Sunday, July 23, 2017


On the last day of this camp, we created beasts... elephants!

Little artists learned about the differences between African and Asian elephants. Then we made 3-D elephants using sponge painting, collage, and paper folding techniques.

We borrowed this project idea from Mr. Giannetto's art blog.

Older artists created detailed drawings of elephants, then went over them with black school markers (like Crayola, Cra-Z-Art, and Rose Art markers). Then they painted over them with water - and guess what! Their elephants turned a rainbow of 'grayish' colors! Depending upon the brand, black markers will bleed blues, purples, pinks, browns, and greens when water is added, which we found makes awesome elephants! Permanent markers, such as Sharpies, do not do this (so we use Sharpies when we do NOT want bleeding to happen).

Finally, we used watercolors to fill in the background and more markers for details. 


Leapin' Lizards!

Little Artists got messy on Day 3 as they created their Leapin' Lizards with pastels. 

First they drew their lizards in black oil pastel, pressing hard! 

Then they filled in the spaces with colorful soft pastels while learning how to blend and soften colors with their fingers. (We had damp towels nearby for wiping off fingers.) 

Blending and blending

Final important step: go over the black lines with oil pastel again. 

My sample (I always like the kids' work better!)

We had a little spare time, so we also made another reptile: a pop-up snake!

Beach Critters!

Tylee's Shark!

Art Smart Kids made awesome watery 3-D scenes on the 2nd and 3rd day of Art Camp. They used Model Magic to create a 3-D image of a portion of their critters, either above or below the waterline.  

This project involved a lot of planning, painting, sculpting, and gluing, as well as creating a display stand. Oh, and applying generous amounts of iridescent glitter sparkles in the water! 

Taylor's Leaping Dolphin
Breaching Humpback Whale

Kemper's Sea Turtle

Abigail's Frog in a Pond with Ducks


On the second day of this week's camps, Little Artists learned about rain forest birds and made one-plate toucans! 

We got this great project idea from


After that, each artist made adorable newly hatched baby birds in a nest... 

Look carefully to find bluebirds, parrots, parakeets, crows, chicks, and doves!


The first day of this Art Camp was about creeping, flying, or slithering BUGS! 

Little artists made 3-D caterpillars eating a leaf!

Then they made a magnifying glass so they could see a bug in the grass up REAL close. 

Older artists became field guide illustrators! They carefully observed photos of favorite bugs, insects, and arachnids as they created accurate scientific illustrations and labeled them. 

Making up and naming new insect species may have happened as well...

Sunday, July 16, 2017

"Try It" MakerSpace Camp

This week our Camp theme was Try It! Make It! You Can Do It! This was another S.T.E.A.M. MakerSpace Camp, which was all about trying new things or using familiar media in new ways, AND making messes (which is sometimes the best part about being a maker!)

We constructed bridges and towers and forests and icy places with Styrofoam.

We designed and constructed flexigons (which can be very quiet paper fidget tools).

We created lifelike clones (or twins, as the case may be).

And we made brown paper baskets and kites that fly and other stuff too!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Storybook Art!

This week we learned from the master story tellers! We read some of the very best children's books (including Caldecott Medal winners), then we created artwork based on how the books were illustrated.

The first books were Harry the Dirty Dog and No Roses for Harry! These were two of my own children's very favorite books.

We made stand-up Harry dogs - clean on one side and dirty on the other using colored pencil, Sharpies, crayons, and watercolor. Also a great exercise in mastering the scissors! Then, we made him a colorful wardrobe of sweaters.

Next we read a few Eric Carle books, and we illustrated Mister Seahorse, which is a collage of painted paper and lots of glitter, of course!

We also made a color-changing chameleon!

On the third day, our focus was on 'naughtiness.' What happens when Max is sent to his room for being too wild? He joins up with the wild things. Until he gets homesick and leaves the wild things... just in time for dinner.

Then we created our own wild things.

We also read about David, based on the author's own life as a mischievous little boy. On this day, David was a very naughty boy. His mother said NO many times. Finally he had to sit in the corner. The children could really relate to this story and told us their own sordid tales of naughtiness as we read through the book.

We then made our own 'David' out of cut construction paper and glue - along with a talking bubble in which David says something nice.

Finally, we read the Rainbow Fish
and made a Rainbow Fish of our own. We painted him with watercolor, then added lots and lots of sparkly glitter!

(You can also see some of our color-changing chameleons in these pictures.)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Clay Camp!

Clay Camp was great fun! 

We experimented with air dry clay and learned the basics of pinch pots, coil, slab building, and using clay tools to cut, score, impress, and create texture. Then we made cool stuff to paint later, after a few days of drying. 

We also tried Model Magic and learned how to color it with Crayola Markers. Model Magic is NOT like regular clay, but it sure is squishy and FUN! You can dry it like air dry clay and paint it, too.

We even made our own play dough. Lots of mixing and muscle-work needed, but we DID it! We colored our dough, added a little glitter (for sparkle!)  and made it smell good (like vanilla and/or peppermint), then we shared a ball of our 'handmade' play dough with everyone else!

Cat sculpture armatures - before clay is added

Cat sculptures - clay smoothed over armatures
Amory made the large cat sculpture using an armature formed with wire, newspaper (for bulk) and aluminum foil. We learned that clay legs and heads do not break off sculptures that are formed over an armature.