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Peter Reynolds' book The Dot explores the idea of overcoming fear of failure through creative thinking. Vashti is frustrated with her still blank paper at the end of art class when her teacher inspires her to "just make a mark and see where it takes you." We were inspired by this book to create a nonobjective design using dots, lines, squiggles, shapes, and patterns. We started simply and kept adding until each student felt their piece was complete. Some created emphasis by coloring a…

Andy Warhol style portraits: trace a black and white photo with black sharpie on overhead transparency. Write your name on the side with the sharpie lines. Flip the acetate over and color with 4-5 colored sharpies (pick colors that contrast). This lesson is for 5th grade. Talk about portraits, contour lines, and pop art before starting. Will take about 4-5 class days to complete

After reading "The Dot" by Peter Reynolds, students create their own dots framed in "swirly gold." This was my first week activity and the dots now cover the bulletin board in the art room with the quote "Just make a mark and see where it takes you." - Peter Reynolds

"The Dot" by Peter Reynolds. It is a story about believing in yourself and believing in your Artwork. They then created an image starting with only "one dot" on their paper. They could create their down into whatever they wanted, and should just let their intuition guide them. The students used no pencil. They started right away with permanent markers since there could be no "mistakes" in this project. After completing their drawings they filled in color with tempera paint cakes. might be…

If you're a teacher, you can now draw on paintings by nearly 20,000 artists, in a wide range of styles painted over the last 800 years. Most of the great masters are well represented, with some of their best known works.