Sunday, December 30, 2012

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

(Samantha, 13) - Gorgeous!

Over the Winter Break I'm offering two 1-day themed art classes. The first was Winter Wonderland Art. Since we live in Orange County, this class may be the closest thing to snow the kids might experience this winter. (Although many take advantage of our great snow destinations in Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead and Mammoth.) My age range was a bit daunting ...5-13. But I think I chose projects wisely to please, entertain and challenge. The first was the classic and beloved printed birch trees. I have seen this done so many ways and it just doesn't get old in my book. Color mixing, perspective, shading ... it has it all. These were created with liquid watercolors, black acrylic paint prints using using cardboard, splattered snowfall and shadows using charcoal or watercolor.

Next, my group looked at this wonderful wolf illustration from Etsy. We followed a direct line drawing lesson and then used Sharpie, Charcoal and their choice of media to add color (marker, oil pastel, or watercolor). Lastly, they added a watercolor background and printed snowfall using the backs of paintbrushes with white acrylic.They are all so different and wonderful! We packed quite a bit into a 2 hour class. Thanks to you kids for working so nicely together and bringing your "A" game. I loved my morning with you all!

Monday, December 24, 2012

HO HO HO....

Wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas! 
Enjoy your time spent with family and friends!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Indian Elephant Festival Posters

My Animal Art Fun class left the savannas of Africa after our tiger and zebra art pieces and traveled to India to create these colorful posters celebrating The Elephant Festival held annually in Jaipur. The children created their pieces in layers: chalk pastel backgrounds, decorative painted borders and of course their front and center elephant. These were shaded with chalk pastel and then decorated with colorful acrylics. And of course I added a picture of the artist riding their own creation. (Thanks to my husband for his great suggestion) These make me smile kids! (Ages 6-10)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Zebras with Watercolor and Salt Landscapes

This project was inspired by some wonderful cut and torn landscapes at  Angela Anderson Art Blog and New City Arts.

Since I'm in the middle of my Animal Art Fun class I decided to utilize the colorful textured watercolor backgrounds against the graphic look of a black and white zebra. My class created the backgrounds first using a variety of liquid watercolors. They had the opportunity to use sponges and salt to create unique textures. The magic of salt always seems to win out - it's highly addictive! The children followed a direct line drawing lesson to create their zebras using Sharpies and/or black paint. While we looked at pictures of African Savannas for inspiration for the landscapes, most of my students preferred a clean lined graphic background as opposed to a more literal landscape created using torn paper. I love the results! Well done kids! (Ages 6-10)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Watercolor Tigers

Luke, 1st

 Jenna, 4th

 Nathan, 5th

 Emma, 3rd

 Abby, 1st

Scott, 2nd

I love it when a direct line drawing lesson yields such varied results! Because I teach classes for K-5th together, it can be a bit tricky creating lessons that won't overwhelm my younger students or bore my older ones. I think tiger portraits were a great choice for the first day of my Animal Art Fun class with my mixed age group. I had pictures of real tigers on the table for the children to look at in addition to our line drawing lesson. I had originally planned on only offering orange watercolor (first time using liquid and loved them) after their Sharpie and charcoal drawings were complete. But decided to let them cut loose and decide if they wanted a Fauve cat or a realistic one. Wonderful expressive tigers kids!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Machiko Inspired Batiks

As I said before, I absolutely adore the botanical art of Miroco Machiko. I thought her primitive, bold and colorful style would lend itself well to batik. And I have to say, the kids (ages 6-8) did a wonderful job grasping her style and creating their own compositions. The children mapped out their designs with pencil on muslin. Day one, these lines were gone over with gel glue. (After trying both methods, I do prefer the toothpaste and aloe vera lotion mix I learned about from Phyl from There's a Dragon in My Art Room. (The gel glue took quite a while to rinse off in comparison- but the artwork turned out beautifully regardless). The following week they used watered down acrylics to add color to their designs.Once rinsed, everywhere their glue lines were, remained white. This is always a favorite project! I especially like the fact the the children have to be patient in waiting for the final outcome. : )

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mixed Media Jellyfish

 Talia, 3rd grade

 Chas, 2nd grade

 Jenna, 4th grade

 Alexa, 2nd grade

My experiment for the lesson

These beautiful jellies were created at a 1st grader's birthday party
where I had the honor of leading an art project for an Octonauts theme.
 Thank you Miss Abby for letting me be a part of your special day!!

I know...odd timing for a jellyfish lesson. I came across some beautiful watercolor jellyfish from artist, Joann Perry and decided to try a multi-media variation with my Mini Modern Artist group. Jellyfish  were created using chalk pastels. We looked at a variety of these unique creatures to inspired us.Children were encouraged to shade them around the edges, but to leave some white showing to give them a translucent feel. Watercolor was added for our ocean background and then salt to give a bubbly texture. I think they have a wonderful ethereal feel to them.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Miroco Machiko Inspirations

 I love the layering of plant life in this piece.
Beautiful work Alexa! (2nd grade)

my experiment

One of my favorite artist discoveries on Pinterest is Miroco Machiko. I found myself pinning piece after piece of this fantastic Japanese artist. She captures the essence of children's art in her work - bold shapes, fearless lines and a colorful palette. I decided to do two lessons inspired by her art with my Mini Modern Artists class. After looking at a number of her botanical works, we used glue or black oil pastels on black construction paper to create bold line work. Color was added with chalk or oil pastel. Next up, our gel glue batik pieces...stay tuned!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Wolf Kahn Inspired Pastel Landscapes

my experiment

My Mini Modern Art class students looked at the pastel work of German born American artist, Wolf Kahn. They immediately responded to his radiant color palette and unique style. His work beautifully combines the style of Color Field painting with the traditional 19th century landscape. My students used chalk pastels to create their inspired pieces.