Great Art Lessons for the Creative Soul
A new school year has begun with new challenges. The pandemic has forced many families to continue homeschooling or support distance learning for their children. BE ENCOURAGED! As parents/family members helping to educate the young learners in your family, remember that you have always been and will continue to be their most important teachers. YOU CAN DO THIS! We have prepared 20 different art activities to help you foster creative growth in your children.
Make An Art Journal/Sketchbook
1. Use the steps shown above to make an art journal/sketchbook out of paper bags or whatever materials you have.
2. Decorate the cover. Use the journal to do the art activities below.
3. Follow the steps in the video to make another art journal using envelopes.
4. Draw a portrait of your family in the art journal.
Recognize Art in Nature
Use the Elements and Principles of Design to explore nature.
5. Color- Find 3-4 different plants, bugs and birds in nature that have your favorite color. Make a list of what you find in your art journal with a writing tool in your favorite color.
6. Texture- Collect 4 different rocks, sticks, leaves or shells from outdoors that have texture. Place a sheet of paper on the surface of each object and lightly rub a crayon, color stick or pencil over the paper to see the texture on the paper.
7. Pattern- Look for 3 interesting patterns in nature and photograph them.
8. Contrast- Identify 3 different areas in nature that show contrast, such as white fluffy clouds in a blue sky; paint a picture of one of the areas that you like.
Look For Art in Public Spaces
9. Architecture- Find a residential or commercial building that has a unique design, paint color or detail. Take a picture and sketch it.
10. Mural- Use Google to locate a local indoor or outdoor space that has a colorful image on a building or street that you can view in person. Discuss what you like and/or dislike about the mural with your family and friends.
11. Sculpture/Installation- Visit a local park or outdoor space that has a cool sculpture. Use air dry clay to create a maquette for a larger sculpture that could be displayed on your porch, patio or garden.
12. Typography- Photograph 3-4 different colorful signs/logos/billboards that are freestanding or displayed on commercial buildings or vehicles. Pick your favorite one and create a new version of the sign using your favorite drawing tools.
Learn About A New Visual Artist
There are so many amazing visual artists to discover and learn about. Check out the four fantastic artists we listed below. Click on their names to see an example of their art and learn more about them. Purchase these art history coloring books to find portrait coloring sheets for each artist; use a different coloring tool and technique for each artist sheet.
13. Hughie Lee Smith- Mr. Smith was an amazing painter and art educator.
14. Gordon Parks- Mr. Parks was a phenomenal photographer and movie director.
15. Stephanie Pogue- Stephanie Pogue was a prolific printmaker and art professor.
16. Xenobia Bailey- Ms. Bailey is a dynamic multimedia fiber artist and activist
Create An Art Gallery Space in Your Home
There are a plethora of ways to create an art gallery space for your children's art in your home. It can be displayed on a wall in colorful frames, bookshelf, refrigerator, cork board, easel, etc. The size, space, style and method is totally up to you. This is a great activity to plan with the young artists in your home. You can also have more than one art gallery space. Here are a few of our favorite ideas:
17. Clothesline or Vertical Ribbon- This method is simple to install. Just use clothes pins for a clothesline or glue dots for the ribbon to hang the art.
18. Science Poster Board- Using this type of poster board for an art display is a great idea because it's portable.
19. Clipboards- You can hang 1 or more clipboards on a wall to create a simple art gallery space.
20. Digital Display -Photograph your children's artwork and display the photos on a digital frame that will play a slideshow of their masterpieces.
Make sure to explore our website to find more art activities!
This Father's Day will be an especially significant day for African-Americans around the country to honor and connect with the fathers in our communities. Not only have many Black families lost loved ones to Covid-19, some have also lost family members to police brutality. Our heart and prayers go out to George Floyd's children and family; as well as the other African-American family members who have experienced a similar tragedy.
Black visual artists have oftentimes used artistic expression as a way to protest and speak out against the ills of society. Here are a few art resources to explore as we approach the special day for dads while also protesting racial injustice in America.
Use our latest coloring page art video to have a coloring party with the special father(s) in your life. You can also use this activity as a way to celebrate Father's Day and discuss the recent protests happening around the world related to racial injustice.
We are excited about our Justice Photograph Art Lesson. Inspired by the black and white photography of Gordon Parks, this lesson is a great way for young artists to practice their photography and graphic design skills. They can also use this art lesson to have more conversations about the protests and racial injustice happening around the United States.
As we mourn the brutal loss of George Food, Breonna Taylor, Ahmad Arbery and many other beloved African-Americans, this Juneteenth is especially significant. Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19 and commemorates the day that the news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached enslaved Africans/African descendants in the state of Texas in 1865 (two years after it was originally signed in 1863).
While this historical document was supposed to mark the end of the horrific period of slavery in America, unfortunately we are still burdened by the vestiges of it today. As we process the many suffered injustices of African-Americans, we will continue to use art to help soothe some of the pain.
While there are many colors used to decorate for Juneteenth celebrations, the color red has great significance. The use of red in the food and drink served during Juneteenth celebrations, can be traced back to West Africa. We have created several Juneteenth themed art resources: one of them uses the color red as a focal element.
Use our Juneteenth Commemorative Plate Art Lesson as an individual or group art activity. Click on the image to learn more.
This Juneteenth Coloring Set is great resource to add to your curriculum.
Juneteenth Paper Lantern
Here's another simple, yet fun creative project you can create for Juneteenth. We used two designs from the Juneteenth Coloring Set and simple art materials that we got from the dollar store.
You can use these paper lanterns as centerpieces at your Juneteenth celebration. Make sure to explore our website for more great art lesson and resources.
Hello! We hope you're healthy, safe and staying creative. Today, we want to share some art resources that are inspired by mom. While this post highlights Mother's Day, these creative resources can be used all year long.
One of our newest resources is a fun multimedia art lesson inspired by the beautiful work of prolific artist, Laura Wheeler Waring. This streaming art lesson shows step-by-step how to create a Bas-Relief Flower Bouquet, which would also be a great gift for mom. You can also learn more about Mrs. Waring in our Great African-American Artists Coloring & Activity Book.
Host a virtual coloring party for mom and all of the other special women in your life with our coloring books, sets and videos.
Finally, you can also make a bracelet for mom using simple materials from your kitchen and craft supplies by watching our Paper Flower Bracelet video.
Make sure to peruse our website to find more creative activities and tips. Happy Mother's Day and have a great weekend!
Hello! We hope that you are healthy and safe during this time of social distancing. It's definitely a time to try to rest, reset and rejuvenate your creativity. We're going to end this Women's History Month with some art resources that highlight phenomenal women visual artists.
We are happy to share this video book reading of Jamilah Loves To Talk About Art by our very own Alicia L. McDaniel. Jamilah is a talented young artist who learns about renowned visual artists such as Elizabeth Catlett and Alma Thomas.
We also have a simple art tutorial highlighting dedicated art educator and visual artist, Alma Thomas. You can find the coloring portrait sheet of Alma Thomas in our new Jamilah Loves to Talk About Art Activity Set or Great African-American Artists Coloring and Activity Book.
Relax and explore our website to find more art resources that feature amazing women artists that will help rejuvenate your creativity.
Wow! February has come and almost gone in the blink of eye; it feels like time is flying. In the spirit of time flying, this post will be short and sweet. We have the cutest idea for using our Great African-American Artists Coloring & Activity Books. Inspired by the enamel artist pins found in art museum gift shops, we used shrinking plastic, permanent markers, a pin back and hot glue gun, to make black artist pins. This is a great way to celebrate Black History all year long. Check out the simple steps below.
We used Faith Ringgold and Romare Bearden's coloring portrait sheets from the books above. Click on each cover to purchase your very own copy.
1. We placed the plastic over the artist's image and traced it. 2. We used permanent markers to color the plastic sheets. 3. Then we cut out the images, placed them on a baking sheet and baked them according the directions on the package. 4. After they cooled, we added a pin back using a low-temp hot glue gun.
(This activity should be done by or with a responsible adult.)
What are you doing to celebrate Black History Month?
Let us know by commenting below.
Happy 2020!!! We are thankful and excited about this new year. As we approach the day of commemoration for one of our great leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, we want to share a simple. yet colorful art lesson inspired by his life. It's no secret that one of favorite author/illustrators is Vanessa Brantley-Newton. Her lovely book entitled, Let Freedom Sing, also helped to inspire our newest art resource.
Throughout the beautifully illustrated book, which highlights several of the pivotal events in the Civil Rights movement, Newton includes the lyrics to the song, This Little Light of Mine. Reading this book to young artists is a great way to introduce them to this important period in American history. After reading, the book, they will enjoy doing our MLK Shine Your Light Art Lesson.
We used DIY stamps made out of foam sheets and letters. How do you honor Dr. King in your creative space? Share by commenting below.
Happy Holidays!!! We hope that your holiday season is going well. As we celebrate the last Kwanzaa of the decade, we want to share some of our favorite handmade gift ideas. Kwanza is celebrated from Dec. 26-Jan.1; each day focuses on an important principle. On day six, we celebrate the principle Kuumba which means creativity. This a great time to make a special gift for a loved one.
Creating this pocket fan with some simple art supplies (including black dot paint makers and gold metallic marker) was fun. This colorful mini pocket fan would be a great gift for Kwanzaa.
Greeting Card Print
This colorful notecard is a great way to create a personal greeting for Kwanzaa and help young artists develop printmaking skills.
Kwanzaa Bracelet Cuff Art Lesson
Make sure to purchase our latest art lesson for Kwanzaa by clicking on the image. Have a prosperous Kwanzaa and New Year!
As we move swiftly through the last quarter of 2019, we wanted to share this brief post about the creative inspiration we recently got from a pack of color coding labels. Normally these stickers are used in an office or clerical setting and they come in a variety of sizes and colors. We used some color coding labels to create the Maassai Inspired Paper Collar below. We also used a paper plate, scissors, washi tape, a glue stick, construction paper scraps and markers.
We also used these color coding labels to create our latest art resource, Silly Monster Art Lesson. Inspired by the colorfully illustrated children's book, Monster Trouble! by Lane Frederickson and pictures by Mike Robertson, this art lesson is a fun way for young artists to learn about the Elements of Design.
There are so many other art pieces that can be created with these color coded labels. Meanwhile, check out these cool works of art created with black push pins and paper clips. Click on each image to learn more about the work and the artist.
Is it me or did the summer seem to only last for a month? Wow! Fall officially begins this weekend. A new school year has also already begun, which means we're looking for new art ideas, artists and resources to enhance our curriculum. Here are some cool art resources we discovered over the summer.
Prolific Artist, Mildred Thompson
If you're looking for works of art that display the Elements of Design, look no further than the amazing work of phenomenal artist, Mildred Thompson. We discovered her work through social media and created a new art lesson inspired by her dynamic use of lines.
Mississippi Children's Museum
Visiting the Mississippi Children's Museum was definitely a highlight this summer. While visiting our family in Jackson, MS, we were fortunate to tour this colorful facility and observe the amazing cross-curricular activities they have designed for children; everything ranging from a life-size, interactive scrabble board to a large art studio/gallery. I thought about how visual arts incorporates all of the other subject matters. Make sure to explore this website to find art lessons that have several cross-curricular connections.
The King of Kindergarten Book
One of our favorite illustrators, Vanessa Brantley-Newton, teamed up with talented author, Derrick Barnes to create this delightful story about a excited little boy who begins kindergarten. We love to use picture books for our young artists who are in preschool and grades K-2.
What are some of the new art resources that you have discovered? Comment below.
Alicia L. McDaniel
Alicia L. McDaniel is the author and creator of Great Art Lessons for the Creative Soul. She is also an educator, professional artist, and lover of the arts.
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