The Laughing Zebra

kids art

Bicycle Art inspired by Joel Henriques

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 lesson is based on the modern artist Joel Henriques. It is a playful colorful project and has as its main subject matter something that is near and dear to most kids hearts…a bicycle! With the warmer weather I thought this would be a fun lesson as kids are finally able to get out and ride their bikes (remember how that first bike ride of the season always felt?)

Below is a bit more info on this contemporary artist from Portland, Oregon:

Resources for teaching about Joel Henriques

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, Georgia O’Keeffe!

Who is Joel Henriques?

Joel Henriques is an artist and toy designer living in Portland, Oregon. He learned art from his grandma, who showed him famous artists such as Miro and Picasso and taught him about color and design. He has four-year-old twins who inspire him to create art and toys that coincide with their imaginations. He has a blog, Made By Joel, where he documents the toys and crafts and art he makes for kids.

Books

Made to Play

This book is written by Joel himself and has some amazing crafts and toys to make for kids in it.

Videos
Photos of his Artwork

Bicycle Art inspired by Joel Henriques

Kids of all ages can have success with this drawing. Help them get the tires and the main bike frame lines right and the rest will fall into place. If everything is not in proportion or exactly where it should be that is ok-it will still look like a bicycle! 

Supplies:

These are the supplies I used (but other products could be substituted):

  • Sargent art magic liquid watercolors- red, magenta,violet, brown, yellow, orange, turquoise, blue, green,
  • Water container
  • Paper towels
  • Watercolor brush (I use the Crayola taklon #7 watercolor brush)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Eraser
  • 2 ½ inch drinking glass, small mouth pint mason jar, or small yogurt container
  • Fine line black Sharpie
  • Small container to mix brown watercolor with water in
  • 11×15 Canson Montval Watercolor paper
  •  

Step-by-Step:

  1. With a ruler draw a line 4 inches from the bottom of your paper.
  2. Using the ruler make about 30 stripes of various widths. (for younger kids just do about 10-15 stripes)
  3. Mark 5 ½ inches out on your horizontal line. (it can be anywhere)
  4. Place your glass or jar ¼ inch above the mark and trace a around it to make the tires. (center it over the mark)
  5. Find the center of both tires and mark it with the pencil.
  6. Draw a mark 3 ¾  inches above the horizontal line in the center of the tires, and use it as a guide to draw a light horizontal line from tire to tire.
  7. Add two diagonal lines.
  8. Finish off the bottom of the bike frame with two triangle shapes (see photo)
  9. Extend the diagonal lines ½ inch and add the seat and handlebars.
  10. Add a double circle where the triangles meet between the tires. Add the petals.
  11. Add circles in the center of the tires and 6 diagonal spoke lines.Sharpie over all the bike pencil lines. Don’t worry if some of your lines get wobbly or the tires get too thick etc. Erase extra pencil lines when you are done. 
  12. Add a few drops of brown liquid watercolor to a small container of water (I use a souffle cup) and with a scrunched up paper towel dip into the container and then pounce on the paper to make a light textured background above the 4 inch horizontal line. Be careful the watered down paint is not too dark, you want just a light color. (add more water if necessary)
  13. Starting with the yellow fill in 2-4 stripes with each color (for younger kids 1 or 2 for each stripe since they will only have 10-15) .I did 5 stripes of the brown though to break up all the colors.  (do lighter colors first)  Spread them out and be sure not to fill in a stripe next to a wet one or they will bleed together. This part takes some patience-don’t rush and just use the tip of your brush and a little paint at a time.

 

 

Step-by-step photos

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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

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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:

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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 »

Modigliani Tissue Paper Face Project

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.

Amedeo Clemente Modigliani (July 12, 1884 – January 24, 1920) was an Italian artist who worked mainly in France. If you are not familiar with this artist he was famous for his paintings of elongated faces with long skinny necks. His drawings were simple and stylized. This is a fun lesson to do with all ages, and I have added the tissue paper background for an extra twist, since the face 

painting can be a fairly quick project to do.

How To:

  1. I begin this lesson by showing some of Modigliani’s portraits. I talk about the long skinny faces and necks, and the almond shaped eyes,simple nose, and small rosebud lips.
  2. Starting with a big skinny U shape, I have the students practice a simple face drawing in this style following my steps as I do it on a whiteboard. For fun I have them do simple curly lines for the hair. If I have already done a portrait lesson with them I point out the difference between a more realistic portrait; the shape and size of the features, and the placement of them compared to Modigliani’s faces.
  3. Next I have them do a large drawing of the face on the watercolor paper, filling up most of the space. After they have done it in pencil, I have them go over all the lines with Sharpie.
  4. Then we watercolor the faces. I let them have some freedom with the hair, making it two-tone if they want, and just painting it loosely around their Sharpie lines.
  5. After they have done the painting part then we use small pieces of tissue paper to fill in the background putting water under and over each piece with a brush and overlapping them.
  6. When the tissue dries we pull that off, and you end up with a textured looking background.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions 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.

Henri Matisse is one of my favorite artists and so I am always looking for new projects to share him with my students. This is a class I did this summer for kids ages 9 and up. I bought some new watercolor paper to try and it was so fun to work with. (Canson XL Watercolor pads)  The sheets are 18×24, and 140 pound paper weight so you can erase a lot and it takes more abuse than a lighter weight paper. We also used Dick Blick liquid watercolors (update: I have since switched to Sargeant brand liquid watercolors, as the Dick Blick ones are now a new thicker formula). The liquid watercolors are so much easier to use for the larger paper format. The kids don’t have to stop and mix more color and so they had more success with their washes. We did a sample drawing first on a smaller sheet of paper, looking at Matisse’s original painting. I also gave them each a coloring sheet picture of the painting. I had them simplify their drawings and leave out some of the background foliage and details. We did the drawing and painting step by step, taking time to talk about proportion and reflections. This was a great lesson and they all ended up with some beautiful paintings.

*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! 🙂

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! 🙂