Tag Archives: line

Name Spinners


We were working on line, shape and symmetry and sometimes making art move (kinetic art) is just fun. For this one, we used donated cardstock. Students fold the short edge of the paper to meet the long edge then cut the paper to make a square. They folded again diagonally so that they had four quadrants. Of course, I did point out that dividing our paper into fourths was a math skill.

They drew their names in a stylized fashion and added color. When they finished, we put them on a pencil top with a push pin so they would spin. Here they are in motion

By making them square, it was easy to find center with the diagonal folds.

I think this note summed up what the students thought of this project.

Monster Parade




The kindergarten students at one of my schools does an entire unit on Monsters.


For this lesson, I drew a bunch of monsters and then had a list of eyes, noses, face shapes, hairstyles, etc on the board.


The students could create their own monster portrait or copy one that they liked. The classroom teacher took it to a whole other level and had them write about them and do more portraits.


They did this in oil pastel.


Their classroom teacher took my white board scribbles and made her own monster parts menu and then the students drew more monsters and wrote information about them. So much fun to link art room and classroom lessons!

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Crystal Cities in the style of Rob Dunlavy


Rob Dunlavy is a children’s book artist. Have you seen his Crystal Cities Rob Dunlavy just makes lines look magical! Some of his images remind me of the exterior of It’s a Small World at Disneyland.

Here is what he says about them: “Crystal Cities are whimsical explorations of the act of drawing and painting, line and color, atmosphere and narrative possibilities. At the moment, these are my “fine art”.


I had my second graders look at these amazing architecture images for our Archtober celebrations.


We just used marker. Some students really understood that we were “coloring in” with just lines.


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Leaves with Lines



I wanted a simple lesson that tied in with lines and fall so we did these. Students looked at pictures of various fall leaves (hard to find in our area so we used images from the internet).


They drew a large leaf or several small ones with veins and stems.


The background was fragmented and filled in with lines and shapes in white pastel.


They painted with watercolor. 48945317.jpg

Crazy Socks


48213821.jpgOur first lesson back is always an easy one and I try to do something fun with lines for my students. These were from my fourth graders.


A few months ago, I saw an image on an advertising postcard for Blessed Wedding Photography. It was of a bride and groom’s feet. The man had brown shoes, blue pants and funky socks. The bride had blue shoes. It was a cool image and I put it up on my bulletin board.


Fast forward to last week and me looking around to put a new spin on the same old line lessons…


Kind of a fun way to look at lines, by creating pictures of feet and shoes. I love how they all put their own spin on it.




Mittens and Snowflakes


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This lesson was done with Kindergarten and First Grade. I love printing with different objects and I love simple lessons that look good. I think this achieves both.

Students began by tracing around their hand to create a mitten shape. They cut out the mitten and then decorate with patterns and line. The mitten is then glued onto the bottom part of the paper. We used 4 1/2 x12 black paper.

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We also read the book Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and talked about snowflakes and symmetry. There is a great website about Wilson Bentley that tells more about him and has images of the snowflakes he photographed.

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After they finish the mitten and glue it down, they use white paint to print with. The printing tools were things I grabbed from my cupboard-pattern blocks, forks, bottle caps, applesauce squeeze pouch lids, whatever I saw that might make a good print.

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Loony Line Birds



The kindergarten classes learned about lines and shapes for this lesson. We talk about how a line is just a dot that takes a walk.

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Students were given basic directions on how to draw a bird. I allow a lot of freedom so if they had an idea for a bird, they were free to draw it their way.


The beak could be straight on or off to the side, the bird could be tall, short, wide or thin. I allow them to make many choices as we create art. It keeps them engaged and allows them ownership over the art project.


We then talked about lines. I demonstrated how to draw the different types of lines and they could put the lines wherever they wanted to. Loopy lines, curved lines; straight lines, thick lines, thin lines, angles or zigzag lines.


Then they added shapes-squares, circles, triangles and rectangles. Once they finished the drawing, they painted with our donated glitter paint.


Klimt Pattern Portraits



Second grade students learned about Austrian artist Gustav Klimt (1862-1918). They looked at portraits by Gustav Klimt today. His portraits are interesting with their simple faces and complex patterns.

Students were directed to draw their own face. They could add hands if they wanted to. Once that was complete, they were encouraged to fill in their picture with lots of patterns and lines. When they finished drawing, they painted with tempera paint leaving the face white.

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While we did not have any gold leaf handy, we did have several bottles of sparkly glitter paint (an art room donation) that students could use if they chose to.

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Lulie Wallace Inspired Landscapes


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I am not sure when I first stumbled upon Lulie Wallace’s art but her work is bright and cheery and has lots of patterns and lines.  I thought it would be a good first project for 3rd grade.

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I have 4 third grade classes that come to see me. Because this lesson was new for them and for me, I found I needed to change and adjust it after each group to get a more finished result.

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I asked them to focus on pattern and line. We used tempera paint and oil pastel.

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They always enjoy the magic of a crayon or oil pastel resist and today was no different. Several students used white pastel in the sky so they could have patterns pop through from underneath the paint.

What I learned for this lesson was that  it was easiest for them to go straight to paint and use small brushes. Drawing in pencil first seemed to limit them-I did that with the first class but abandoned it when they spent so much time on the drawing that they ran out of painting time. What worked best was to draw a horizon line in oil pastel then create sections below that to fill in with paint patterns.