crayola and Sharpie)
  • pencil/eraser
  • white paper, 9″x12″
  • reference photos (I found dessert images on Pinterest)
  • loups or magnifying glasses
  • pointillist note cards (like these – available at and or books

Day 1: Learn about pointillism

I passed out pointillist notecards and magnifying loups (borrowed from our science lab). It was a lot of fun to see the dots up close.

Next we watched the first half of an AMAZING video: ‘Get to the Point’ – Georges Seurat and Pointillism  by Artrageous with Nate.

Finally  we completed a color mixing worksheet, using marker dots to make the secondary colors.

Use a magnifying glass or loop to examine pointillist art up close


homemade pointillist worksheet

Homemade pointillist worksheet

Day 2: Create dots with Q-tip or marker

Students selected a food reference photo, then lightly sketched their basic food shapes on paper. They had the option of using Q-tip or marker to dot their papers.

(warning: we discovered you can’t erase pencil lines after they’ve been painted with pan watercolor. Remind kids to draw lightly!)
seurat pointillist orange

Day 3: Erase lines, add more dots

Students erased their pencil lines from last week, then added MORE DOTS! Some students added a background – a couple even added pointillist borders.

pointillist sundae


Fourth grade results:




This was a VERY popular and successful project! I will definitely repeat.  Are looking for a group pointillism project? Please check out my earlier post for a Seurat mural.

Here’s the cool pointillism video by Artrageous with Nate


This is the first project of our food art series, in honor of the FEAST! exhibit at San Diego’s New Children’s Museum. This year we will be making food art projects at each grade level.

Do you have a favorite food art project?

Art + Cooking Camp: Cherry Cake and Pointillism




Bonjour! Here is an update on Day Four of my Paris-themed art and cooking camp. Today we tried out pointillism and made cherry clafoutis.


Pointillism is lots of fun for kids. They love the idea of creating art from dots of paint. We looked at pointillist artworks under extreme zoom at Google Art Project. Click here to see the extreme close up of Seurat’s ‘The Circus’ and click here to see Signac’s ‘The Port of St. Tropez’. For the art project, we did this fun Signac lesson with coloring sheet from the Practical Pages blog. The kids dotted their sheets using damp Q-Tips and pan watercolors. They filled in the tiniest areas with dots of colored marker.

One student made a pointillist cake! She lightly sketched her design in pencil, then filled in with dots of watercolor and marker. When it was dry, she erased the pencil lines.

(note: if you are looking for a whole class pointillism assignment, check out this Seurat mural project).

Cherry Clafoutis

We made a cherry clafoutis – a lovely French summer dessert with a texture that is a cross between a cake and a custard. CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE. Surprise – the kids LOVED pitting fresh cherries!


Coming up later this week: the last day of art and cooking camp. Chocolate fondue and the completed Degas sculptures!

Art + Cooking camp:

Au Revoir and Bon Appetit!




Seurat Pointillism Mural (and more!)

Seurat Pointillism Mural group project uses $5 downloadable PDF

Need a group art project? 4th grade just completed a pointillism mural based on Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon at the Island of La Grade Jatte”.

‘La Parade’ by George Seurat. 1889


Day 1:

Introduce pointillism. We discussed how Seurat made paintings in a whole new way: instead of blending colors, he placed different colors of dots side by side and let the viewer’s eye mix them.

Close up view:

I passed out some greeting cards with pointillist art and let students examine them closely. They really need to see the art works up close to appreciate how many dots Seurat put in his paintings (tip: pass out magnifying glasses for a close up view).  I added some great close-ups to this Seurat Powerpoint  (sadly I am not sure who posted this Powerpoint).

Pointillist notecards + magnifier

UPDATE: Thanks to Google Art Project, you can view A Sunday on La Grade Jatte at incredible zoom level (flash required).
Google Art Project has a Seurat from MoMA in its online collection: you can view Seurat’s ‘Evening, Honfleur’ at incredible zoom level. Notice that Seurat used dots on the artwork and the picture frame!
Individual warm-up project: make your name in dots on a 4.5″x12″ strip of paper. Color the background with dots as well. We used Q-tips and pan watercolors.

Make your name in dots as an introduction to pointillism.


Days 2-3:

Group project. I purchased the downloadable pdf mural ‘Sunday in the Park’ from Art Projects for Kids ($5). The pdf contains a 28-piece mural (perfect size for a 4th grade class!) which you print onto cardstock. Each student ‘dotted’ their respective part of the mural, using the coloring guide included in the download.


Seurat’s famous ” (aka ‘Sunday in the Park’). Seurat’s masterpiece contains over 3 million dots and took over 2 years to complete.

28 individual pointillist artworks come together to form Seurat mural.

The assembled mural is 55 inches x 40 inches.

We carefully assembled the mural by attaching long strips of masking tape on the seams (note: get a helper for assembly!). Bonus: it folds up like a map! Easy to store until the art show.

The completed mural.

The kids really enjoyed this project.  I did notice there was a lot of variety in the assembled mural – some students made a near-solid dot pattern with almost no white paper showing.  Others had sparsely dotted areas. Next year I will use this pointillism practice worksheet from Miss Young’s Art Room blog.

Pointillism worksheet from Miss Young’s Art Room blog.


Individual coloring sheet for ‘Sunday in the Park’. From Practical Pages blog.

Want an individual project based on ‘Sunday in the Park’? There is a great post including download on the Practical Pages blog.

Try out different materials for pointillism:

  • Q-Tip + tempera
  • Marker
  • Unused eraser tip from a standard pencil + pan watercolor
  • Unused eraser tip from a standard pencil + stamp pad

Stamp pad + eraser tip


How do you teach pointillism to your students? Leave a comment!

UPDATE 10/17/13:

NEW!!! Pointillism art project – make pointillist FOOD using watercolors, q-tips and markers! AWESOME pointillism video! Click here.

seurat pointillist food: Q-tips, pan watercolor and markers. Very successful!

*****Thanks for visiting! Don’t forget to please vote for 2012 Art Ed Blog of the Year, which you can do by clicking this link and voting for K-6 Art! Voting open through December 14, 2012.******


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