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Artist Inspired Art Lessons

Updated on March 3, 2020
lbrummer profile image

Loraine, a retired volunteer elementary art teacher, shares art projects, favorite art blogs, and ideas on how to create art projects.

Art Inspired by Artists

By far, my favorite art projects are those that become "artist inspired art lessons." Although I appreciate the old artists, I find that I lean toward new and upcoming artists for inspiration for my art classes.

Of all the art projects that I do with the elementary students, I think the ones I've enjoyed the most are the ones where we attempt to imitate the work of an artist. I've spent a considerable amount of time Googling art. And when I find art that really says something to me---well, I want to show pictures to my students and then together we try to imitate the artist's work. Sometimes we use the same art medium as the artist, and sometimes we do our own thing.

In this article I want to introduce you to some of these favorite artists, show some of their work, give you a link to their website so you can look at their art gallery, and show you a sample of student art that was inspired by the artist.For inspiration in the art room, I only have to look to the works of the artists that inspire me.

"Important Information"

One of the rules when writing on HubPages is that no article can contain more than two links to any particular site or blog.

Therefore, in order to share with you the artists that have inspired some of my art projects, it will be necessary for you to click here, Kids & Glitter, to go to my blog.

The different project shown below will include the grade Gallery where the projects can be found. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but I have to follow the rules.

Debbie Adams Tips on Drawing

Debbie recommends getting graphite pencils, quality paper, fixative spray, tortillions and a kneaded eraser for great charcoal drawings.

Here are some of her other tips:

1. Look at negative space, the areas between the subjects, be sure to include these to get a realistic drawing.

2. Examine your subject and look at it in values of shades rather than the color,

3. Use a knead eraser to lift out highlights.

4. Practice everyday, no matter what the subject may be.

5. Keep all of your artwork; you can look back on it to see that you have improved, and with daily practice you will, I promise.

6. Remember to be kind to yourself and not too critical of your artwork, what you think looks bad is awesome to someone else.

"Barns in Graphite," can be found in the 6th Grade Projects Gallery on Kids & Glitter

Debbie Adams: charcoal barn drawings

Debbie is primarily a self-taught artist in charcoal, oils, pastels, and watercolors. She says that she likes to explore different art mediums, with watercolors, along with a few others, being her most recent interest. She says watercolors seem more fascinating to her than the oil and soft pastels. "Though I will always hold dear the charcoal, which I have always found to be a fascinating medium."Debbie's charcoal barns are my favorite.

Visit the REDBUBBLE site to see the Debbie Adams art gallery.

Student Gallery - of graphite pencil barns

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Charcoal Drawing Supplies - to get you started

One of Debbie Adams' suggestions to me was to be sure to use a fixative to protect the finished art. She said even the first attempts should be protected and kept so the artist can look back at how they started and compare it to the improvements made with practice.

Yuko Lau - Happy, Colorful Art

Yuko Lau was born in Japan. You can buy her posters at ART.COM. She came to the states and after graduating college, she worked for about ten years as a furniture studio artist. Today she uses her creativity in graphic arts. In her biography she states that she wants people to have a smile on their face when they see her art work.With Yuko's art as an inspiration, my 4th grade class drew and colored animals. The elementary school won a trip to the Henry Doorly zoo in Omaha by reading a lot of books, so we put the animals behind bars to celebrate their winning the trip. Their art was so cute before adding the bars, that this year we'll leave the animals free.

"At The Zoo with Yuko Lau" is the name of the project in the 4th Grade Projects Gallery on Kids & Glitter.

Student Gallery - inspired by Yuko Lau

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Stushie: American Bird Art

I love the simplicity of Stushie’s art. He is a Presbyterian pastor who lives in Knowxville, Tennessee. On his website he says that his art is a way for him to relax. Stushie has a wide variety of subjects that he paints: landscapes, animals, birds, religious themes, etc. He is very proficient in his style of art. It’s hard to believe that he uses crayons on black paper for many of his pictures.

Be sure to visit Stushies very interesting website.

You'll find this project called "Swan Lake", in the 3rd Grade Projects Gallery at Kids & Glitter.

Student Gallery - of Swan Lake

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Rosina Wachtmeister - whimsical cat prints

Rosina Wachtmeister studied art in Brazil and now lives in Rome, where she works on her whimsical art, prints and posters. She has mastered the art of using bright colors in her captivating animal prints. Rosina's art has a quality about it that makes your imagination naturally dream up stories about the piece. I love her paintings of cats because of their playful, childlike style that begs to be imitated.

This project simply called, "Cats" is found in the 4th Grade Projects Gallery at Kids & Glitter.

Student Gallery - featuring cats inspired by Rosina Wachtmeister

Kate Mawdsley - Simple and Colorful Inspiration

Kate Mawdsley was interested in art at a very early age. She preferred playing with paper, pencils and paint rather than toys. She started her career in the fashion industry, but after 10 years began creating greeting cards, kitchenware and paper products. Today her repertiore has expanded to mugs, crosstitch and tableware.Kate Mawdsley, artist, is the inspiration for our 2nd grade project. Her animal paintings are so simple and colorful. This is a good project to get the kids to draw large; to fill the paper.

This project called, "Animal Art a la Kate Mawdsley," can be found in the 2nd Grade Projects Gallery at Kids & Glitter.

Student Gallery - of Kate Mawdsley Inspired Art

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Peruvian Arpillera Artists - inspired by their textile art

Arpilleras are intricately detailed hand sewn textile pictures. Each piece illustrates some aspect of daily life for the women of the Andes. The arpillera, in an array of colors , tells the story of the country markets where locals come to buy vegetables, clothing and wool for weaving. Although the Peruvians use fabric in their beautiful textile, for this art project the 4th grade used construction paper scraps.

You'll find this project, "Peruvian Arpillera Art," in the 4th Grade Projects Gallery at Kids & Glitter.

Student Gallery - of Peruvian Arpilleras

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Debi Hubbs: Art With a Sense of Humor

Debi Hubbs is a popular artist and illustrator known for a whimsical style. Her art can be found in many different venues worldwide. From fun art to fine art. Her sense of humor, shown in her paintings, proves that art is fun. We chose samples of her art to imitate. We first drew the picture, and then colored in the background (negative spaces) with black. It's amazing how the details of the picture become more distinct doing this.

She has a website at, Debi Hubbs Illustration.

The "Jungle Cat" art project is found in the 6th Grade Projects Gallery on Kids & Glitter.

Student Gallery - ala Debi Hubbs "Jungle Cats"

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Laurel Burch: So Many Choices

The beautiful, imaginative paintings of Laurel Burch are our inspiration for this project. Visit the Laurel Burch website. We projected her artwork onto the SmartBoard by going to her website, entering her Art Gallery and clicking on the gallery slideshows. Viewing her art gave the class lots of ideas, and helped them create bright, whimsical pictures of animals and birds of their own.

The project called, "Laurel Burch Inspired" is found in the 5th Grade Projects Gallery at Kids & Glitter.

Student Gallery - inspired by Laurel Burch

Click thumbnail to view full-size

© 2011 Loraine Brummer

Which artists inspire you?- or leave a comment.

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    • Rangoon House profile image


      8 years ago from Australia

      These are wonderful. The students have been good imitators, but you have obviously been a great teacher too!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Check out LS Lowery a deceased artist from England who inspired many budding artists in his day, with matchstick figures. His paintings and drawings were mainly of industrial scenes, so may not be colourful and inspiring enough for very young children, but his work is powerful and fascinating.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wonderful! You chose such vibrant art -- and the student works made me smile. What a great way to teach kids about art.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens! I especially like how you included your students' works and of course the fact that you introduces them to these wonderful artists.

    • ZenandChic profile image


      8 years ago

      I love the art on here! Blessed this lens!

    • Barb McCoy profile image

      Barb McCoy 

      8 years ago

      This is a wonderful lens! I am always on the look out for inspiration artists and ideas for my homeschooled children to use in their artwork. I think my favorite is the giraffe! Thanks for the quality lens. I will be linking from some of my art lenses.

    • JanTUB profile image

      Jan T Urquhart Baillie 

      8 years ago from Australia

      Colourful and inspiring art. Liked your lens.

    • CruiseReady profile image


      8 years ago from East Central Florida

      What a fun lens... I just love the Debbie Hubbs work. But overall, I think your students did a really fine job with the Swan Lake picture.

    • lbrummer profile imageAUTHOR

      Loraine Brummer 

      8 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

      @Stazjia: Thank you for the SquidAngel blessing. It means a lot to me----one of the best things to a "newbie" like me.

    • lbrummer profile imageAUTHOR

      Loraine Brummer 

      8 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

      @Lee Hansen: Thank you for your visit and comment. I love your lenses.

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 

      8 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      Lovely informative article and beautifully illustrated - blessed.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      8 years ago from Vermont

      I really like your choice of artists and the lessons you've created for your students. They give me some new ideas for creating this year's clip art and coloring pages.


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