Painted Papers and Zentangle Hands

For our first project of this year, (I am a little late posting this one) the Wednesday Elementary Art Class completed a two-step project of Zentangle Hands and Painted Papers.


Color Lesson and Intro to Acrylic Paint:

We completed the Background Papers for our Zentangle hands while learning about color and with a brief introduction to acrylic paint.

We talked about warm and cool colors, and how cool colors recede when you look at them and warm colors come towards you in a painting.

I also wanted them to be able to “play” with acrylic paint as we will move into using it in more directed ways as the class proceeds.

What we did after we put on our aprons:

  1. Paint on a solid color. Paint off the paper with long strokes.
  2. Add second color paint  in swirls, circles, stripes
  3. Add texture with:
  • sponges
  • clay scrapers – just one time through or lines disappear
  • rollers
  1. Splattering with white paint and added other designs.

Zentangle Hands:

The painted papers were the backgrounds for our Zentangle Hands.


I picked this project as a nice easy starter project to get them drawing and an introduction to line.  It also incorporates the PTA Reflections Contest theme “Within Reach.”

We started by talking about Zentangles as an expressive art form.

  • Use of repetitive basic drawing patterns.
  • We looked at some of the 110 Official Zentangle Patterns
  • There are more than 300 Certified Zentangle Teachers

We then talked about how our drawings can reflect the theme “Within Reach.”   We wrote down 5 things that these words mean  and then translated those things into small zentangle patterns.

We traced our own hands and we were off and drawing.

I love their creations!


Print Making – Elementary Art Classes

This past week, both Elementary Art Classes had fun with print making.  We took inspiration for our designs from the fall season.

The “younger” Elementary Art Class on Tuesday focused on simple one-step prints.  First they worked out the design on paper, remembering that everything prints backwards!

Then they drew the design on their blocks.


They carved the designs into the blocks.


Applied ink with a brayer.


Did a test print to see if any adjustments were needed – this is always the funnest part.  It’s like magic to see your print on paper.


Then completed their final project making three prints in different colors.


The “older” Elementary Art Class took the print making process a step further and made two-toned prints.


They started by planning their designs on paper.  The first carving was limited to the simple outlines of their project and a lighter color of ink.


After washing off the blocks, they went back a second time and carved in details.


Making sure to line up their blocks the same as the first print, they then added a second layer of generally darker color. The prints turned out amazing and challenged everyone to “think in reverse.”


These students made three cards with their fall inspired designs.


As always, after they complete the project the way I designed it, I like to give them a few minutes for “free choice” designs that they carved into the other side of the block.


This is always a favorite of the students!

Fall Leaves Finger Painting

To celebrate Fall, the Wednesday Elementary Art Class completed a Fall Leaves Finger Painting.



It was such a beautiful day that we set the easels up in the front yard.

We used Daniel Smith Acrylic paint on Canvas Sheets.  The backgrounds were painted with brushes – we drew a horizon line, painted the sky darker to lighter, the ground and then added a loosely drawn tree stump and branches.


Next we added the leaves with finger paint.  We went step by step starting with umber as a background leaf color and working our way up to the warmest oranges and yellows last.


Then we added hints of cerulean blue  – if you have seen my paintings you know I love this color.  Adding the unexpected touches of this bright blue helps move the eye around the


The paintings turned out just beautiful and you know it’s a great class when you hear “this is so fun!”