Friday, February 15, 2019

Fox in the Woods

Fox in Winter Woods

This red fox is walking though the winter woods. Our Thursday afternoon art class painted him (or her) in tempera on watercolor paper.

We started with a quick sketch of the two hills in the background, the treeline, and three large trees. The we  added the fox. He could be sitting or standing.

We painted the background first, starting with the sky. Then we added the dark tree line and the big willow trees using three tints of grey for shadows and highlights. The black "eyes" in the trees were fun to paint. 

Next we painted the fox and some color and shadows in the snow.  We then added some grasses and a few footprints to complete the painting. 

The artists who created these paintings ranged  from 6 to 14 years old. 

This is our little model.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Mythical Creatures!

These mythical creatures are so amazing and beautiful! Each one is carefully rendered and placed in its unique habitat. These were beautifully done - I am so proud of our Home School Art Club artists!

To create them, we first we studied some of the creations of Bobby Chiu - like this little guy: 

Our artists were to combine at least two different animals into a mythical one.  We sketched various ideas until our new creature was finalized. 

Then we sketched the final version to a piece of black sulphite paper, and colored it in with soft Prismacolor and Spectracolor colored pencils. 

Emphasis was on textures and details, like feathers, fur, and scales, as well as highlights and shadows.

We had two different solutions for completing the background. Some artists added a few habitat details to the black paper surrounding the creature. 

Then a painted border was created on which to mount the artwork.

This artist added additional detail to the painted border.

Other artists chose to cut out their creatures and place them in a habitat, which was painted in watercolor. 

After the background dried, it was completed with colored pencil and the creature was glued into its new home.

Friday, February 08, 2019


With Valentine's Day just around the corner, we decided to make CANDY art! 

These 9 x 9 inch mixed media candy paintings were created from tiny two-by-two-inch still life set-ups using snack-size candy. 

Each artist carefully observed his/her tiny still life to draw it accurately while also enlarging it.

Then the drawing was filled with watercolor, and after it was dry the details were added in colored pencil and a white china marker.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Polar Bears

Polar bears - in color!

Did you know polar bears are not really white?  Each strand of fur is actually clear, so the fur might appear to be white or yellow or any reflected color, just as snow shadows appear blue or violet. 

We looked at photos of polar bears and saw so many colors in the fur, we decided to use our artistic licenses to paint them that way!

We used this painting as a model for our own paintings. We like the way the shy little cub is peeking out at us.

First we sketched in our mama and baby bears using erasable colored pencils (yes, they're a thing). Then we painted the background icy blue. Then we painted our bears at will!

Next, we drew in the polar bear's facial features using a black Sharpie. We wanted the eyes, nose and mouths to stand out!

Then we used colored pencils to add furry details.

We used contrasting colors for the fur, and some artists added a furry edge around the head and body for added texture.

The final step was to add falling snow using a round bristle brush or the wooden tip of the brush. Or both. 

This mixed media project was created by young artists 6 to 9 years old. 

My sample

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Downtown Snow Storm!

This week we created these awesome downtown snowstorms!

This is a mixed media painted collage.

We drew the basic shapes of the buildings, painted them, added windows, and cut the buildings out.

Then we splattered a big piece of blue paper with white tempera, then glued our buildings to it.

We added snow and icicles to the roofs with white paper scraps and more paint.

We painted trees in front of the buildings and added snow to them.

Some artists then splattered or swirled more snow over the entire stormy scene! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Snowman Scoops!

Introducing Snowman Scoops!

Such a fun project - for all ages! Our youngest artist was just four. The original idea came from a lesson taught in a 2nd grade classroom, but apparently every kid likes the idea of a snowman ice cream cone!

First, using white chalk, we lightly sketch the three stacked circles of the snowman on a piece of blue paper. We also add the cone at the bottom. 

Then we fill in the circles with white liquid tempera paint. Then we start at the top and paint it again to get it good and white!

Next, we mix a tiny bit of blue into a small amount of white paint and paint this light blue tint near the edge of one side of the snowman. Then we mix in more blue and paint this new tint along the edge. This creates shadows to give the illusion of volume and form for realism. 

Next, we paint the brown cone, and add a bit of white along the light side of the cone without rinsing the brush. This allows you to blend the white and brown more easily from the edge.

Now it's time to add our details, like the waffle pattern in the cone. We use oil pastels to do this.

The snowman's face, head gear (knit cap, top hat, ear muffs, etc.) scarf, buttons, and branchy arms are added.

But what to do about drips and smears of white paint on our blue backgrounds?  

We solved this problem by drawing big white snowflakes right over them!


Our thanks to Art.Eat.Tie Dye.Repeat. for this great lesson idea!