Native American Buffalo Hides

NAME OF PROJECT:  Native American Brown Paper Buffalo Hides

BASED ON ARTWORK BY:  Nampeyo (Hopi) and Kicking Bear (Sioux)

MAIN ARTWORK USED: Hopi Bowls by Nampeyo and Battle of Little Big Horn by Kicking Bear

SUBMITTED BY:  Luisa Dugas



Brown Paper bags (free at the Super market)

Acrylic Paint in red, turquoise, black, white and orange

Pencils and Black Sharpie


STEP 1:  Scrunch up your brown paper bag, open and smooth it flat. Repeat. Then, tear brown paper bag to resemble the shape of a buffalo hide. Show example.

STEP 2: With black sharpie make a border around your whole hide. It is a good idea to create a repeating pattern. Show examples. If children want, they may draw it in pencil first, but it takes a lot of time.

STEP 3: Draw in pencil your Native American inspired designs. Make sure your designs are big and fill your hide. Designs should not have a lot of detail.

STEP 4: Use ONLY 3 of the 5 colors and color your designs. Set aside to dry.

STEP 5: When dry, edge all designs with black sharpie to make them stand out.


Cubist Collage Inspired by Picasso

NAME OF PROJECT:  Cubist Collage


MAIN ARTWORK USED:  Selection of artwork from the Cubist Period




Several photographs of people from magazines or internet pictures, scissors, glue, cardstock


STEP 1:  Volunteer will pre- cut the body parts of the people from the magazine or internet pictures.

STEP 2: After viewing Picasso’s Cubist Period examples, give the children a piece of cardstock and glue. The children will create a cubist-inspired collage by assembling and glueing eyes, hair, noses and lips from multiple angles.

Blue Collage Inspired by Picasso’s Blue Period

NAME OF PROJECT:  Blue Collage


MAIN ARTWORK USED: Selection of artwork from the Blue Period

SUBMITTED BY:   Ms. Knecht



Newspaper, fabric, white poster board, glue, blue paint in various shades/ hues


STEP 1:  Volunteer to cut the newspaper and fabric into pieces

STEP 2:  After viewing Picasso’s Blue Period examples, the children will collage different kinds of paper and fabric onto white poster board with glue.

STEP 3:  Then the children will paint over the collage with different shades of blue paint.

American Flag inspired by Jasper Johns



SUBMITTED BY:   Luisa Dugas

GRADE LEVEL:   2/3 and 4/5 (Project done in 2 sessions)

MATERIALS:   Newspaper, Mod Podge,

Masonite cut in rectangular pieces either 8X12 or 10 X15

Blue cardstock cut to size of “Union” according to flag dimension

White foam stars or punched stars 0.5” from star punch

Red acrylic paint


STEP 1:   Have children tear a page of newspaper in long strips, use only the pages that are in black & white and no pictures, just writing.

STEP 2: Background. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to masonite and glue down newspaper strips. Try overlapping them to create an interesting pattern. Add more Mod Podge if edges are dry. Cover all masonite and set aside to dry.

STEP 3: Make “Union”. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to blue cardstock and start gluing down your white stars. (If using foam stars, just peel and stick) Stars don’t have to be in perfect order. The flag has changed 26 times and no one will count to see if you have exactly 50 stars.

STEP 4:  Glue down “Union” to upper left corner of background.

STEP 5: With red paint- paint the stripes. This will be free handed work. It does not need to be perfect. To get exactly 13 stripes, first paint the stripe that goes on the bottom right corner of the “union” to the edge of background on the right. Then paint the very top stripe to the right of the “union”. Then paint 2 red stripes in between. This will give you exactly the 7 stripes that surround the “union”. Then paint another red stripe at the bottom of the background. Last paint two more stripes in between. This will give you exactly 13 stripes total.

STEP 6: Let paint dry for a few hours and then coat the whole picture with a couple of layers of Mod Podge for shine and protection. Volunteer can do this after the project is completed.

An amazing generous donation!

We are so lucky at VSY! Our MTM program just received a most generous donation! It is the whole series of books that contain the Seminars in Art by John Canaday and published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There are 12 books in the collection and each book has the full text of Mr. Canaday’s Art Seminars and include 12 small prints of paintings illustrating each theme. The 12 themes are:

1- What is a painting?

2- Realism: The Painter and the World Around Us

3- Expressionism: The Painter and the World He Creates





4- Abstraction: The Painter and the World We Never See

5- Composition- Pictures as Patterns

6- Composition: Pictures as Structures

7- Composition: Arrangement as Expression

8- Techniques: Fresco

9- Techniques: Tempera and Oil

10- Techniques: Water Color, Pastel, and Prints

11- The Artist: The Artist as a Social Critic 

12- The Artist as a Visionary 

The incredible thing about these books are the prints that are located in a pocket inside each volume. Some of the artists featured are: Blake, West, De Chirico, Degas, Goya, Manet, Pisarro, Klee, Munch, Braque, Moore, and so many more.

The books are located in the Art room, on top of the MTM prints rolling cart. Next time you’re in school, take a moment and look at the books. Please feel free to use them as research material for your presentations. Use the calendar to sign-in if you’ll be using the a book that day, but please do not take them home with you. If you take out one of the prints, please make sure you put it back in the correct volume. The collection is complete.

Thank you to our generous donor and to Allan Barsky who made it happen!

Luisa Dugas

Dreamy Watercolor Inspired by Chagall

NAME OF PROJECT:  Dreamy Watercolor inspired by  Chagall


MAIN ARTWORK USED:  I and the Village

SUBMITTED BY:  Luisa Dugas

GRADE LEVEL:  2/3 but can be adapted to K/1 and 4/5

MATERIALS:  Heavy weight Watercolor paper  (I used Canson, size 11 X 15, 140 lb); Crayons and pencil; Watercolors (I used the school type); Brushes, trays, water cups and paper towels


STEP 1:  Have each child write name on back. With light lines make two diagonal lines from point to point dividing the paper into 4 triangles.

STEP 2:  On bottom triangle draw a tree. Just some branches and clusters for leaves. You do not need to do details, just the outline.

STEP 3: Turn paper around so tree will be upside-down. On what is now the bottom triangle, draw your neighborhood, a street with houses on it. Some of the houses can be upside down too.

STEP 4:  Turn paper again so tree is facing you again, on the left triangle draw your favorite animal or pet using all the space. Draw larger than life like in the inspiration picture. It doesn’t matter if it overlaps the diagonal lines. We will erase those later.

STEP 5:  Turn paper around once more, so houses are on the bottom. On the triangle that is left, you will draw a sideways face. Make sure to use all the space.

STEP 6: Then with crayons, you will outline all the figures. Using bright and different colors. Lines must be heavy so when we apply the watercolor, they show. Do not outline the triangles lines, just the drawings.

STEP 7: Using bright watercolors, color all your drawings. When you’re done with your design, color the background. Use a different color for each triangle.

The case of the mysterious Mona Lisa

We have a new addition to our set of alternate prints. Someone left a huge poster of the Mona Lisa on top of the MTM drawer cabinet. We have happily received the mysterious gift and have framed it on poster board to prevent damage to the poster. Since the print is so big, it does not fit in the drawer, so we have set it on the side. In case anyone is interested in doing a presentation on Leonardo da Vinci, please feel free to use it. If anyone knows the identity of our elusive donor, please let me know so we can properly thank him or her for the awesome gift!