Elementary Art Mixed Media Teaching Models: Munch Shores and Still Life with Zentangle Background

In hopeful preparation of the possibility of becoming the elementary art teacher next school year, I’m studying to pass the OAE Art test as well as preparing projects to teach and that I can use in my portfolio. I don’t want to post each of them individually, so I’ll probably post them sporadically, a few at a time. Today I am introducing my Edvard Munch Shores and Still Life with Zentangle Background.

First up, the still life.

I put together a small fruit bowl, and used it as my model. I drew a horizon line to show the difference from my “table” and the “wall.” My art teacher friend usually has her students start with Sharpie, but I used pencil then drew over with Sharpie. I am trying to use the supplies at home that most closely align with the supplies in the art room, so I decided to use colored pencil for the fruit bowl. I did lighter and darker areas for shading and I also showcased some blending for more realistic apples.

I used a simple chevron pattern for my “table.” I alternated the chevron stripes in blue and green, outlined their stripe in the correct color in marker, then filled in with watercolor.

Before the students will draw their zentangle, they will be given some reference sheets of different zentangle designs and they will practice creating them, as well has practicing inventing their own. Then, they will take this knowledge and transfer it to their backgrounds. I chose to set my bowl in front of a window, and I can show them how to do that. I used marker to fill in the smaller areas and then coordinating watercolor color for the larger area to fill in the background.

Usually the current art teacher wants the subject to b quite larger (bigger than hand, which my still life is) but I wanted to have lots of room for the zentangle, too. This is meant for 6th grade.

I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out!

Most, if not all, people are familiar with Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” but one of his lessor known works is The Shore with Red House.

I love beach scenes (probably because I don’t get to visit the beach very often!) and found this one interesting! It’s neat to introduce an artist and study their work without entirely recreating it. I wanted to find a way to lend this project to 6th grade, but it speaks to 2-3rd grades instead.

In my piece, the students will find their horizon line, and watercolor the sky. They will use oil pastel to divide the water and the beach, and to practice with thicker lines up front and thinner lines towards the horizon for perspective, as well as have a fun wax resist. They will water color over the oil pastel.

On a separate paper, they will practice blending oil pastel colors to make fun rocks which they will cut out and glue onto their shore. I practiced and considered a few ways to create this, but what I like about doing it this way is that if they don’t like their rocks, it doesn’t mess up their piece, they can practice with placement, it gives the piece a more 3-D look and less flat, and it’s just fun to cut and paste!

I added a small island with oil pastel palm trees for added interest! I think it’s really pretty!

What I like about both works is that it’s fun for students to see how different media gives different results, but can combined to make fun and exciting art!

Thanks for looking!


Both of these are awesome. I substitute taught art a couple of times waaaaay back when. And always loved it.

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I also taught art to sixth graders, so it is important to keep their interest and not frustrate them with too complicated things…if they can achieve something nice, it bolsters their confidence to try even more complex things later!

I love all of the colors and how you can use the masters to spin off art work of their own!

Zentangles are fun for all ages and quite doable…I don’t think you can really screw up a zentangle…mistakes can look quite pleasing…


Both pieces are are fun in their own way. I think that the students will really like to make these projects.

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I don’t claim to know anything about art, but I really love your pieces!

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Very nice! I love how you are really throwing yourself into this! I hope you get the job!

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Sixth grade is such an influential, gateway life period. How wonderful it would be for you to inject some creativity at this crucial juncture. I have wonderful memories of my 6th grade art class. These definitely brought me back and make me want to revisit those projects. Good luck and keep having fun!

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It’s so interesting to hear what goes into an art lesson for kids! Thanks so much for including that with your super cool projects!

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