NEW Art & Design Resources for Teachers

NEW Art & Design Resources for Teachers

TEACHERS. Calling all Art, Design and any other educators who might be interested… I’ve added a couple art resources free for download. (And if you like them and would like me to keep making more- feel free to click on the “donate” button.) These resources will be found in the right sidebar on my blog.
PLUS- I’m offering 20% discount on stamp kits (exclusively from my website) for teachers who want to add a bit of creative play to the classroom. Both of the resources I’m providing will compliment the Make a Scene Stamp Kits.

Powerpoint Presentation: Amsterdam Canal Houses

The purpose of this presentation is to share a bit of the history of Dutch Canal Houses. Students will also learn about some of the unique architectural characteristics, which can be used as inspiration in many art projects. For lesson ideas, visit my blog.

Applying the Design Cycle: Make a Scene Stamp Kits

Would you like to share a real-world design process with your students?  As an educator myself, I thought students might like to see a behind-the-scenes process of how I created my stamp kit.  Send me your questions, comments and feedback.  I’d love to see what you design!

Download the free Make a Scene Stamp Kit Design Resource for your design lessons.

Teacher Discount on Stamp Kits!

Teacher Discount on Stamp Kits!

Kids of all ages love the Make a Scene Stamp Kits- and they are great for creative play. Contact me for a quote!

This offer is only valid from this website. The bigger the order, the bigger the discount, while supplies last.  UK/ NL orders will be processed via bank transfer, all other orders will be processed via Paypal.


Do you teach design in the classroom? Get your FREE downloadable resource to show your students how I used the design cycle to make these stamp kits.  I welcome questions and feedback from students!

Have fun designing!

FREE download

Click here for download

Dance and Draw Workshops

Dance and Draw Workshops

I’ve teamed up with dance instructor Wendy Grin to host a few Dance and Draw art workshops in which we investigate movement through different visual and performing arts.  The first workshop was inspired by Matisse, the second by Giacometti.  Each class we divided the kids up into two groups.  One would stop dance while the other group quickly captured their movement through “gesture drawing”.  After each group had a go, they all worked to convert their gesture drawings into collage to the like of Matisse, and with Giacometti they transformed their designs into 3d sculptures.  All followed up with lots of fun movement games.







Amsterdam Art Project

Amsterdam Art Project

In 2008, before I ever even worked as a high school art teacher, I prepared an art lesson for my dad’s 5th grade class to share a bit about my life in Amsterdam.  In my five years at ISH and still to this day, it is one of my favorite projects, and I am asked back each year by ISH to come and do the lesson with the 6th grade class in connection with their WW2 history lesson and Amsterdam excursion.  The project consists of a brief history of Dutch architecture- Canal houses to be specific, explaining why the buildings are so tall, narrow and wobbly.  (In a nutshell- people were taxed on the width of their house- so people built up not out.  And they’re wobbly because 1.  A leaning front facade was made to give the illusion of grandeur and 2. They are built on sand, so they sink every which way.)  The kids are told about three basic types of gables (Step, Neck and Bell).  Then they draw their canal house with stick and ink (no pre-drawing- they are told it’s ok for their houses to be wobbly since that’s how they are in real life!)  Then they color in their houses with chalk pastel.  Once sprayed with fixative, they cut their houses out and we line them up along the wall against a colored backdrop.  Here are pictures from some of the workshops over the years:

(Scroll down for the powerpoint presentation that I use for this Art lesson)

canal house project 3

Here is the very first project I did with my dads 5th grade class. 10 year olds.

canal house project 4

canal house project 1

canal house project 2

Here is the project done with 7 year olds. Black background probably wouldve been better.

canal house project5

And some detail shots from the 6th grade class. 10-11 year olds.

canal house project6

canal house project7

canal house project8

canal house project9

canal house project10


Still Life Painting with Kids

Still Life Painting with Kids

On a recent rainy-day playdate, my 7 year old chose to do a painting workshop with her friend (also 6/7 years old) at the art studio.  For this special little class, I printed off pictures of flowers (working with what I had) and drew three examples of vases to give them some ideas.  Then they chose their palette and painted the underpainting.  Once dried, they drew their chosen flower in chalk pastel, then painted in their flower and vase, ensuring there was a table for it to sit on.  Just before all attention was lost, they added final details like highlight and shadow.  …Then they were off to play in the rain.

still life lesson


The girls described what they saw in the flower images, and we talked about form vs. shape when making the vase, etc.


still life1


still life 2

In the end, they made all their own creative decisions and created lovely little still life paintings.  This would be a great project for a small birthday party.

Painting Fundamentals for Kids

Painting Fundamentals for Kids

Last week, I asked my daughter what she wanted to do over the ‘Herfstvakantie’,  or autumn break, and the only thing she said was that she wanted to make a painting with me.  Brilliant.  So after an inspiring weekend away at a 17th century chateau in Champagne, France with an amazing group of people…she knew she wanted to paint ‘herself playing with her friends in France’.    However, I couldn’t find a photo of all of them together- so had to do a bit of photoshopping…  and we set to work.


girls web


She learned the concept of underpainting.  She chose the color gray because that’s the dominant color in the background, and was diligent in ‘leaving no white!’






She then used chalk pastel to block out shapes and some basic proportions.  This was my demo:



And hers:


We discussed value changes (shadows) as well as how to mix changes in skin tones and hair color.





She decided to reincorporate chalk pastel and pencil for some details.  I am always into a little mixed media… 🙂  The only final detail I insisted upon, before completely losing her attention, was to put the small white reflective dot in their eyes.  I told her that her aunt Bobbi (a portrait artist) would be very proud of this finishing touch.
And Viola! Here is her finished artwork:
This was a good workshop that we did in less than three hours.  I just love the orange and blue in the background.  This lesson can be adjusted by age and applied into additional painting workshops for kids.  See the still life painting workshop we did later with a friend.