Welcome to my blog – a work in progress.

The aim of the blog is to create an online community of art teachers to share resources, lesson plans, tips and ideas.

Below I will post articles on the Visual Arts – ideas, resources etc that I come across on the web and develop myself.

Thank you and enjoy the blog!

Kolin MacAulay

Amazing stop motion music video created by the students of St Peters Special School

A project created with support from the JCSP ‘Make a Book Initiative’.

A collaboration of students throughout the school of St Peters inspired by the music of Bruno Mars, ‘Grenade’.


Energy Rap – winners of the CLICK prize!!!


A Brilliant Animation/Claymation created by the students of St Mary’s Primary school in Fairview, Dublin on the theme of saving ‘energy’ and protecting the planet. The Animation recently won the ‘click’ prize in the ilac center!!!!!

I am proud to announce that this animation resulted from the collaboration through this Blogs research project and one very talented primary school teacher, Maryrose Anglim. Thank you for all your help with the research project and well done on the animation, it is excellent!!!!

BeDazzled and BeMused @ Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery


Bedazzled…… Body Decoration….. Pre-Raph Pack…. BeMused

The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery e-learning site is a comprehensive wealth of information, interactive links, curriculum resources and free lesson plans for educators of all disciplines! AND much much more! Visual Art’s folks will thoroughly enjoy getting lost in this site.

Thanks to iLearn Technology for this great resource!

Search Flicker using these Cool Tools


Flickr is a large excellent source of digital images. Flickr’s advanced search is excellent and so is Flickr’s PiciShare,*see below…but using their built in search engine is kind of limited. Try using the following tools and  you can grab an image quickly and creatively. The following tools will allow you to find just the right images for your Blog, Wiki, Website, or for student use. What I like is that you can find images through these tools in an assortment of ways; by tag, color, theme and location. It’s fun, creative, and your student’s will enjoy the unique variety of the actual search presentation.

Multicolr lets you mix up to 10 colors and picks images matching the chosen color palette.

Tiltomo is a lot of fun to use as well. This tool allows you to search by tag, color / texture and theme / subject. It’s fast and uses two data bases for images.

Findr Searches by tag and gives many alternative tags for your search

PiciShare is a Flickr search engine. Your search is chosen by tags or full text; you can limit the number of images per page and sort results by importance, date added or popularity.

Airtightinteractive displays images based on your tag choice and also recommends more related tags:

Compfight is a tag-based search, but it lets you set the Creative Commons filters. This is a great option.

FlickrStorm searches by keyword and /or by Creative Commons. It also has a neat flash-based interface

Flyr searches within geotagged photos and adds Google map links to each search result.

Ways of Seeing

This oldie but goodie is from the blog Open Culture. John Berger who was an English Art Critic from the 70’s developed “Ways of Seeing” which was shown on BBC television. It introduced the world to postmodernist ways of looking at art, and did so with a degree of accessibility that few historians have pulled off since. Eventually the series was turned into a book, and forty years later, the text is still used in college classrooms. How do we see paintings, photography, films and even literature?  This is a portion of the original BBC series, first of the four original episodes. Here are the links for the rest. (Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4).
Check out
UBU Web for more Art videos like this.


Vintage Ad Browser


This site is a treasure trove of inspiration as well as an excellent resource. Vintage Ad Browser allows you to search by tag, specific search and color….which I found unique. The site presently has 123,311 images and counting. It also has a sister site called Cover Browser that has images of comic books, books and collections. Be ready to spend some time!

Cartoonise yourself


Upload a picture to Cartoonize Net from your computer, or right from a URL, and click on “Cartoonize.” It will convert the photo and give it a cartoonish look. In the Photo above I Cartoonized my blog picture. The “Cartoonized” photo can be then downloaded right to your computer in JPEG format. No registration needed. It’s a simple tool….. very easy to use.


Another fun tool is Be Funky. This tool creates a multitude of manipulations to your photo. Many choices. Great for teaching graphic design to students.


Qwiki is the most unusual creative search engine I have experienced lately. It’s a brand new search engine that spits out visuals, video, and information via…… telling a story. It actually talks to you while producing a visual experience that is quite unique. Qwiki will power many products via a platform that turns information into an experience”quoted from their websiteIt’s new and still in Apha so you have to request an invitation to use it, but they send it quite fast. I got mine within 15 minutes.


I put in a search for Van Gogh and…..this is what I got visually. Make sure you have your sound turned on when you search.


Tessellations are a beautiful melding of math and art and students enjoy creating them. Tessellate within Shodor, one of these interactive sites, is fun and easy to use. Shodor is a comprehensive visual interactive resource for math educators that I recently found out about on the Teachers First website. There is an easy to understand how to with visual directions. Try it out.Here are a few other resources that I have found for creating tessellations.

Jo Edkins…create Tessellations

Tessellations.org…comprehensive with many examples

Thinkfinity Illuminations site has an excellent Tessellation creation tool.

Origami…”Between the Folds”


Between The Folds is a film clip about papermaking and then actually creating origami sculptures from that specific handmade paper. The link has so much more than just a clip from the PBS film “Between The Folds” There is a link to the history of origami, an interactive that is based on origami folding techniques, and information on specific origami artists.

Copyright issues


Many great sites are out there that offer images for free use in the public domain. As a classroom teacher it’s very important to discuss copyright issues in relation to image use with students.

Ookaboo is easy to use and advertises itself as a place for free pictures of everything on earth!

FreePik is just as comprehensive and allows you to search for vector as well as photo images. My students have enjoyed this site.

Creative Commons is a comprehensive site that searches multiple images.

Imgur is new and requires registration but it looks awfully easy to use.

Wylio is my complete favorite! It searches for the copyright free image and allows you to edit it right at the site. It will also generate code to be embedded on your website or blog.


Create a free and easy photo Collage with Photovisi. I created a photo collage of my dog Zeke in just five minutes.  This tool will come in handy for documenting field trips to the museum or field trips in general.

Here is a link to a very nice example of images with quotes.


Capzles allows you to create a rich multimedia presentation that can encapsulate video, images, music, and documents. It’s free and easy to use. I like that my “Capzle” can be private, semi-private or public. It can also be accessed by smart phone and has geo-tagging capabilities. This would be a great tool to use when traveling. Here is a great example………… The Best of Asia



Share your files online without registering! No size limit….Click the file….and share it!

I have shared a file with all of you. JUST CLICK HERE! It will expire in 30 days if you don’t sign up for an account. This is a great tool for students and teachers!
Watch the presentation from their website!

Free website Creation

Creating class websites now days is easy and instant. No HTML or code needed. There are countless places on the internet to construct free websites for your own endeavors as a teacher or for your students.
Weebly is so easy to use and has no ads!Google Site’s is another tried and true constant that I use frequently as well. Google allows you to create as many individual sites as you want. Google Applications are all free and offer mega opportunities for education. It changes every day so check back often or subscribe to their newsletter.


Some other options and free sites:My students have been using Carbonmade for their digital portfolios this school year and we have been extremely happy with the results. Easy uploads and NOT BLOCKED at school! That can be an issue with whatever site you try out. Carbonmade is a basic website solution specifically focused on Art portfolios. The kids love it. Some other sites that I have come across are Orbs which I just recently heard about but haven’t explored very deeply yet.
Wix is another interesting free, and useful site that is flash based. This site has beautiful templates available for use….again…these site are easy to use. Watch a video on building a free site with wix below.
Most of the sites I have included  have easy to understand tutorials and directions. Have Fun Creating!




Minus is a new site that allows a user to upload and share images online, as well as other files quite easily. Registration is not required but one can register if they wanted to. Once your files are uploaded…..the site generates a URL that is directly linked to ones images or files. Files are easily downloaded and multiple files can be uploaded at once. The site is new and is adding new features and file types every day. Students could easily send you their direct link. No flash drives or CD’s…no registration! Here is a direct link to their blog.



Dabbleboard is an online whiteboard that will allow you to draw, imagine, explore, share and communicate ideas with your students. “Finally… the whiteboard enters the digital age!” Watch the video and see the many ways to use Dabbleboard….then think out of the box as an Art Educator…

Jorge Rodriguez


Jorge Rodriguez creates massive portraits in charcoal of people on the walls of buildings and within landscape. They are gigantic, powerful and you will be enthralled with their power. Check them out at Illusion 360.



Photosnack allows you to create a quick free slideshow of your photos that can be quickly shared with others through email, or embedded onto a blog, wiki or website. Snacktool’s who are the creators of Photosnack have a whole assortment of other free tools. Check them all out here!

Google Body Browser

Google Body Browser, new from the google labs brings you into the human body. Imagine the visual possibilities of using this tool when teaching figure drawing and creating anatomy drawings with students. WOW!


Virtual Museums


The European Virtual Museum, The Smithsonian , The Vatican Museum’s, and the Louvre are four wonderfully extensive virtual museums. There is so much to see at these sites that you will want to spend some time.

Zac Freeman


Artist Zac Freeman creates Portraits from found objects, junk and basically trash!
I love the way the
assemblage combinations work together. Zac Freeman is a brilliant contemporary artist to introduce to your students, especially when you are in the process of teaching portraiture. Link to images and article…. illusion360



PhotoFunia is an online photo editing tool that allows you to upload your photos and lets you  choose from over 100 different cool photo effects, photo montages and templates. PhotoFunia is free and very easy to use.


Photo2Text is simply that! You upload a photo and it turns it into a text document. It also generates a URL for the image and allows for basic adjusting of contrast. Take text images, screen shot them in word 2010…then save as image then manipulate in a graphic program. I see many unique applications and possibilities for this tool. Below is a sunflower photo that I recently converted to text.


Architect Studio 3D


Architect Studio 3D; created by the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Foundation is a great way for kids to learn about Architecture and design. Based on the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, the site allows students to actually interact and design a house…..then allows one to tour their house in 3D. The history link within the site of  Frank Lloyd Wright is excellent! Your browser must have the Shockwave plug-in. (Get the free Shockwave plug-in.)

Tag Galaxy


Tag Galaxy is a visual search engine for Flicker. It’s just beautiful. this one came from Kelly Tenkely at Ilearn



Stixy is a great tool for the art classroom….any classroom for that matter! It’s an online bulletin board/workspace that has multiple uses. Stixy is fun, easy to understand, and allows you to share images, documents and links to one or multiple users. Folks can share and edit….or just share without editing. It is similar to Wallwisher with much more room

John Jefferson [John Horse II], c. 1878-1954, was the grandson of John Horse ... (1902).  Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

In their own words; “Discover, Connect, get inspired!” The NYPL Digital collection is an incredible resource. The collection includes illuminated manuscripts, vintage posters, a video collection, illustrated maps, a unique assortment art and….. so much more. Just go to the home page and you will find many choices.



Simplebooklet allows you to create embeddable booklets, invitations, pamphlets, and brochures. You can upload photos, links, and video; adjust the colors and text, and then embed your creation into a blog, website or email.  It’s free, easy to use and no coding knowledge is necessary.



This is a fun little App! Klowdz lets you find, and draw designs with the clouds. When you are done you can share. Students can be quite creative with this one.



Scriblink is a free digital drawing sketchpad app that can be utilized alone or shared via URL, email and chat.



Fatpaint is an online drawing program with built-in layered painting and vector drawing tools. Image editing, designing and creating within Fatpaint’s online format is easy and fun. There are many video tutorials linked at the site. Read about everything that Fatpaint does. It is paired with zazzle, which is an excellent design product creation website, where one can design, create and purchase many types of products…like teeshirts to stickers, buttons and mugs

Beautiful typography




A great illustration/blog resource with lots of excellent free tutorials and advice.





Create a sketch.

Carbon made – online portfolios


With Carbonmade, you can manage your online portfolio with a variety of tools that allow you to change how you display your work. The core idea behind the design of Carbonmade is to keep your images or videos at the forefront. For a better idea on what Carbonmade can do for you browse through their Examples.

Improve your photography with classical art.


Adjusting your photographs to get the color ‘just right’ can be a chore. Think about this: The Old Masters of painting spent years of their lives learning about color. Why let all their effort go to waste on the walls of some museum when it could be used to give you a hand with color correction?

When Photoshop entered the CS series it included a new tool called ‘Match Color.’ This tools was made so that you could match a series of photos to one another.

But there is another thing you can do with ‘Match Color’ that is much cooler: You can match the colors in your photos to those in famous paintings.

Video jug


Art & Craft

Art – whether it’s drawing, painting, watercolour or sculpture – is a hugely relaxing, and occasionally profitable, hobby, enjoyed by millions worldwide. Often even the basics can look very daunting. But with VideoJug’s films (practical, step-by-step and carefully explained) even a complete novice can begin to paint and draw to a high, and personally satisfying standard. We also have some easy-to-follow instructional films on a growing raft of crafts.



SuperMassiveBlackHole is Ireland’s leading international online photography magazine.

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