The Laughing Zebra

acrylic paint

Keith Haring Rocks!

This page contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Everything on this page I have used and heartily recommend for teaching art.

Keith Haring is a fun artist to introduce to kids. His simple childlike drawings are easy to draw and fun to color. I always like to use unusual painting surfaces when I can to help break the boundaries of traditional art, and Keith Haring’s art is a perfect choice for doing some rock art.

WARNING: These are addicting!

Resources for teaching about Keith Haring

When I teach an art lesson, I like to first tell my students about the artist we are studying before we start the actual art part. I try to find great videos, images, and slideshows that have already been created and are easy to access to help educate my students. Here are a few resources for teaching your kids a little bit more about the artist we are studying in this lesson, Keith Haring!

Who is Keith Haring?

Keith Haring was born in 1958, in Pennsylvania, USA. He loved drawing cartoons and visiting museums. He is known for colorful, cartoon artworks and certain characters such as crawling babies, barking dogs and spaceships. When he was 20 years old he moved to New York City. Keith Haring started becoming famous and had exhibitions in galleries. When the paintings were sold, he often gave the money to children’s charities. Haring, painted art with and for kids. He made murals in lots of children’s hospitals and schools. He even painted a massive artwork of the Statue of Liberty with over 1000 kids!

Books

Pop Art 123!

This is a board book for the younger ones.

Keith Haring: I wish I didn't have to sleep!

Another great book on his art and famous style. (not for younger elementary kids)

Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing

This inspiring book was written by Keith’s sister Kay and is a delightful look into his life and art.

Slideshow
Photos of his Artwork

Keith Haring Rocks!

Rocks (rocks that are flat and smooth and have a 3-4 inch painting surface work best for this project but you can adapt it to fit a smaller or larger rock).

Above are some good Keith Haring images to choose from for this project, but you can find all kinds of artwork by him online that would also work.

Supplies:

There are lots  of different supplies you can use for rock painting. My favorites and the ones I used for this lesson are:

  • Rust-Oleum Gloss Clear Sealer (you can use any good gloss sealer)
  • Acrylic paint (any brand is fine)
  • Small flat brush
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Posca pen set -These are pricey but so wonderful. This is the full pack here, but if you don’t want to spend that much, check out this smaller pack! These are still great they just have less size options.
  • Rocks (rocks that are flat and smooth and have a 3-4 inch painting surface work best for this project but you can adapt it to fit a smaller or larger rock).

Step-by-Step:

  1.  Start by cleaning your rock(s) with soap and water and then let dry.
  2. Using acrylic paint do a base coat on the top of the rock. You can use any color but I find for doing Haring artwork it is good to start with a base of white. You can paint another color over this if you want a different color for your base. (the white covers the rock best)
  3. With pencil add the Haring image that you like.
  4. Fill in the image with either the Posca markers, acrylic paint, or another paint pen or colored Sharpie. (use the same colors he used to make it really look like a Haring artwork)
  5. Outline images and add action lines and other details with the black Posca pen or a black Sharpie. Also do a line around the rock at the edge of  the base paint. (see photo of rock edges)
  6. When paint is completely dry spray with the clear sealer.

Step-by-step photos

There will be a brand new Keith Haring step-by-step art lesson in my new book! Subscribe below for more details.

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Kindness Rocks Art

It only takes a few minutes to spread some love and kindness!

This page contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Everything on this page I have used and heartily recommend for teaching art.

My husband and I are on day 59 of a 2-5 mile walk. (we try and mix it up quite a bit and go different places) The walks have been so great to fight the isolation time and just a fun way to stay fit and have some good talks.

I got the idea to put out some kindness rocks in hopes to brighten someone’s day and maybe give folks an idea of a fun art project they could do. Kindness rocks are not a new thing but given our current situation with  Covid-19 it seemed like a good way to share some joy with my town. You can put anything you want on them and there are a variety of ways to paint them. I like using the Posca paint pens that I talked about in the Keith Haring Rocks! Art lesson that I posted recently.  You can also write things on the back like “Take me home” or “Share this with someone”. I am going to put out some of my Keith Haring rocks on my walks as well. They are so fun and bright and make me smile, and hopefully they will bring a smile to someone else as well.



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Let me know in the comments below if you make some of these kindness rocks! I’d love to hear your ideas and questions.

I'm writing a book!

I am excited to announce my latest project!  My daughter and I are working on a big, beautiful, creatively designed book on artist related lessons (similar to the ones on this website but with more details, step by step instructions and photos). The book will be for anyone who wants concise, detailed, well laid out lessons that are ready to teach, in a format that is fun to look at as well.

Book Info

Other Lessons:

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Peter Max Heart Art

This page contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Everything on this page I have used and heartily recommend for teaching art.

Are you looking for a great Valentine’s Day art project? Keep reading to find out about this awesome Peter Max Heart Art project.

I originally found this great lesson on PaintbrushRocket.blogspot.com. I have done it with multiple ages with lots of success. It is a fun one for Valentine’s Day and also to teach the double loading technique.

How To:

  1. Have students draw a frame around the 11×11 paper using the 2/12 inch paper strip as a guide.
  2. Fold the 5×6 inch paper in half the longer way (should be 6 inches long when folded).
  3. Have them draw 1/2 of a heart to fill the side.
  4. Cut out the heart and draw around the heart pattern in the center square of the paper.
  5. Students can choose either warm colors or cool colors to paint the frame and heart. Students paint the heart and frame using the double loading technique (two colors at once on a brush load). Do not blend the colors but rather keep dipping in different combinations to give the finished multi color look. Individual brush strokes and colors should show.
  6. When they are finished painting have them rinse and dry their brushes completely.
  7. Now they will paint the small square background (around the heart) with the opposite color group they chose for the heart and frame. So if they chose the warm colors for the heart and frame, now they will use the cool colors for the small square background, and vice versa.
  8. While all background colors are drying they will sketch out their heart and frame on a practice sheet (do this on the board and have them follow along with you) and decide what kind of Peter Max marks they will use to decorate their picture (demonstrate some squiggles, dashes, x’s, zig zags, wavy lines and hearts on the board).
  9. Once the background paint is dry, they will add their decorative lines with their paint brush using the cool colors on the warm background and the warm colors on the cool background.
  10. The last step is to add some india ink marks and lines (pour this into the small souffle cups for 1-2 students to share). Make sure you shake it up before you pour it. And make sure they don’t overdo the black lines.

Looking for another Valentine’s Day art project? Check out my Jim Dine Heart Art lesson!

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments and please refer people back to this site if you use this lesson! 🙂

I'm writing a book!

I am excited to announce my latest project!  My daughter and I are working on a big, beautiful, creatively designed book on artist related lessons (similar to the ones on this website but with more details, step by step instructions and photos). The book will be for anyone who wants concise, detailed, well laid out lessons that are ready to teach, in a format that is fun to look at as well.

Book Info

Other Lessons:

Recent Blog Posts:

door in Italy with turquoise bike by it.

The Doors of Italy

At the end of a 3 week vacation to Europe, I came away with so many pictures of things that captured my interest and the mood of the moment. I couldn’t get enough of all the time worn doors, especially those in Italy.

Read More »

Making Reading Beautiful!

We painted Free Little Libraries! Does your city have a Little Free Library? These are little free standing libraries that have a “host” who looks after them and can be located in someone’s yard , out in the country, or in front of a business or in a park.  You can take a book to read or leave one for someone else to find.

Read More »

My Beautiful Tuscan Kitchen

This year marks the two year anniversary of our kitchen remodel! My wonderful cabinet maker husband finally got around to making this custom kitchen for our home and I couldn’t be happier!

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Franz Marc Colorful Animals

This page contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Everything on this page I have used and heartily recommend for teaching art.

During the month of March my preschool class did two lessons based on the artist Franz Marc. The vivid use of color to express emotions and ideas is a trademark of this German born artist. He is most famous for his paintings of unusually colored animals set in almost abstract style scenery. These colorful animals are great for a preschool art lesson.

How To Horses:

  1. For the first project I found a Franz Marc horse on the internet as a coloring sheet which I traced onto a scrap of poster board. They outlined them in sharpie and used chalk pastel to fill in the color. After spraying them with fixative I cut them out.
  2. The kids then painted a colorful “warm colors” background with acrylic paints, using a sponge to add texture.
  3. When the background was dry they used the glue stick to place their horse in the scene. 

How To Elephants:

  1. The second project was a great drawing project. I taught the kids how to draw a step by step simple elephant starting with a circle.(This is a simple way to draw an elephant-see How to Draw an Elephant. We practiced this two times on a practice sheet. Then we did the final drawing on a sheet of watercolor paper.
  2. We outlined the elephant in Sharpie.
  3. Then we used watercolors to fill in the pink and create a setting.

I think both of these colorful animals projects turned out amazingly well considering these are 3-5 yr.olds.

Please refer people back to this site if you use this lesson! 🙂

I'm writing a book!

I am excited to announce my latest project!  My daughter and I are working on a big, beautiful, creatively designed book on artist related lessons (similar to the ones on this website but with more details, step by step instructions and photos). The book will be for anyone who wants concise, detailed, well laid out lessons that are ready to teach, in a format that is fun to look at as well.

Book Info

Other Lessons:

Recent Blog Posts:

door in Italy with turquoise bike by it.

The Doors of Italy

At the end of a 3 week vacation to Europe, I came away with so many pictures of things that captured my interest and the mood of the moment. I couldn’t get enough of all the time worn doors, especially those in Italy.

Read More »

Making Reading Beautiful!

We painted Free Little Libraries! Does your city have a Little Free Library? These are little free standing libraries that have a “host” who looks after them and can be located in someone’s yard , out in the country, or in front of a business or in a park.  You can take a book to read or leave one for someone else to find.

Read More »

My Beautiful Tuscan Kitchen

This year marks the two year anniversary of our kitchen remodel! My wonderful cabinet maker husband finally got around to making this custom kitchen for our home and I couldn’t be happier!

Read More »

Aztec Masks Art History Lesson

This page contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Everything on this page I have used and heartily recommend for teaching art.

This Aztec Masks art lesson is another project I did with one of my 5th and 6th grade classes this year.  I tied it in with their study of the Aztec and Mayan cultures and the early explorers. This took two 2-hour class periods.

How To:

  1. I created a mask template (with eyes cut out) that each student traced around onto their board, then they attached a piece of cardboard we cut for a nose shape using tape. The inside of the mask was base coated black (except for the eyes and mouth), and the outside of the mask was base coated white.
  2. While that was drying, I had the students paint 1/4 sheets of watercolor paper with a medium, dark, and light turquoise color streaking it on the paper instead of blending it in ( to make it look like real turquoise).
  3. When the paint was dry they cut these into small tile pieces.
  4. After the mask board was dry they added a border with a ruler and painted that in yellow, and the background orange.
  5. Next they added the mosaic pieces with some Mod Podge, being careful to leave the black showing thru on all sides of each piece.
  6. After painting the teeth and eyes in they went over the whole mask with the Mod Podge. 
  7. They each finished the piece with their own border design, and a Sharpie outline between the background and border.

This was a time consuming process, but produced a very real mosaic look when finished. I forgot my camera that day and so I don’t have any pictures of the student’s Aztec masks art.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if you try out this project and please refer people back to this site if you use this lesson! 🙂

I'm writing a book!

I am excited to announce my latest project!  My daughter and I are working on a big, beautiful, creatively designed book on artist related lessons (similar to the ones on this website but with more details, step by step instructions and photos). The book will be for anyone who wants concise, detailed, well laid out lessons that are ready to teach, in a format that is fun to look at as well.

Book Info

This page contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Everything on this page I have used and heartily recommend for teaching art.

I got this Henri Matisse art lesson idea from Matisse’s “Woman with a Purple Robe” painting, and have altered it to fit different age groups. I love Matisse because of all the bright colors and patterns he used in his work. This is a fun way to introduce mixed media and the different steps keep the interest level high.

For the first step I have the students draw a vase with flowers in it with pencil, then outline it with Sharpie (I pre-draw this for preschool level). Then I have them paint the vase grey. Next step is to do a different pattern with oil pastels on each piece of colored cardstock (see sample). Then I have them glue the pieces down to the the heavy paper. 

Next they color in the flowers with oil pastel and add the black lines on the vase . When the paint is dry they cut out the vase and flowers and glue down over the patterned cardstock.

I’ve also done this project with paint instead of the cut paper on a full size sheet of watercolor paper. I add more detail with the painted orange and lemon and plate, and also a wider variety of flowers.  The flowers and line work are done with chalk pastel instead of oil pastel. Make sure to spray with fixative when they are finished.

*See my new Henri Matisse art lesson in my upcoming book! (Click here for more information)

Please refer people back to this site if you use this lesson! 🙂

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I'm writing a book!

I am excited to announce my latest project!  My daughter and I are working on a big, beautiful, creatively designed book on artist related lessons (similar to the ones on this website but with more details, step by step instructions and photos). The book will be for anyone who wants concise, detailed, well laid out lessons that are ready to teach, in a format that is fun to look at as well.

Book Info

This is a project I just did with my preschool class, but it could be adapted for older ages. Kids love the bright colors, funny shapes and lines Miro uses in his work. I like using abstract art to teach kids that you don’t have to be able to draw something realistically to come up with a great piece of art.

For the preschool class I pre-painted the board white, and pre-drew the large shapes (see sample). If this were a kindergarten class or above I would let them do all the drawing. I had the preschoolers sand down the board. Then I had them draw in the other lines and shapes with a pencil, while I demonstrated it on a whiteboard. We talked about the different kinds of lines and shapes in this piece and how to make them.

They went over all the lines in Sharpie (on my sample I skipped the Sharpie part). Then we started with the lightest color (yellow) and filled in all the shapes-giving the yellow, red, green and blue areas two coats. After everything was dry we went back in with a small round brush with black paint and went over all the lines and filled in the circles.

The results were great and the kids had fun (Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera).

New step by step Joan Miro lesson in my upcoming book. Click here to see more information on my book and subscribe for book updates!

Please refer people back to this site if you use this lesson! 🙂

I was inspired by the banner on the art blog Painted Paper Art (great lessons, check this blog out) for this Hundertwasser lesson. I love projects with lots of color and mixed media. I have done this three different ways in the last two weeks. The samples from this 5th-6th grade class that are shown below are done on heavy cardboard, with acrylic paint, and the cut paper houses are decoupaged on. I have also done it on black poster board, with acrylic paint and just gluing the houses on, not using the mod podge. And with my preschoolers, we used chalk pastel on black poster board, and also just glued the houses on.

Hundertwasser is a fun artist to introduce to kids-they really relate to his colorful style and playful ideas. He designed houses, did paintings, created postage stamps and banners, and shared his concern for the environment thru posters. Next week I am going to have my 7th-12th grade students do a poster in his style conveying a message that is important to them.

After sharing the book Harvesting Dreams Hundertwasser for Kids with the students I had them draw in some simple hill shapes at the bottom of their cardboard piece. They painted the hills in green and the background in black. Then using a round brush they painted in tall flower stalks and some leaves. Using a small flat brush they topped each stem with a circle in the color of their choice. I showed them how to use the round brush to make beautiful petals for each flower, mixing and matching colors (We added white to all the colors to make them more opaque on the black background). We then did a black spiral in the center of each flower, and white wavy lines in the background using the round brush (Hundertwasser liked to use lines and spirals in his art).

While the paint was drying the kids picked out three different house shapes,roof shapes, and doors and windows (I pre-cut out a variety of different paper to save on time). When the paint was dry they decoupaged the houses on and then covered their whole painting in the mod podge to finish it off. I love how colorful and unique they all turned out.

New step by step Hundertwasser lesson in my upcoming book. Click here to see more information on my book and subscribe for book updates!

Please refer people back to this site if you use this lesson! 🙂

This lesson is based on the amazing art of Giuseppe Arcimboldo. If you have never seen any of his work you need to look him up. I used Arcimboldo by Taschen and Hello Fruit Face! to start off this lesson. There are lots of great photos of his art.

To have the best resources for this project, get your name on the mailing lists for some vegetable/fruit seed catalogs and some flower seed catalogs. You can also use floral scrapbooking paper clip magazine pictures, but you need a lot so I don’t recommend this. Depending on what age you are doing this lesson for you may want to pre-cut some flowers and fruits and vegetables. 

I have the kids trace my pattern piece of the head onto their poster board. Then they draw in the lips, eyebrow, and eye with pencil, and paint these in with watercolors. Then I have them outline the head and facial features with sharpie.Next they paint the space around the heads with black acrylic paint (or leave this white, see last step).

Next step is to decide whether they are doing a man or woman and a fruit/vegetable face or a flower face. Then they need to choose their pictures-getting different sizes and types.

They mod podge them onto the head going around the facial features. You can either leave the heads on the same paper or have the students cut around the heads and glue, using rubber cement on a black piece of poster board.

New step by step Arcimboldo lesson in my upcoming book. Click here to see more information on my book and subscribe for book updates!

Please refer people back to this site if you use this lesson! 🙂

Paul Gauguin used bright flat colors in his tropical artwork and is a favorite artist of mine to teach about. I got the idea for this project from a picture I saw on the art blog Painting With a Twist. It looked like something Gauguin himself would have had fun with and I knew my students would too!

First we practiced the palm tree on a scratch piece of paper (since this was the only real difficult part of this whole picture). Once the kids had figured out how to curve the trunk and make the palm fronds we switched to an 11×15 sheet of watercolor paper and redrew the palm tree, then added the background details step by step. I let them fill in the bottom of the picture with their own plants and foliage. Then we outlined everything with Sharpie, and the fun began! The only rule with the paint was to try and paint things as differently from real life as they could. To use their “imagination” like Gauguin did when he painted his pictures. We used vibrant Sargeant brand liquid watercolors. I did this with kindergarten to 6th graders and they all turned out great. With the older kids we added white acrylic paint dots with the end of the paint brush for stars. Below are a few of the kindergarten to 1st grade finished projects. I got busy and didn’t take any pictures of the older kids’ projects.

New step by step Gauguin lesson in my upcoming book. Click here to see more information on my book and subscribe for book updates!

Please refer people back to this site if you use this lesson! 🙂