Great Art Lessons for the Creative Soul
Even though February is about end, our celebration of African-American culture and history continues throughout the year. We are inspired by a rich history of African-American visual artists who helped shape arts in the United States and abroad.
As we celebrate, we remember one of our favorite artists Carl Owens. A native of Detroit, MI, Mr. Owens work depicts beautiful portraits of black people of all ages. Inspired by his painting, The Mask, we created the Portrait Mask Art Lesson below. While the lesson was designed for students in grades 6-12, it can be adjusted to use with younger students.
Portrait Mask Art Lesson
Learn more about Carl Owens by purchasing our Great African-American Artists Coloring & Activity Book 2.0.
While this new year has bought in many changes, our mission, remains the same. "We create art lessons from the heart that inspire the soul". With that in mind, we a have two fun art lessons to get the year started off right.
New Year Happiness Flower Art Lesson
Our first art lesson is inspired by a simple story we use to introduce young readers to some of the basic traditions for celebrating the Chinese New Year. Max Celebrates Chinese New Year is an early reader book written Adria Klein and illustrated byMernie Gallagher-Cole. We created a simple but fun art lesson inspired by the story. This art lesson has worked really well for children ages 3-5 years old. You can tailor it to use with older children.
A Colorful Dove For MLK Art Lesson
Our second art lesson is inspired by the vilbrantly illustrated children's book, Martin and Mahalia: His Words, Her Song. Written and illustrated by talented couple, Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney, this story does a wonderful job of showing how Dr. King and Mahalia Jackson complimented each other in their activism for the African-American community. Click on the logo to learn more about this new lesson we're offering.
Seasons Greetings! We hope your holiday season is going well. As 2018 comes to an end, we're reflecting on all of the creative blessings we enjoyed this year. Some of those blessings includes two of our latest resources. Inspired by the Kwanzaa principle Kuumba, which means creativity, we just released our
Kwanzaa Necklace Art Lesson.
We're also excited about our latest coloring book, which is now available on Amazon.
Coloring is an activity that promotes relaxation and mindfulness.
Make sure to explore our website to find more art resources inspired by Kwanzaa. Have a blessed holiday season!
After a wonderfully vibrant sumer, we are excited that Fall has arrived. Everyone is back to school and hopefully creating amazing art. As we get back into the swing of a new school year. let's take a look at some of our favorite creative resources inspired by this colorful season.
Make sure to explore our website to find more exciting art resources inspired by Fall. May this season be colorful and inspiring for you.
Nature Inspired Collage & Poem Art Lesson
Inspired by Autumn and the beautiful book, Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poetry, by Kwame Alexander, this is a great cross-curricular art lesson for young artists. Talented visual artist, Ekua Holmes created the beautiful illustrations in this book. The lesson includes color step-by-step photos and can be tailored to use with artists of all grades.
Fall Into Art Banner
This colorful 8.5" x 33" banner displays the phrase, "Fall Into Art" and will enhance a variety of bulletin boards and displays. For added durability, print on card stock and laminate.
Robert S. Duncanson Seasonal Posters & Art Activity
This art resource features the art of prominent African-American and landscape artist Robert S. Duncanson. There is also an art activity sheet in which students learn about the artist and complete four simple landscape drawings depicting each season. This art activity has a cross-curricular connection to Science. You can use the artist's work to create a bulletin board about the artist or weather.
This set includes:
* Tips for using the resource
* Season title labels
* 4 paintings by Robert S. Duncanson depicting each season
* Artist bio & landscape activity sheet
Happy Juneteenth! Juneteenth is an important holiday that commemorates the date in which all of the African slaves learned that they had been declared free by the Emancipation Proclamation. Inspired by the Juneteenth flag and a beautiful painting created by the late, award-winning illustrator, Sonia Lynn Adler, we created two simple resist watercolor paintings.
For the flag resist painting we used a white crayon to draw the shapes. Meanwhile for the fireworks image, we used a white oil pastel to draw the lines. Both paintings were painted over with a Crayola watercolor set.
How do you think the Juneteenth flag is similar and different from the U.S. flag?
This simple art activity has a cross-curricular connection to social studies and ELA. It's also a great way to reinforce the art elements, texture, line and value. Have a fantastic summer!
Wow! It's hard to believe that it's already summer. The year seems to be flying by. At any rate, we are ecstatic that summer vacation has officially begun. We are also excited to share some of our favorite art resources that are inspired by Father's Day.
Books about Dad
We love these children's books that feature stories about loving fathers. These are a few of our favorite books that display beautiful illustrations.
Father's Day Cards
We have a set of colorful Father's cards available at our online gift shop.
Super Hero Father's Day Card
Here's a video we created several years ago with steps to create a super hero themed Father's Day card. Download a free copy of the template for this activity by clicking on the file below.
Paint With Dad
This picture is of a beautiful family who participated in one of our paint party events. We created a template of the family using tagboard. They traced the template onto a 16" x 20" canvas using a black sharpie. They finished the painting by painting the sillouhette black and background blue with acrylic paint. We hope your Father's Day is filled wth love and creativity.
Happy Father's Day!
We are so thankful for all of the love, work and support that we receive from our moms. My mother always encouraged me to be creative. In celebration of her, I created this wearable pin art. Here's how I made it:
Feel free to tailor the materials to fit your style and taste. The materials listed below, are available at most local craft stores.
Happy Mother's Day!
Make sure to explore some of the other art lessons that we offer, which can also be used for Mother's Day. We hope you have a beautiful day!
Women are phenomenal in so many ways. As Women's History Month comes to a a close, we think about all of the strong women who played an intricate role in our upbringing. One of the rituals that strengthened the women in our family/community is the one in which we attended church every Sunday.
Fancy hats were an important part of the fashion that women wore in our church; which inspired our latest coloring book, entitled Sophisticated Ladies in Hats. I created the illustration below, using one of the images from the coloring book in combination with stickers, rhinestones and scrapbook paper.
Meanwhile, this month our "Picture Book Story Time" features two books written and illustrated by amazing women who beautifully tell the stories of families who attend church every Sunday. The first book entitled Early Sunday Morning, written by Denene Miller and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, also display women in fancy hats. I love this book because it reminds of my childhood and the church we attended. I also connect with the main character of the story, because I was afraid to sing solos with our church choir when I was a little girl. Denene and Vanessa do an amazing job of depicting a wonderful family tradition through words and pictures.
The second book is also about a family going to church and is entitled Sunday. This book was written and illustrated by award-winning artist, Synthia Saint James. She uses vibrant colors and simple shapes to tell a similar story of a family attending church and having dinner afterwards. Sunday dinner with also a big tradition in my family. My great-grandmother and aunts always cooked really large dinners for other family members who would visit us on Sundays.
As we close this month of celebrating women's history, you can use the questions below to facilitate a cross-curricular activity related to both books and lead young artists in a discussion.
1. How are the stories similar?
2. How are the stories different?
3. What Elements/Principles of Design do you see in each book?
4. Which story do you like the most? Why?
5. What kind of activities do you do with your family on Sundays?
Also, make sure to check out our Neighborhood Clay Tile Art Lesson which is inspired by Synthia Saint James' book, Sunday. Have a blessed spring break and holiday!
February is a month of love. One thing that we love is the opportunity to share creativity through a multicultural lense. Here are a few other things that we love:
West African Adinkra Symbols
We love the meaning and beauty of Adinkra Symbols. We were especially excited when we discovered these Adinkra imprinted chocolate bars created by the '57 chocolate company. This innovative company is owned by sisters, Priscilla and Kimberly Addison. Their beautiful chocolates are a combination of sculpture and culture.
We love the work of talented illustrators; such as, Keturah Ariel and Dana Bly. Keturah, is a sought after visual artist, who illustrated the book, I Am Enough by Grace Byers. Dana Bly is the owner and designer of naturally curly images on products sold by her company, Pardon My Fro .
Children's Books that Feature Diverse Characters
Children's books are definitely a source of inspiration for several of our art lessons. The books listed below are positive stories and are filled with colorful illustrations. Make sure to check out the art lesson we created below, which is inspired by You Can Never Run Our of Love by Helen Docherty and illustrated by Ali Pye.
Flowers in Heart Art Lesson
You can use this art lesson with students in grade 3-5 or tailor it to use with other grade levels. Moreover, this art lesson is a great way to reinforce an understanding of patterns and shapes. It also has a cross-curricular connection to Social Studies and ELA, when it's connected to Valentines Day and the book.
Share your creative inspiration of love by commenting below.
Happy Holidays! We hope your holiday season is off to a great start. One of our favorite tools to use for holiday inspired art lessons are colorfully illustrated children's books. There are so many fantastic picture books for children that celebrate various holiday celebrations. We love books that have a new twist on traditional stories. Such as the book, The Nutcracker in Harlem by T.E. McMorrow and illustrated by James Ransome. Beautifully illustrated, this book tells the nutcracker story from an African-American perspective with a jazz connection. We created a simple Nutcracker drawing tutorial inspired by the book. With a few art tools, you can create this drawing using simple lines and shapes. Feel free to pause the video as much as you need to and make changes to the drawing using different details/tools.
Send us your Harlem inspired Nutcracker drawings and we will display them on our website. Have a blessed holiday season!
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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