GFS/JWL Elementary Art

2023-24 School Year 

Welcome to our Art page.  It is filled with ideas for projects, tips for drawing, videos of student artwork and more!

Sometimes we publish substitute lessons on here - feel free to try those, too.

Art Movie 2024.mp4

Here's a video featuring some artworks from this year.

Introducing T.A.B. Teaching for Artistic Behavior

T.A.B. focuses more on the process and appreciation of making and looking at art and a little less on the product.  Students learn about habits of mind such as persistence, developing skills, expression, observation and envisioning - just to name some of them - while creating art.  

At JWL we are doing a modified T.A.B. program.  Students are given an assignment with variables and it's up to them to choose the direction they want to go in.   Technical skills are introduced and reviewed.

Students at GFS are given some choices of materials while working on their technical skills.  Some drawing/painting assignments are open-ended while students discover what subjects they like to make art about.

K-2 Artwork is brought home routinely, but grades 3-5 maintain portfolios at school so that they can see their improvement over time.  These are filled with attempts, mistakes, good tries, and proud efforts.  It is their job to decide which of their artworks they want to bring home.

Gift Ideas for the artists in your family

This book is great for learning to draw basic things with confidence.

Books that include the Kawaii style drawing have been very popular.  They can be found in most craft and book stores.

When choosing How To Draw books, 

look for simple graphics that start with shapes - like this.  

Unfortunately, many of the Marvel comic, Anime, and Pokemon how to draw books are geared toward high school, and don't work as well for elementary age.

Liquid Tempera Paints or ... Squeezy Paints     

This video will give you tips on how to mix colors AND how to keep your plate (palette) clean.

Making things look 3-D

Using value to show form

Follow along while trying pastels, crayon, or watercolor

Winter Tree Tape Project.pdf

Watercolor Winter Tree with Tape

Holiday Drawing Projects

Both of these links will go to these internet sites (off of the web page).  Plenty to do in both.

Lots of Valentine video drawing fun from our friends at Art Hub for Kids.

And Art Projects for Kids offers tips on drawing cursive letters with highlights.

How to Draw Spooky things for Fall Holidays - click on the picture

Enjoy these How To Draw directions from Kathy Barbro's web site.

You can find directions for other things to draw here:

INKTOBER is here!

This list of drawing ideas is published every year.  Are you up for the challenge?  

Write the date and the word on each sketch.

You can do inktober sketches on separate papers, in sketchbooks, on napkins, old envelopes, whatever you want.

You can also draw with whatever you want - doesn't need to be ink - can be pencil, crayons, colored pencil, paint - you name it.

Sometimes you want to make art but you don't know what to make it about.  That happens to artists often.  These games can help you come up with new ideas.

Paper Engineering

Learn how to make a paper pop-up mouth and then put your imagination to work turning into whatever you'd like.

Making your own sketchbook or journal is easy - paper, scissors, rubber band.  Start sketching!   Or you can write and illustrate a book today.

Drawing from Observation

Get better at drawing what you see in real life.

I tried to create a 'go pro' camera by strapping my phone to my head.  It was silly and ... a little uncomfortable.  See the results in this flower video.

Up for some Origami?

I'm still building our Origami page.  But here is a bird that has some good practice steps.  

It's challenging, but stick with it.

Cardboard Extravaganza

Join me while I try to figure out a fun cardboard project to entertain myself AND the squirrels in my backyard.

Great tips on the sculpture page.

Drawing page links are filling up - check them out!

Email me with requests for what you'd like to learn how to draw

I am working on uploading lots of how to draw directions, new videos, and instructions for fiber arts.  It's taking a while to make sure you can open the things I post.  Keep checking back to see more content.

Visit our Online Art Galleries at       Type our 06335 zip code in the search box and you'll arrive at our GFS & JWL sites.

Looking for things to do at home?

V drawing sheet.pdf

I bet you can think of more than just 6 things with a V-shape to them.  If you discover more ideas, send along a picture of them to me at

 This Art project is a game to play with a partner.  It includes mystery and surprise!  You'll never see a shape in quite the same way again.  Take a photo of how it turns out and send to me at

circle challenge 2 page.pdf

Here's an Art Challenge.  Either print out the circle sheet on the left or find something round in your house to trace circles with onto a paper.  Now ... challenge yourself to turn those circles into as many different things as you can.  How many will it be?  And if all you can think of is donuts ... how many different donut toppings can you come up with?

By the way - I'm still learning how this web site works.  Like you, I'll be trying to see if I can print sheets off of it, too.

Is anyone beginning to feel a little frustrated or anxious about being stuck at home due to COVID?  Today's activity tells you about a painter named Munch (pronounced Munk) who painted all about feelings.  Sometimes we can use color, shape and line to say things that we're not sure how to say with words.

This activity is good for all ages - even grown-ups.  

Here's my synchronized guy drawing that I made with my husband.  I was looking around the house for texture.  I used a cooling rack for his shirt and a cheese grater for his pants.  Look around your house for things you can lay paper on top of and rub with crayons or pencils.

Synchronized Drawings are surprise drawings you can do with a partner.  You can never be sure what's going to happen.  That's spontaneity!  Find a fair way to see who will lead first and then switch halfway through your creation.  I bet you can find lots of things in your house that have symmetry.  Send me a picture of what happens to:

And, if you can't remember what symmetry is - watch this video.

Here's how my Hand Monster turned out.  He seems pretty excited about dance class.  That horizon line behind his legs helped me put him in a room.  Adding a door and a clock helps it look like it's indoors.  Using a blue/green backpack right in front of that horizon line helps me create space in my drawing.  You can do all these tricks, too.  Do you think he's upset because he has to wait longer to be in his recital?

Turn your a hand tracing into a Monster.  You need paper, pencil, and something to color with if you want. Oh, and a hand.

Want to share what you made? Email a picture to me at  Include your name and class code.  I'd love to see it.

Here is the hand drawing video from last November.

My completed fish drawing.  I got some good ideas from your pictures when some of you put something in the middle.  Thanks for the inspiration for my singing seastar.

Relaxing drawing that anyone can do.  All you need is paper, pencil or marker, and something to color with if you want color.

Want to share what you made? Email a picture to me at  Include your name and class code.  I'd love to see it.

Here's an Art Bingo Board that a colleague posted. Can you get 5 across in any direction?  

Think about making a journal.  Put in some drawings or writing about what you're doing.  Years from now,  your friends, your children & your grandchildren will be curious about how you spent your time.

Link to Incredible Art Department Site for sketchbook ideas

Don't forget, great art making often means using messy materials.  Almost all of our art supplies wash out of clothing, but keep that in mind when dressing on your Art day.

Wish List

 bottle caps, metal cans (especially coffee can size)

 interesting recycled doodads - we want to make a sculpture set like this 

Color Film - February 2020

First Art movie of the 2019-20 school year.