December 19, 2017

 This is a fun project for people with Alzheimers disease.  They loved doing this activity and were proud of their results. 


Black constuction paper

silver or gold paint


star templates

white paint





1. Trace star with chalk on black paper

2. Put a blob of silver paint in center of star and have them fill in the star.

3. Make a design in star with white paint

4. Squeeze glue inside star making a design with glue

5. Sprinkle glitter over star holding over a big bowl to collect glitter. 

6. Admire the sparkly stars


 Trace onto black paper

Dick Blick Acyrilic

 Christmas Star

December 8, 2017

People with Alzheimer's love this project.

I am consistently thinking of ways to simplify my art projects so that the lovely people I work with can feel good through the whole process. This was a huge success because I went step by step and did much of the cutting myself ahead of time.


Cut out moon from white paper and glue to dark blue construction paper with glue stick.

Students draw spiral around moon with white colored pencil.

Before Class: tear three pieces of paper, each one smaller than the next, black, medium blue and white and glue to black paper.

Have participants glue darkest sheet onto dark blue paper first.

Glue lighter blue sheet over dark blue sheet.

Glue white sheet over blue sheet lining up with the bottom.

Before class :Cut out snowman, hat and carrot nose. Have participants glue to scene making sure the snowman bottom is on the white torn sheet.

Great Job!


You can modify and do this with kids too. I would let the kids do their own cutting and tearing. Bel...

November 8, 2017

Great project for people with Alzheimers. They love how the colors blend when dropped on watercolor paper.


watercolor paper

brown and black construction paper

black markers

googly eyes

Dick Blick liquid watercolors

watercolor brushes


glue sticks


Before class

Make your own art piece first. ( It is good to have something to show reminding them along the way what they are doing).

Draw feather shapes, feet , beak and waddle on back of watercolor paper with black permanent marker

Precut turkey body

During Class

Hand out watercolor paper and have them sign their names on side of pre-drawn feathers. Flip paper over.

Drop dots from squeeze bottle of liquid watercolors red, yellow, orange, and mangenta.

Let them touch the dots with their brush and make any design they are inclined to do.

Put aside to dry.

Give each person a brown piece of construction paper. 

Sign the back.

Flip over and glue turkey body on paper leaving 2 inches from bottom.

Glue googly eyes.

Set aside.

Take dried waterco...

November 2, 2017

VanGogh is an artist who is famous enough that some will remember his name. I like to do a project on one of his paintings because his style is so forgiving and fun.


Brown and Black/Gray construction paper

Pastels - blue, yellow, black, gray, white

Glue Elmers or Tacky



1. Cut out silhouette of foreground in black or gray paper4.

2. Draw shape of tree and church in chalk so the participants can visualize the scene better.

3. Show VanGogh's painting of Starry Night.

4. Ask questions about painting to get the participants familiar with the features of the paintingl

5. Hand out brown paper and have them put their name on back.

6. Show them the finished piece that you did. Tell them that they will do something like this but hopefully different.

7. Have them make stars all over paper with yellow pastel.

8. Next have them fill in blue around the stars.

9. Have them glue the silhouette onto the starry sky.

10. Next draw onto the black with light gray and yellow for lights i...

October 31, 2017

For people with Alzheimer's,  a pumpkin is an easy symbol to conjure up from the memory bank, making it a breeze to celebrate and make art. I begin by asking the participants what things we see on Halloween. They come up with a few things, witches, candy, etc. . I show my sample pumpkin and explain that we will be doing a mosaic of a pumpkin.


1. Hand out orange paper and have them cut pieces (Cut pieces ahead of time for those that cannot use scissors) Fold paper to get double the cuts.

2. Hand out black paper with chalk have them draw a big pumpkin shape. 

3. Have them wipe glue stick all over the pumpkin shape.

4. Press down orange pieces until pumkin is covered.

*Encourage them to fit pieces next to each other and not overlap but be careful not to discourage with too much instruction.

5. Cut yellow triangles for eyes, nose and mouth.

6. Cut green pieces for top

7. Glue down

8. Sign name 

Show them off to each other

*If you need to fill in the time, add orange and gr...

October 19, 2017

I wanted to teach a little about Monet and have the participants remember by doing a version of his painting.


watercolor paper

liquid watercolors, blues and greens


oil pastel


water containers


1. Show the participants a photograph of Monet's bridge.

2. Ask questions about the painting to get them to pay attention to the details so that the painting process will be more meaningful.

3. Draw bridge on watercolor paper ahead of time in pencil.

4. Hand out paper and have them put their names on back

5. Hand out blue green oil pastel and have them trace over the bridge using pressure.

6. Take away blue oil pastel and replace with yellow, then pink

7. Have them make flowers below bridge in a variety of dots.

8. After they make their flowers apply blue and green watercolor.

9. Before the water dries apply salt immediately. Watch the magic.

Thoughts: Make sure to remove paint after they sprinkle salt. Going back into the painting with paint will ruin the salt effect.

I encourage...

October 18, 2017

How to make a Witchy Craft.

1. Make template with big black marker for face and nose on green card stock.

2. Precut nose slit with x-acto knife.

3. Make template for hat on purple paper

4. Have participants cut along black lines

5. Fold nose on dash line.

6. Slide nose through slit on face, tape down.

7. Glue face onto black card stock

8. Cut hair on horizontal, glue to face, crimp

9. Cut out hat , glue onto head 1/3 down

10. Glue googley eyes. 

11. Draw mouth with marker.

12. Embellish with markers and glitter.



Green card stock

Black card stock

Orange paper

purple paper

glue stick or tape

googley eyes



 Thoughts: This brought a smile to their faces, especially when the glitter came out. Glitter is magic to all ages. It helps to show the finished witch often as they forget what they are doing often during the process.

October 5, 2017

How to make crumpled paper Trees.

  This is a great art project for people with Alzheimer's dementia.

You can alter this to simplify, making it less stressful. Just make the cutout tree beforehand. My group loved this. Crumpling the paper made them feel empowered, something they feel less and less of as this disease progresses. I like to play music while they work. "Autumn leaves" by Nat King Cole, "Autumn in New York" by Frank Sinatra and "Early Autumn" by Johnny Mathis. I stream it off youtube on my phone and connect my phone to a wireless speaker via bluetooth.


Black Markers


Black or Brown Construction Paper

Copy paper 50 Sheets (2 Sheets per person)

Watercolors Sky blue and fall colors

Brushes (1 per person)

water container (1 per 2 person)

Glue sticks

Charged Music Speaker

Charged Cell phone

Crumple Paper Fall Trees


Making the Trunk

  1. Hand out white copy paper, black markers and glue stick, blue paint, brushes 

  2. Put initials on bottom of both

  3. On white paper, draw...

September 28, 2017

A beautiful movie made in


September 21, 2017

This will be my third adventure through France. The 2017 French Adventure was fantastic. We explored unique places in Paris, had a private tour through the city at night, painted in Monet's Garden, ate at a Michelin Star restaurant, stayed in a historic farm house and painted in a Normandy harbor. Deep friendships were cultivated as we shared experiences of a lifetime.

Do not miss the next adventure. We will visit the wine region, making sure to taste the wines of the various houses. We will paint the gorgeous scenery as we investigate the ancient towns built out of the limestone rock. There are caves and waterfalls and of course delicious food, cheeses, cider, etc. We will stay in unique bed and breakfasts learning about the french culture as it truly is, not how a tourist sees it.

For more information click on this link.

March 30, 2017

Learn to paint the landscape loosely - it is the last Landscape class and I wanted to really shake the stiffness out of my students. I decided to have them do timed paintings of no more than 20 minutes. I used bright photos of landscapes and instructed them to paint only large masses of color and value. No detail or drawing was allowed. These are the photos I chose.

These are the results of the students' paintings.

 Observations: I was amazed at how good these paintings were. By painting the shapes and values only, a much more exciting expressive painting becomes possible.

March 28, 2017

How to paint a Furry Cat in Watercolor    

  1. Draw a rectangle on drawing paper.Use negative space (the space that is not the cat, ie. background shapes) to help place him into the rectangle.


2. Transfer to arches 140lb. watercolor paper by placing drawing on window letting light shine through to watercolor paper.

3. Place liquid mask in eyes to keep white

4.Mix 3 colors (Ultramarine blue, Alizarin Crimson, Aureolin Yellow)

5.Test colors first on separate watercolor paper and practice mixing until you have all the colors of the cat.

6.Wet paper beyond area you will be painting with big brush.

7. Paint cat with DRY brush of pure pigment little water, strong dark colors to get fuzzy effect.

8. Continue to form darks and lights on cat.

9. Let dry.

Demo of wet on wet to achieve fuzzy effect.

 Students 1st wash

10. Details in face only

11. Remove liquid mask with rubber remover.

12. Paint iris first in two values.

13. While wet, paint pupil and eyeliner with dry dark paint. 14. 14. Make sur...

March 25, 2017

Paint the Horse in Watercolor-

 This horse was painted from photograph

found on the internet. I started with good drawing. The eyes and the nose were hard to see, so I got some clear photos of horse's eyes and nose from the internet and practiced drawing and painting until I understood the anatomy better. Below is a sample of my practice.

Next I practiced the mane to see how I would handle the soft wavy fur. I used a lot of water on a tilt to accomplish the look. One of my students filmed me while I painted (see below). 

Once I had the problems resolved I started to paint. I start mostly wet on wet working the background and foreground at the same time allowing the two to be married. I try to work the whole picture, not completing one area more than another. The detail should be reserved for the face only in order to draw the eye there. See video for live demonstration.

March 23, 2017

Practice 10 minute paintings - This week my students painted 10 minute watercolors at the Vero Beach Museum.  Each student was given a colorful photo of  a bird with a brief time to sketch  onto the watercolor paper and mix colors. When ready, I set the timer for 10 minutes and said “Go!”.  Paint brushes were frantically swashing to cover the stark white bumpy paper before the bell rang. Losing edges  and getting the paint dark enough were common frustrations. Working within such a short time constraint, the students were able to resist overworking the painting.  With no time for fussing, the result was a more expressive and fresh painting. Below are some examples of bird perfection. Do try this at home.

Student Work

March 23, 2017

Tricks and tips to improve your watercolor painting.

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©2017 Watercolor painting in Vero Kim Weissenborn - Florida