Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

123..I Can Paint! Tying Together Our Painting Lessons with a Mural

For Alex's final acrylic painting project, I wanted to include all the skills we had covered over the last few weeks. For this project you will need one large or two surfaces to paint on. We used two canvases, but you could use paper instead. You will also need paint and paintbrushes.
First paint your backgrounds. I wanted to use two different methods, so I had Alex paint one canvas blue and one green.

I printed out maps for North and South America and cut them out to make a stencil for Alex to paint the land areas on the blue canvas.
Let this dry.
I also printed out maps of Africa and part of Europe. I cut these out, too, but used the cut outs to paint around instead of the sea areas. Alex painted in the blue sea on the green canvas.
Let this dry.
See the differences? Which do you like better?

Once that was dry, Alex used the same method he used for the Bird's Eye View painting to paint in various fields. Once that was dry, he used a quarter of a regular sponge to dab on areas of yellow for the desert warm areas of the world and white for the cold, icy areas of the world. He also painted in a couple of ice burgs floating in the water as well as some waves with white paint.
He painted a sun in the middle of the two paintings and used white and purple to make the sky, rounded to hint at the horizon. He used a toothbrush to flick on some yellow, white and purple specks, like he did in Fireworks Sky, to look like sunrise. We let this dry.
Over the next several days, we painted in various landmarks and fun things on the painting.
Using the same method he used for his Busy and Bright City Street painting, Alex painted in buildings for Los Angeles and New York.
The black line is supposed to be Route 66. There are also Redwood trees in Northern California and Palm trees in Florida. There is a shark out in the ocean with red and yellow fish he is trying to catch. These fish were not done in the same way as he did his Underwater World painting, but they were put in the painting to remind us of that painting as well. Last, but not least, there is Santa with his sleigh flying over.

He painted a whale spouting water, a castle in Germany, the Eiffel Tower in France and Big Ben in England. There is also a Loch Ness monster although I don't think he quite got the placement of Scotland right. 
Note that the Sea Monster's tail ends up in the previous painting near the Chesapeake Bay, where we call the Sea Monster there Chessie.

There is a tug boat, a pyramid in Egypt and the Nile snaking it's way through Africa.

You could let your imagination go wild with your finishing touches...a UFO instead of Santa, colorful houses, cars, flowers...anything you like. You could use the same technique as was used in Purple Mountains Majesty to make mountains.

sources and resources:
  • 123...I Can Paint, Irene Luxbacher


  1. That is awesome. You are such a good teacher. Yes, I love Beyond five in a row and Above and beyond five in a row which we will do next year. I will miss the program when we finish with Above and beyond next year.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. Hi there!! Finally have a chance to visit. So cool! I like the first method better. He did a fantastic job. Love seeing Santa on that ;)

  3. Love this so much! What a fun idea!

  4. Oh what a great idea! I think I like the blue paint over the green canvas better - but once all the creative additions are included, that's what catches your eye.

  5. I think I like the Africa and Europe better because of the way the water turned out, but the details on North America I really like a lot.

  6. I love them both! I have so enjoyed all the art work you have been doing Alex.
    This is a great idea to add to a geography study - brilliant!


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It means so much.