I can’t believe we’ve made it!! We have stretched our brains, been creative, decreased anxiety and found a peaceful place with our daily art activities. Thank you to everyone who joined in, even if it was just for a day. The great thing about a blog is you can go back and any time and do any of the daily activities over again! We will be exploring some new ways to engage in art together over the next year, but for now, let’s celebrate all we have accomplished in the last year!
Artists sign their work so the world can recognize it. Finish this art journal by signing your name!
Draw a self portrait. Then look back to activity 1 and compare the two.
If you’ve been on this art journey with us from the beginning, then you might remember our very first day of art was a self portrait. If you have your sketchbook, take a look back and compare it your portrait from today. If you weren’t with us on day 1, no worries! Go ahead and draw your self portrait today and continue this year of art with us. You can loop back around to day 1 next month and start from the beginning!
Cut out a face from an old magazine that will fit in the frame to the right. Cut the face in half vertically and glue one half down to the left of the line. Now use a pencil to draw in the missing half.
Draw a line down the center of your page in your sketch book, or use link to print one.
Using a pencil, draw a person in motion. For example, they could be jumping, falling, running, or swimming. You could add movement lines, bent knees, beads of sweat, and other details to show the motion.
Anyone else feel super nostalgic when they see these Dot Letters from the 80s?? We had this font written on everything from our school thermos to our storage tubs in attic. Do you have any fonts your remember from your childhood?
Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is famous for her detailed self-portraits. She would often draw herself surrounded by a border of things that were meaningful or important to her, such as animals and flowers.
Write a list of things that are important to you. Then draw a self-portrait like the Kahlo-inspired example above. Include drawings of some of the things you listed below in your portrait.
Draw a square in your in your sketchbook and draw lines to divide it into four sections. Fill each section with a different color. Use two warm colors and two cool colors. Do any of the colors seem to come forward?
Flick through an old magazine and cut out some thin strips of pages that you like. Glue the strips down inside these clothes to create a unique outfit. Don’t be afraid to combine clashing colors or patterns.
Sketch your own garments or use the link for a printable version of the blanks above.
French-American artist Louise Bourgeois once created an enormous sculpture of a spider. She though spiders were loveable, protective creatures. Use a black pen to draw a spider with long, spindly legs towering above the figure in the frame.
Draw a curious someone looking up at your large spider, or use the image above by clicking link.
With a pencil, draw a small picture of your head at the top of the rectangle. Now draw yourself a new and wacky body. It could be the body of a robot, or be made up of household items, such as a washing machine.
Draw a rectangle in your sketchbook or choose to use the entire page as your rectangle.
Fill in the faces below. Everyone in the world is unique, so try to reflect this. Add glasses, scars, freckles – celebrate the diversity around you.
Get creative if you want and draw your own silhouettes and heads for the new faces you are drawing. Remember, the point is to offer diversity in your drawings to reflect the unique world around us. OR you can use the link below to print off the images you see here.
American artist Mark Rothko is known for his “color field paintings.”
Try it for yourself. Pick three different crayons and copy the Rothko-inspired example below. Make the edges of the rectangles fuzzyand messy, and don’t be afraid to let the colors run over each other slightly.
Cut some white paper into four semicircles (small enough to fit inside the square below). Use a black marker and make lots of different lines or marks on each one. Then arrange and glue them in the square.
Draw a square on your paper the size you prefer. Or for our younger artists, let them use the entire sheet as their square. Below are some examples of what you can draw or mark on your semicircles.
What do you think of when you hear the word “air”? Draw it in your sketchbook.
So this one made me pause for a second. I had to think…what image comes to mind when I hear the word “air”? I immediately thought of a deep breath and lungs. Then my curiosity peaked so I headed to google and typed in the word “air”. Here are some of the images that came up. Are any of these what came to YOUR mind?
Create a sculpture by piling a few different objects on top of each other. Use small, sturdy objects – nothing too fragile in case they topple over. When you’re satisfied with your sculpture, sketch it in pencil.
Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh’s famous painting “starry night” shows stars twinkling in a night sky. His swirling lines gives the illusion that the stars are moving. Follow the steps to draw some stars like he did. Fill the space with them.
Chinese artist Al Weiwei once filled the floor of a whole room in an art gallery with millions of porcelain sunflower seeds. He chose sunflower seeds because they reminded him of his country and his childhood. What object would you pick? Draw the object and explain what it means to you.
Find three small, flat objects, such as leaves, buttons, or coins. Press one side of each object onto an ink pad, then print them below however you like. Try pressing down with different pressures to see the different effects.
Scrunch up some old newspaper into a ball small enough to fit in your palm. Dip the ball in green paint and press it on the page to make a tree. Once the paint is dry, add the trunk and other details using makers.
Check out this video with Jay Lee and see how he creates his crumbled newspaper painting.
Piet Mondrian was a Dutch artist. He often used primary colors divided by black lines. Try it yourself. Just fill in the shapes above with the labeled colors, leaving the unlabeled shapes blank.
Here is an image of an original Piet Mondrian painting. Instead of labeling each square for you, we thought we’d let you have the creative freedom to fill in each box the way you like, using whatever color combination you like. Try drawing your own boxes or use the printable provided below.
Take a coin or a paper clip and place it behind your paper. Make sure it’s placed directly under the rectangle on your sheet. Then, using a pencil or a crayon, rub the page over the top of the object. Do this a few times – you should see the outline of the object appear. This technique is called “frottage.”
Look closely at a piece of fruit that is cut in half. Draw all the shape you can see.
Here are some cool fruits you don’t typically see lying around the average kitchen or kid’s lunch box. Check out the insides! I love the variety and the creativeness here. God is so cool like that. Hidden inside, some to never even be opened or eaten, yet they all contain a work of art inside just the same. The Creator loves beauty and it is evident in all of his creations. Leaves my heart smiling in this moment.
South African artist Esther Mahlangu is known for her colorful geometric paintings. Her work is inspired by her culture. Make your own geometric art like Mahlangu in the frame below. Try to use shapes and colors that are meaningful to you. Use these Mahlangu examples to help inspire you.
American artist Faith Ringgold is known for her story quilts. Try making your own below. Think of a story you want to tell – it could be a memory. Draw a picture that tells the story in the central rectangle, then add different patterns, shapes, and colors in the smaller rectangles to create a border.
Try drawing your own quilt to get your started or feel free to print the above images by clicking the link below.
What would a goldfish look like if it were living on land? Draw your version in the pace below.
When reading this I couldn’t help but immediately think of the goldfish from Dr. Seuss. Somehow that fishe managed to live at the top of his water bowl, have conversations with humans (& a cat) and go on some of the wildest adventures without ever even spilling any water from his bowl. Amazing.
With a pencil, draw the elements of a face (eyes, eyebrows, nose, lips, ears) in the middle of the box. (or paper) Then create the shape of the head by filling in the background with lines that end where the edge of the head starts.
Your picture should end up looking something like this.
You’re invited to a costume party. Draw your outfit here.
This day’s art activity comes right on time considering we are a little over a month away from Halloween. From babies to the elderly, we see people of all ages and walks of life dressed in costumes to the join in the season’s festivities. Get creative with this costume. Even if it’s one that may never become a reality, allow yourself to think outside the box and dream a little. Enjoy some of these cool looks we found..
What was the most memorable thing you saw today? Why was it memorable? Write your answers here:
I know this may not seem very artsy, just writing down what you saw, but I think the focus is more on the image of that moment. Something about that moment was noticed by you, the image is still there if you close your eyes. What were the details that caught your eye? If you are like me and just need to create, draw the image you remember after writing your answer.
Be a fashion designer. Design a whole outfit including a hat, shoes, and accessories.
I love this assignment today. My education and background are in fashion and this is part of the industry that has always fascinated me. From inspiration boards, color stories, and textile choices to the finished product, the entire design process is bursting with art and creativity! Fashion design is for everyone and from every corner of the world. Each and every culture offers up their own style and interprets that into their fashion. Have fun with this one and express your own personal style.
Place a sheet of paper on top of a material that you’re allowed to get messy (like some old newspaper or a piece of cardboard). Dip a paintbrush into some watered-down paint, hold the brush over the paper with one hand and tap it with the other to create splatter and drips on the paper. Do this three times with a different color paint each time. This is called “action painting.” American artist Jackson Pollock painted in this way.
When you are done and the paint has dried, cut out a smaller square shape and glue it into an empty page in your My Year of Art sketchbook.
Look out the window and draw the closest thing you see at the bottom of the window. Then draw the farthest thing you see behind it at the top of the window. Notice the colors. Things farther away appear more subdued.
Draw an open window on your paper to fill in or feel free to print of the image above with the link below.
Put an ice cube on a plate and draw it in pencil in the first box. Wait five minutes and draw the ice cube again in the second box, then wait five more minutes and draw it again in the final box. Write a word below each box that describes the picture above it.
Make a small doodle in the first box with a marker. Draw the same doodle again in the next two boxes, using a different color for each one. You could use a different medium for each one too, such as a pencil and a crayon.
Draw three separate empty boxes on your sheet. If you would rather have a printable for your binder, use the link below.
American artist Georgia O’Keeffe often painted flowers. She would draw them very close up so that they filled the whole canvas. Try it yourself. Draw a flower so large that it can’t fit in the frame. Color it with markers or crayons. Use this O’Keeffe-inspired example to help you.
Using a colored marker, draw a line in this frame from one edge to another. Do the same again with a different colored marker. Continue drawing the lines, each in a different color, until you’re happy with the picture.
Draw some type of box on your paper to create a frame like the one above.
Draw five circles inside this circle, getting smaller and smaller. These are called “concentric circles.” Use colored pencils, choosing colors that express howyou feel right now. Write the feeling under the circle.
Choose a blue or purple crayon. In the first box, shade the top section of the box as dark as you can, then move down the box, making it lighter and lighter as you go. Try it again in the second box, going from light at the top, to dark at the bottom. This technique is called “Ombre.”
Check out some of these cool Ombre inspired items.
A “horizon line” is where the sky meets the land or water. Use a pencil to draw a horizonline in this frame. Add detailsof what is happening in the sky and on land or in the water. Add color with crayons.
Draw an animal using only simple shapes, such as circles, semicircles, triangles, and rectangles. Use a black marker.
Here are some cool images that might jumpstart your creativity using shapes. If you have a little one joining you and would like a step by step sheet for them to follow, you can choose one of our fun printables below.
Use a pencil and ruler to divide this circle into eight wedges. Then use a pencil in your favorite color to shade one wedge as lightly as you can. Working clockwise, shade the other wedges using the same color, making each a little darker than the one before. This is called a “gradient.”
Draw a circle on your paper and divided into 8 portions, like a pizza. If you prefer, use the printable available below.
Draw your perfect tree house in pencil in the space below.
I love treehouses! I never had one growing up as a child but if I had, it is probably where I would have spent the majority of my time. Not just because I am the middle child and privacy was hard to come by in our tiny house, but there is just something about being outside and one with nature. If I could live in treehouse and spend every night falling asleep by looking at the stars above…I would. BUT, since that is a far away dream, for now I will be happy to sketch out my ideas on paper.
Check out these cool designs for some inspiration!
Using a pencil, continue adding hexagons to fill the space. Color them in to create a pattern.
Hexagons are a 6 sided shape that make you think of a honey comb. You probably see this shape more often in your day to day life than you realize. When linked together and placed side by side, you can create some beautiful patterns using the hexagon. Free hand them on your paper and continue to draw until you have a full page, then color in to create a pattern. Or if you are like me, you’ll want a couple hexagons drawn our for you to build off of. Below you will find two pintables to get us started; one for those who just need a guide to get started and a printable that all our younger friends joining in can color and enjoy.
Look at a glass filled with ice cubes. Notice all the colors in the glass. Write them down.
If you don’t have access to a glass of ice, use one of the pictures below for your inspiration. What colors do you see? Are they shades of grey and white or are there vibrant colors reflecting off what’s around it? After writing down all the colors you see, you might want to use those same colors to mark on your page or even try drawing the ice with them.
Imagine a windy day. What can you see? Draw it in the space below.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a windy day? Is it the joys of flying a kite or perhaps leaves blowing all around? Or is it a heavier and stronger wind that brings chaos with it? Let your pencil go wherever the wind takes you..
Think about the animal you invented in activity 14. Where does it live? Draw it in its habitat.
Is your creature a domestic animal or maybe live in the city? Or is your creature a wild one that lives with no boundaries? Does it dwell among the top of the mountain peaks or the depths of the ocean?
Here are some pictures of different habitats from around the world to get your imagination going.
Make up an imaginary animal by combining two or three or your favorite animals. Draw it with colored pencils and name it.
Ancient cultures from around the world have tales of such creatures and we still see them now in our modern day books and fantasy movies. Now it’s your turn to be the artist, your turn to open up your imagination and create a hybrid of some sort. What animals will you choose? Here are some for inspiration.
Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky believed that color and shapes could express feelings and sounds. In one painting he drew a grid full of colorful circles. Take a look at the Kandinsky-inspired example below, then use crayons to create your own version. Experiment with the shapes of your circles and add color to the background of each square. Think about how each color and shape makes you feel.
Draw a grid on your paper or use the free printable below.
Did you know that fingerprints are an individual characteristic and no two people have the exact same fingerprint pattern? Wow, that is a LOT of different patterns. And it will remain the same throughout your entire life span. Knowing these things makes me look at my fingerprint a little differently. It’s like my own signature pattern made and created just for me. How the lines arch, where they end and how some seem to almost intersect before they take a deep dive the other direction. Wavy, long, curvy lines…how does your fingerprint add up?
If you have a little one joining you today, they can always explore their fingerprints and turn it into art as well. Let them use a stamp pad or color their fingertips with marker. Now use that finger(s) to make fingerprints all over your page. Now see if they can turn their fingerprints into something else like a flower or maybe a caterpillar!
Watch the sunset or find a picture of one and count howmany different colors you see. Write them down.
I love to watch the sun set and rise, but I can’t remember the last time I was intentional about being still and really observing it. Counting it’s colors and the various shades as they gently fade into one another. The sky is one big canvas where God gets to display his mind blowing artistic ability every moment of every day. How lucky for us that we get to enjoy the beauty and work of his mighty hands.
The heavens declare the glory of God;the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
– Psalm 19:1
check out these beautiful unfiltered images of a sunset
Look outside for an insect, or imagine one. How does it move? Draw its path and sketch the insect too.
My kids and I have always found it fascinating to watch the bugs outside during spring. The way they arrive in so many different shapes and sizes and some displaying the most beautiful of colors and patterns. We’ll watch them get full off leaves and carry things away back to their homes leaving various paths along the way. If you can’t make it outside today and need some help envisioning an insect or two, check out these images.
Imagine you’re petting a dog or cat. Draw some lines on your sheet with a pencil to show how it would feel.
Maybe you own a dog or a cat and to cuddle up and pet them is one of your most relaxing moments of the day. Or perhaps you aren’t an animal person at all and to pet one is not your idea of a good time. Regardless of which side of the fence you find yourself on, how we feel when we imagine petting a dog or cat can be shown in our art. Some might have long beautiful lines that curve and flow. Some may have short and sharp lines representing an entirely different experience. Close your eyes and just imagine for a moment or use these images to jump start your creativity.
Many artists are inspired by dreams. In a dream, things can seem both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. Artists can show this by distorting familiar objects – for instance, they might shrink or enlarge them. Spanish artist Salvador Dalioften did this. Some of his paintings feature melting clocks or animals with extra-long legs.
Try it yourself. Pick an object and distort it however you like. Take a look at these Dali examples to help inspire you
Collect some scrap paper and tear it into small pieces. Using a glue stick, arrange and glue the pieces into a flower shape. Use markers to add details. Combining different materials to make art like this is called “collage.”
I have always loved making collages as far back as I can remember. It’s the recycling of something old and giving it new life I think that I like so much. Creating a flower collage seems so appropriate for this spring season we are in. Having the opportunity to plant and and see new flowers and life spring up all around us. What kind of scrap paper will you use? Newspaper, junk mail, receipts, colored construction paper? Find some beautiful collage inspiration here.
Is it possible to draw a perfect circle? Practice here.
There are a lot of post about how to draw a perfect circle or if one is even capable or drawing a perfect circle or why it’s not exactly your fault your can’t. Regardless, we are going to come up with our own perspective today and see for ourselves if it is possible to draw a perfect circle. Everyone has got a different technique and approach. Let’s see what we come up with and post a pic of your circles in our comments. If you have a little one joining us for our art today, you can use the printable below for a large circle to help guide them.
Well if you’re like me, you are probably working on your art book before lunch and haven’t had much to eat yet besides coffee. So, I am going to focus on something I just really enjoy eating. I can even taste a bit of it now as I think about the colors and try to picture it in my mind. A nice fresh bowl of strawberry shortcake! It’s got me in the mood for summer already. What are you going to eat today? Enjoy some of these cool food sketches for inspiration.
Using colored pencils, pick four colors to create a pattern or picture in the grid provided.
Grid paper is a great way to start a work of patterns or symmetry. Use one of the grid paper printables below to create an authentic piece of pixel art. Be creative! If you would like more inspiration or ideas on how to create characters or pattern work using grid paper , check out some of the images below.
Close your eyes. What do you see? Draw the colors and shapes.
Shapes, colors, images..so many things we see behind closed eyes and today we get to explore those. Put some fun music on or sit in silence, close your eyes, and take a few long deep breaths. What do you see? Is it dark or is it light? Do you see any shapes? Perhaps images containing a lot of colors and shapes. Grab some colorful utensils and let your mind explore as your shapes and colors begin to find their place on your paper and your lines take shape. Here is some inspiration for you.
Start this art journal by drawing a portrait of yourself.
A self portrait is a great way to start off our year of art together! How you choose to draw yourself is completely up to you. Realistic, anime, cubism, wherever your imagination takes you. Remember there is no right or wrong way to draw yourself. Use your medium of choice on this one, whether that’s a pencil or paint or you choose to mixed them, just have fun. See some of the various ways others have drawn themselves.
If you are a younger person or would just like some guidance, click on link below for a printable outline to help you get started.
I am really excited to launch our Year of Art together! This last year has been a struggle for most as we navigate ourselves through a new way of life. It has been the great outdoors and being creative that have helped my artistic soul manage to survive this crazy time. In fact, studies have shown that expressing oneself through art can help with both depression and anxiety. And doing so has been linked to improved memory, reasoning, and resilience in healthy older people. If that is not enough reason to join in on our year of art, I don’t know what is!
We will be following along with a book by Susan Schwake called My Year Of Art. No worries, you don’t need the book to follow along, but you are welcome to buy your own sketch pad or art book to keep all your creative work in. I will also be providing pintables to go along with certain activities that need a little something extra. Some days will call for little supplies, but the majority of them you will find lying around the house. These art activities are for the young and old, so grab your kids to join in the fun too!
Some will take you seconds, while others might take you much longer. Your answers are unique to you and that is what being an artist is all about – showing the world your own view.
BE BOLD – This is a space to let your ideas run free.
Know that there are NO wrong answers, mistakes, or bad ideas.
Have FUN! Enjoy the time you spend creating your art.
Once you’re done, you’ll have a ONE-OF-A-KIND record of your year.