Friday, February 8, 2013

Burch Cats

Third Grade Art Lesson
3 Class Periods
Burch Cats, Third Grade Art Lesson
About the Artist: 
Laurel Burch was born December 31, 1945 in San Fernando Valley, CA.  She supported herself by being a nanny. During her free time she would visit the junk yards and take any scrap metal she could find.  She created necklaces and earrings from the metal that she found.  It was her jewerly creations that gave her start in the art world.

Artist Laurel Burch.
Soon she found herself painting flowers, mythical animals and cats (which she is most famous for) as well as creating jewerly.

By the 1990's she licensed her designs to dozens of companies worldwide.  Today you can find her jewerly and art prints everywhere!  Her designs are printed on sweatshirts, pillows, bags, notebooks, wrapping paper and so much more!  Just keep your eyes open. You never know where you might find a Laurel Burch creation.

One of her famous feline paintings.

The artist died September 13, 2007 due to a complication from a painful bone disease (ostepetrosis) she struggled with her whole life.  Although she had many hardships with the disease she spent most of her life upbeat, positive and overall thankful that she had greatest job in the whole wide world, being an artist.  She was only 61 years old when she passed.

 Video clip shared in class. 
Day 1:
  1. As a class we discussed the life and artwork of Laurel Burch.
  2. Together, students drew a Laurel Burch cat through follow along demonstration.  As students drew we discussed the characteristics of a Laurel Burch cat:  eyebrow/nose swoop (continuous line), patterns and designs, bold bright colors and gold paint details.
  3. After cats were drawn student placed a design within their cat body.
Cat outlined with sharpie marker.
Day 2:
  1. Students used tempera paints to paint their cats.  Brushes sizes, painting techniques and craftsmanship were all discussed.
Painting cats.

Day 3:
  1. On the final day of this assignment, students used gold paint to add details to their cat designs.

Student Examples:





  1. these are wonderful!

  2. Hi,

    I love the post, thank you for sharing! I want to know what type of gold paint did you use? Thanks!

    1. Sargent Art Metallic Tempera Paint Gold :)

  3. Hello! I love your blog and this post about doing a Laurel Burch art project. I like how the post includes an educational background on the artist and a video clip of her. I also found that the instructions to do the project are well thought out and simple to follow. The children's artwork turned out great! I love all the different styles that were created! Thank you for sharing!