Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Using Sumo Paint and PicMonkey in Elementary Art

Art by Jane, a 5th grade student.
This week I am hosting some guest bloggers. This is a guest post from Carrie Zimmer.

Andy Warhol was legendary for his work combining art and pop culture and his use of bright color and iconic images is known worldwide.

Warhol was provided as inspiration to American School of Milan 5th grade students several months back by art teacher, Julie Troyer. They chose a simple image that could be replicated and created the identical image six times in different color schemes.

Moving forward with the same inspiration, Julie and I decided to create different versions of one student selected photograph using our Dell tablets. We wanted to find programs that were web-based, free, and didn’t require registration. We selected Sumo Paint and PicMonkey as the best tools for our students. While copyright friendly pics can be found online in a Google filtered image search and several other places, this time our students used photographs that I gathered from my own collection.

Sumo Paint is a web-based photo editing tool. Registration is not required, as students are able to use the program and save files without creating an account. In our elementary program, this is key. We taught the students a few quick ideas using only the Adjustments and Filters, showing how they could change the image, but still maintain a reference to the original. Each student created three versions of their selected photo by experimenting with these controls, like Pixelate, Stylize, and Hue/Saturation.

Once their versions were complete, students used PicMonkey to collage their photos into one image. PicMonkey is an online photo editing and collaging tool. Again, registration is not required to use their site or save finished images. I find that this site is really easy for almost any user to understand as well. Users can drag and drop photos into collages and move them around as needed. The size and shape of the collage can also be customized to fit your needs.
Art by Nicole, a 5th grade student.

This project was completed in two 40 minute class segments. Written directions that can be modified for your situation can be found here.

A well deserved thanks goes to the amazing technologist, teacher and colleague, Tamara Wolpowitz, who shares her ideas and knowledge with me every day and provided the idea for this project. You, too, can find inspiration from her @tamwol.

Carrie Zimmer is a Technology Integration Specialist and Coach at the American School of Milan in Italy. She’s a Google Certified Teacher, Apple Distinguished Educator, but more importantly, a lifelong learner. Make your plans to come to ASM for Learning 2.016, the first Learning2 conference in Europe. Outside of the classroom, you can find Carrie reading, baking and blogging about life and travel in Europe at You can also find her online at or @carrie_zimmer