Friday, May 21, 2010

Cottonball and Q-Tip Van Gogh Landscapes

I was inspired by the wonderful Van Gogh pieces at Painted Paper. I really wanted to do a beautiful rich Van Gogh landscape with my classes. But how do I avoid them from over-mixing the paint, creating one solid blue sky? My first thought was finger painting. So much fun, but maybe a little too messy. My 8 year old daughter joined me in painting with tempera and only cotton balls and Q-tips. We first lightly mapped out the sky line, hills and wheat field with pencil. Then the fun began. We simply swooshed and swirled the sky first, using lots of white and a little blue, tropical blue, purple and green. Next we did the hills with a new cottonball using greens, blues, and purple. The wheat field was created with swirls of red, orange and yellow. To add a couple Cyprus trees in the background we dipped Q-Tips in greens and blues and created the shape with small swirls. After our paint had dried we went over the wheat field with autumn colors using oil pastel. Van Gogh has those fantastic brushstrokes that really make his work come alive. So we tried to add some of that movement with oil pastel. We went over our trees with wavy lines in greens, blues and purples. My daughter did the top piece, mine is below and our inspiration, Van Gogh's Wheatfield with Cyprusses from 1889 is shown. These were a lot of fun to create.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ideas for Using Left Over Textured Paper

In my family, I am notorious for my thriftiness. This of course carries over into my art projects. I hate to throw anything away! So I have boxes of scrap paper from the Eric Carle inspired collages I have done with my classes. I love to think of new ways to use these. Here are just 2 ideas.

This piece was inspired by a children's book from my childhood called, "Attic of the Wind". It's a beautiful lyrical book illustrating all the things that are taken away to "the attic of the wind." I plan to use it as a source of inspiration again and again.
Here is a verse from the page of balloons lost in the wind which could be substituted for this piece I did with kites:

"Balloons in the Attic? Of course there are!
Lost at the Fair or the Church Bazaar.
Balloons from the birthdays of all the years
That you watched float away with a smile...or tears."

This piece was simply sponge painted(with a kitchen sponge) with white, blues and purple of tempera. A traced hand is done in Sharpie in the corner of the piece when it dries. Next cut and glue some kite shaped pieces from textured paper scraps. Draw the kites strings and ties.)

The Masai people of Kenya and northern Tanzania adorn themselves with "Shuka" that are the sheets wrapped around their bodies. These are often in different bold colors with stripes and plaid. To create this abstract Masai collage, I cut simple organic rectangular shapes from leftover textured paper. I added geometric designs with a permanent marker. Last I added head shapes that were colored in with Sharpie. Some people were given large necklaces and earrings that the Masai often use to adorn themselves.

Hummingbird and Spring Blossoms

Spring is in full swing (even in notoriously seasonless Southern California). I combined a couple different lessons to create this project for my classes. The hummingbird was created using a great direct line drawing lesson from Ms. Julie's Place.
After going over the pencil drawing with permanent marker, the children will add color with watercolors. On a separate paper they will create a blue watercolor wash for their spring sky. The branches were done using the edge of cardboard dipped in brown and printed on the dry sky. The blossoms are done with a double loaded brush of hot pink and white. Once this has dried the hummingbird can be cut out and glued to base paper. I'm looking forward to posting many examples soon!