Art We Heart ♡: Plein-Air Painting 🎨

Plein-Air Painting 🎨3F7340E5-8784-41B9-BF6F-26E7D13EC05F
It is a beautiful day in Boston, perfect for our last at-home art lesson for the school-year…plein-air painting! 🌤Plein-air is the French word for outdoors, so plein-air painting is simply painting outdoors. We set up an easel in the garden and backyard, but you don’t need one…a paper on a clipboard or book or a painting in a sketchbook will work wonderfully as well. Find a spot with a view of something you’d like to paint, and get started. 🌸 We made sure to have a cup of water to clean our paintbrush between colors, and a pencil and eraser to sketch

out our main shapes before adding paint. We used acrylics, but you could use watercolors, poster (tempera) paints, or even crayons or oil pastels. Pay special attention to where the light falls on your subject, and focus on one or two big things that interest you (you usually can’t capture all the details you see outdoors). The best part of plein-air painting, is you get a full appreciation of nature while art-making. The colors, the smells, the breeze, the bees buzzing by…I even saw a bunny hop through the grass while I was painting. I hope you get a chance to get outside to paint and draw this summer! 🌳

Art We Heart ♡: Heart Hands ❤️

Heart Hands ❤️


Today we visited @artforkidshub to do a guided drawing of two different hands coming together to make a heart. Check out the video below. We added messages to our drawings that we thought were important to express right now. What message do you want to express? Can’t wait to see your artwork! ✋🏾❤️🤚🏻

Art We Heart ♡: Digital Sandscapes ⏳

Digital Sandscapes ⏳

You may have made sand art before, where you pour different color sands into glass bottles to create cool designs. Today’s art idea has you creating sand art using a computer, chromebook, or phone! Go to or download the free thisissand app to start creating and making pictures out of digital sand. Click on the upper left hand corner of the screen to click the START button. Click on the upper right hand circle to change the color. You are ready to start pouring…use your trackpad with a computer or chromebook or just touch the canvas on a phone. The upper left corner is where the FINISH button is and the camera icon will take a pic of your art and save it. Share your art with me or with the thisissand community. And check out #thisissandapp to see so many cool artworks! Hope you have fun exploring this creative and relaxing art form.

Art We Heart ♡: Reinvent Something With Paint 🖌

Reinvent Something with Paint 🖌
You can make something old new again just by adding paint! Today we found things around the house that we rarely use, and gave them colorful makeovers to bring them back to life. A pair of old sneakers, an old headband, and a pair of wooden earrings all got transformed by adding designs with acrylic paint. Make sure to ask a parent first before you start this project. How can you transform something through color and design? 🎨

Art We Heart ♡: Salt Dough Texture Turtles 🐢

Salt Dough Texture Turtles 🐢

If we were in school, this is the time of year we would be creating our end-of-year clay projects. A good alternative for at-home art is salt dough! The recipe is simple… 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup salt, and 1/2 cup flour. We made blue and green salt dough by adding food color and kneaded them together to create a beautiful green to create our turtles. Split your dough in half. With one half roll into a sphere (a meatball!) and the other half roll into three equal-sized coils (or snakes!). Arrange the coils into an X with a line through it (see pic) and place your sphere on top of the X in the center. Sculpt your turtle by pinching and pulling the head, legs, and tail into the forms you want and adding some eyes with a pencil. The last step is to add texture! Texture is the way something feels. We can make our turtle’s shell have an interesting texture by pressing the bottom of a shoe into it. Make sure the shoe is clean, dust on a little flour to the bottom, and press down on your sphere lightly…enough to imprint the design and slightly flatten the sphere. You can let your salt dough turtle harden by air-drying it for a few days. Or if you want to keep sculpting, store your salt dough in a ziploc bag when you’re not using it…it should last for a few days.

*This lesson is a mash-up between one of my ceramics lessons and a salt dough lesson from the fabulous Cassie Stephens. 💚

Art We Heart ♡: Get Out The Vote Challenge 🇺🇸

Get Out The Vote Challenge 🇺🇸

This is the final #BPSArts Weekly Challenge of the year. Create a poster or public service announcement encouraging everyone to register and VOTE in the upcoming election. 🗳 Every voice matters and your art can be a part of what inspires a friend, family member, or neighbor to take action. Even if you are not eligible to vote yourself, your voice carries power! 💪🏻

Watch the two inspiring videos below to inspire you and don’t forget to upload your work to the Google Form on our Google Classroom (due by Friday at 3pm). Selected artwork will be on display on the #BPSArts show next week as well as on the districtwide art gallery.

Art We Heart ♡: Forced Perspective Photography 📷

Forced Perspective Photography 📷

For today’s at-home art lesson, we explored perspective using my phone’s camera. Forced perspective is a technique which uses an optical illusion to make an object appear larger, closer, or further away than it actually is. In tv and filmmaking, forced perspective is sometimes used to save production costs… using small scale model of a city for example instead of the real thing. What can you make look smaller or larger through placement? Can’t wait to see your photos!


Here is a favorite movie of mine that used forced perspective to make some men appear elf-size. Can you think of any others?



Art We Heart ♡: Zentangles 🖋



We start off every calendar year in the art room reflecting on the past year, setting intentions for the year ahead, and creating zentagles…abstract, meditative drawings.
This week’s #BPSArts challenge is to create your own. The tutorial video is a little different than the more traditional way we make them in art class. Instead of using a square tile, this version has you make squiggly lines around your paper and add different patterns to each shape (or tangle). I chose to draw my outline shape and add squiggly lines inside the hearts. Check out the video below and don’t forget to submit your work in the Google Form on our Google Classroom page by 3pm on Friday if you want your zentangle to be included on this week’s video in the Boston Neighborhood Network.




Art We Heart ♡: Drawing Depth With Doors🚪

Drawing Depth With Doors🚪

Today’s art idea is my daughter’s school’s weekly art challenge. Draw a door in your house, inside or outside. Start by tracing a 3x 5 cardboard rectangle on your page…left of center if you want the door to swing open to the right, right of center if you want it to swing to the left. Using a ruler, draw diagonal lines from the hinge side of the door, the top going up and the bottom going down, to create your door. Add a door frame to the original rectangle to show depth, as seen in the pics. Now you can draw details of the room you are in and what is on the other side of your door. Two of us drew through observation, one of us drew from imagination…do you know which one? 😉These artworks all create space using perspective, where objects closer to the viewer appear larger. This is one of the tricks artist use to create the illusion of depth (3D) on a flat (2D) surface. 👩🏻‍🎨

Thanks to @bernini_artroom for the lesson idea!

Art We Heart ♡: Three Color Challenge 🎨

Three Color Challenge 🎨
Today’s art idea is this week’s #BPSArts Challenge. Create an illustration using only three colors! Use three markers, colored pencils, crayons, or whatever you can find. How creative can you get with a limited palette?
On my Google Classroom I put the link for students to submit their art (by Friday May 22nd at 3pm)…selected artwork will be put on display on the #BPSArts show as well as on the district-wide art gallery. 🖼