3D Drawing – Easy Art Lesson!

Here’s a really simple art lesson that you can pull out of the bag when you’re having a busy week.

Related image


  • Paper and pencil
  • Colouring pencils
  • Fine black markers.
  • 30cm ruler.


  1. Trace your hand onto a piece of paper.
  2. Starting at the bottom of the page, draw straight lines 1cm apart, horizontally across the page, skipping over the hand itself so that you have two sets of lines. Use the bottom of the ruler rather than the top to draw the line, so that you can see the lines you have previously drawn. Don’t draw through the hand!
  3. Join each set of lines together by drawing a curvy line, freehand, to connect them.
  4. Trace over the lines you have drawn using a fine black marker. Do not trace the outline of the hand.
  5. Choose two contrasting colours and shade in between the lines.

Here’s a video of the process, and a look at what your 3D hands will (hopefully!) look like:

Hope this helps, and good luck!

Printmaking (with Foam)

Printmaking is a creative, tactile lesson that offers your kids the chance to explore a new medium.

There are lots of different types of printmaking:

  • Monoprinting: This is where you paint an image onto e.g. the back of a baking tray, and get one ‘print’ by pressing your blank paper on top of it. You can only get one print, as the detail is removed by the transfer paper – hence the name ‘monoprinting’.
  • Screen-printing: This is where you press ink through a stencil onto the page underneath. Screen-printing was most famously used by Andy Warhol in such pieces as ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans’ and ‘Marilyn Diptych’.

The type of printing that will be discussed here, however, is relief printing. This is where an imaged is carved into a surface, and transfer paper is pressed on top of the inked surface. This is commonly done using lino and lino cutters, but this post will look at using foam instead, as it is cheaper and more readily available.

Image result for foam print



  1. Place your foam sheet on a blank sheet of paper, and trace the outline.
  2. Sketch your image inside the space you have outlined on the paper.
  3. Place the foam sheet underneath the image, and trace over each line, checking to make sure the image is transferring across. (You can skip steps 1 and 2 and just draw on the foam, but it is more difficult).
  4. Recycle the paper drawing. Retrace the drawing on the foam, etching each line deeply to create relief. (i.e. to ensure that the image you have sketched is ‘deeper’ in the foam than the rest of the sheet).
  5. Place a small amount of printing ink on the glass plate, and roll the ink roller through it until you have an even coating.
  6. Apply the ink to your foam drawing, ensuring you cover the space evenly.
  7. Take a fresh piece of A4 paper, and place it carefully on top of your inked foam drawing. Taking care that the paper does not move, press it into the foam to allow the ink to transfer. You need to apply plenty of pressure at this stage. Use the palm of your hand, a wooden spoon, or a clean ink roller.
  8. Peel off the paper, and check out your print!
  9. Repeat steps 5-8 if you like he great thing about these prints is that you can create multiple copies, as the printing process itself doesn’t remove any detail.  You can even wash the foam with a damp sponge cloth if you want to use a different colour!

Here’s a video that I found online that I think gives a good overview of the process – there’s no sound however!


I hope this post helps, and you give printmaking a try with your class. Let me know if you do @irishguyteaching on Instagram!


Clay Monsters

The first time I taught this lesson was one of the most nightmare-ish lessons I’ve ever had.

I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, and on the advice of another teacher, added ‘a little bit of water’ to the clay to keep it from drying out. I also gave out the clay to the kids with nothing to go between it and the desk…

Long story short, the lesson ended with the kids exiting through the emergency door, while I cleared all the tables and got three kids to attack them with a bucket of hot water and some old towels. We did (eventually) get the clay out of the tables, but I don’t think the cleaners ever forgave me for the mess we left on (in?) the carpet

I swore that day that I would learn from my mistakes, and since then I’ve had much better results!

My top tip, before I start on the actual lesson, is to invest in jay-cloths – one per child. You can re-use them year after year, and they do a fantastic job of stopping the clay from getting stuck everywhere. I always pre-cut the slabs of clay and fold them up inside a jay cloth, which makes it easy to distribute at the start of the lesson. I’ve also heard of people using mini-whiteboards or clingfilm, but personally I find jay-cloths to be a lifesaver.

Introduction, Stimulus & Revision

Start by explaining to the kids that they will be working with clay to make monsters.

Show pictures of sample projects, and discuss how the child/artist might have made them.

Revise some basic clay-making techniques – slipping and scoring, pinch pots, and pulling forms out of the clay. The video below does a pretty good job of revising the basics (if this is your first time using clay with the kids, you may need to spend some time teaching these)

Independent Work

After you gone over all the techniques, shown them samples, and completed a demonstration, you just have to sit back and let them work it out for themselves. Leave sample pictures on the board for inspiration, and showcase students who are making a nice design or are slipping and scoring really well. Other than that, the main thing to watch out for is that the pieces the kids have stuck on have been slipped and scored properly, and aren’t too thin, or they’ll just fall off or break when dried.


If you are using air-drying clay (this is what most schools will have) then you need to let the clay dry, preferably overnight, before painting. If you’re using a kiln, you’ll need to fire the clay twice – once before painting, and once after.


Once your clay is dry, it’s time to paint! Acryclic paints work better with clay, but you can use ordinary poster paint – you’ll just have to ensure each piece of clay gets 3 or 4 layers.

Once your monsters have been painted, take pictures of the best ones and splash them all over the school website. Send them to all your teacher friends on WhatsApp to show what a fantastic teacher you are, and then treat yourself to a tub of ice-cream and a night of Netflix – you did it!

Spotlight: Andy Warhol

We’ve started off our Art in fifth class by looking at the work of Andy Warhol. We talked about his life and watched a couple of videos that gave some idea of the influence he had and continues to have on Art. We noted how he used popular items for his art (in comparison to other artists at the time who were painting beautiful chapels and wealthy royal families), and also how he repeated images and used bright, gaudy colours that jump off the page.

Idea 1:

First, each of the kids was given a can of spaghetti (you can imagine the  confusion when the teacher rocks in on Monday morning with 30 cans of spaghetti!). They were 22c each in good old Lidl, and may be even cheaper in Aldi, if you’re into that kind of thing. We looked at Warhol’s famous ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans’ first, discussed what it might be about, and then set about re-creating it! Apart from the soup can, all the kids need is an A4 sheet of white card, which they cut in half vertically. Stick one half on the can as a base layer with PrittStick, design the other half and stick that on to. I gave each child a Campbell’s logo, to give them some look of uniformity, but that’s totally up to you!

Idea 2:

The next week,  we  revised what we had learned about Warhol, and then made some pop art for ourselves. This was a pretty easy-to-prep lesson which turned out really well. All you need is a black A4 sheet of card for each student, and then lots of A4 paper in bright colours. Simply cut the coloured paper into quarters, and have the kids select four colours, which they add to their black canvas in whichever way they like. Then they choose an easy-to-draw image (I put plenty of examples on the board), repeat it four times, and go over the lines with whiteboard markers. We also discovered that Tipp-Ex stood out nicely around the edges of the canvas!



This is an all-round winner of an art lesson. It takes ages, which helps to pass away that first day or two back at school before you start into the real work, and as an extra bonus, you spend the whole afternoon revising the kids’ names!The kids usually haven’t tried a directed drawing before, and the weaker kids especially like the step-by-step directions.

Below are some samples of work the kids came up with it, and this is the link to the step-by-step directions. All you need for this lesson is an A3 sheet of paper for each child, black markers to trace the outlines, and colouring pencils – it’s that simple!