Sunday, April 15, 2018


This week we created little versions of ourselves: mini-me's, avatars, personal cartoon characters, self-animations, our own clones, or ??? 

Mine was my own little mini-me. I set her right up in the front of the room so that when my back was turned, she could watch over things for me. 

Our mini-people were first pencil-drawn on the plain (not shiny) side of a piece of poster board. My mini-me is about 18 inches tall, which is taller than she looks from across the room. The kids were surprised when I stood a 12 " ruler next to her! I encouraged them to draw theirs large as well, and that was a big challenge. (Kids almost always draw things too small.)

We worked on many different skills while completing this project. We started with drawing a large head; a bit larger compared to the body than a real person, since this would be a cartoon-like character. Then we worked on drawing the body -it didn't have to be realistic. Then we added basic clothing.

After the figure was drawn, we learned how to mix a flesh tone with our 8-color Prang watercolor trays (orange, a bit of red, a tiny bit of blue, and lots of water). We painted the faces, necks, hands and arms, then filled in the clothing, shoes, and hair. 

After they were dry, we outlined our "selves" with black Sharpies, and used personal mirrors to study our faces, which we drew in with Sharpies and colored markers. 

Then we carefully cut out our mini-selves and finished them up by adding various personal embellishments, adding hair and fashion design to our project skills. Some artists also created additional outfits and accessories.

The kids in our Thursday afternoon art class all agreed this was their "favorite art project so far!"  

Monday, April 09, 2018

Scribble Sculptures

Just for fun, our Monday After School Art Club made Scribble Sculptures! 

You might remember doing something like this as a child: drawing a large scribble on a piece of paper, then filling in all of the sections of the scribble with color. 

This project goes a bit further. 

After adding the color, you add patterns too. We used Crayola stamp markers for some of the patterns.

Then you cut out the whole shape and cut along a few additional lines within the shape of the scribble.  

Finally, you twist it, turn it, and when you like how it looks, you attach it to a 4-1/2" by 4-1/2" square of construction paper. We used a stapler.

In essence, you fit an 8" x 10" 2d design onto a base less than 1/4 its original size to create a genuine abstract 3d sculpture!

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Folk Art Birds

Folk Art Bird, by Brooklynn Peters 

These folk art birds are designed in the style of Scandinavian artist Sanna Annuka. 

Her boldly patterned natural forms include trees, flowers, animals, plants, and birds. 

Annuka's  colorful artwork and illustrations are printed on fabrics, bags, cards, and of course, signed and framed. 

This is a sample of one of her bird designs that we studied prior to creating our own folk art birds. 

Our birds were first designed and drawn on black poster board with a china marker. 

The artists then divided their bird designs into sections and filled each section with a pattern. Using acrylic paint, each pattern was then filled in using a small watercolor brushes.  
The artists were encouraged to use a 'limited palette' in their designs; that is, to be selective in their color choices and to avoid using every color in the rainbow - which is always a common temptation!
The background was then painted using a color that was not used in the bird design, and the birds were outlined once again for better definition and dots of white paint were sometimes added to the patterns. 

Some artists chose not to paint their backgrounds, but to instead leave them black for greater contrast.

Our thanks to Small Hands Big Art for this terrific art project idea!

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Little White Bunnies

Our Little Artists painted their own spring bunnies this week. These 3- to 5-year-olds sponged white tempera paint on construction paper to create their bunnies, then outlined them, and added the details.

In the coming weeks we will be experimenting with different media to create lots of open-ended art opportunities for our little artists!

Friday, April 06, 2018

More Wild Rabbits!

The Rabbit

Long listening ears
Wide watchful eyes
What is that he hears?
Alert for hungry spies!

Delicious grass to eat
Munching, filling tummy
Dandelions sweet
Buttercups so yummy!

No time to relax!
Must always be aware!
Enjoy those nature snacks
With the quickness of a hare!

This week our after school club and Thursday afternoon art class created even more wild rabbits! These are tempera paintings on heavy white paper, 12" x 18" or larger. I just love the unique expression on each rabbit's face (including the ears)!

The poem describes a hungry yet wary rabbit. Poetry is such an amazing art form - it can beautifully describe a painting! So together we plan to create a few more poems to accompany some of our future artwork!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Awesome Easter Baskets!

We love seasonal art projects; and this fun Easter basket was also a great skill-builder! 

As we worked on the project, we took note of each step and the skills being learned and/or practiced along the way. 

Some skills were easy and some were more challenging. 

For example, gluing, painting, and doodling are familiar skills. 

Tracing, cutting, resist painting, paper punching, and designing were more challenging for some artists, but fun to practice. 

Crimping, trimming (with funky scissors), and paper weaving were new skills for most, and very satisfying once accomplished! 

(Shredding was also on the list, but I operated the amazing grass-making machine: also known as the paper shredder.) 

Everyone had success creating this process-based art, and all were delighted with their amazing Easter baskets!

Our Little Artists made their own Easter Baskets, too!