Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Spooky Art Sightings!

Spooky Arty & Crafty Things have  recently been spotted at the Art Center!

Fortunately, we have been able to get a few pictures of them before they disappeared into the night.

We've had families of black cats and owls popping up out of nowhere. Or maybe out of our giant box of cardboard tubes. Just maybe.

We've also tracked down some spooky witch's hats, adorned with some very strange (or silly?) symbols, shapes, and patterns!

We've also come across a very spooky pumpkin patch 
in the dead of night!

                        Are those BATS flying in the moonlight??!!

It's very possible that we haven't seen the end of these 
strange sightings! Check back again soon!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Learning to Paint Water

Stream in Early Autumn 11" x 14"

These young men came to the Art Center to learn how to paint a landscape that includes water, so I created this little painting for them that includes both rushing and tranquil water. 

Some of these boys claim to have not painted since kindergarten!!! (I find that hard to believe.) In any case, shown below are the results of their awesome artistic efforts. 

(One of these was painted by an adult youth leader. Can you find it? Scroll down to see if you are right.)

Thursday, October 11, 2018

What Color is the Wind?

I just love this beautiful autumn art project! 

I like the idea of visualizing the wind, which we can hear and we can feel and sometimes we can smell. So we ask ourselves, what would the wind look like?

Also, I love process art. This project lets the children experiment (play) with fun art processes, different media, and beautiful autumn colors!

To create this artwork, we first paint a big piece of mixed-media white paper with swirls of color! We use cake temperas, because they are similar to watercolor, but BIG! We use large easel brushes for this, and we fill up the entire paper.
Then, on another piece of white paper, we scrape black liquid tempera paint with an old credit card to create marks like those on a birch or aspen tree. Sometimes we paint long lines first to scrape between, but that's optional. After it's dry, we cut long strips of this paper to create our trees, and shorter strips for branches.  

We glue the trees to the background, then we cut and crinkle a few bits of colored tissue paper to create falling leaves. These are glued to the artwork for a 3-D effect and viola! This gorgeous autumn scene!  

Saturday, September 29, 2018


Our first Fall Session's art class theme was animal art, including horses, elephants, and bears, so it seemed fitting to end with these amazing DRAGONS!

This was a really fun project for all ages. I provided step-by-step drawing instructions for different types of dragons to give them the general idea, but I also encouraged them to draw from their imaginations -- and most of them knew exactly how their dragon would look. 

To start this project, we first drew a simple border around the outside of the paper. The dragon had to be SO BIG that it overlapped the border! 

We also added personal symbols to the borders or to the corners, and we painted our dragons with watercolors. The borders were then painted and more details added with markers. 

Some artists painted their backgrounds, adding a sky with clouds, and others chose to leave them unpainted. 

All of the dragons were outlined with black Sharpies and textures were added, such as various scale patterns.

This painting took two class periods to complete for some artists, and everyone really enjoyed it!

Our thanks to Art Lessons for Kids for this awesome dragon art idea!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Peaceful Pastures

Peaceful Pastures

Green grass in the summertime
Golden in the fall
Purple mountains far away
Blue skies over all
The pasture is a peaceful place
That wandering horses share
The air is warm, the grass is sweet
For the stallion, foal, and mare.

We try to do an art project related in some way to farm animals shortly after the fair.

This year we painted a lovely landscape of happy animals in a peaceful pasture. 

My original idea involved cows, horses, sheep, etc. Most of the kids chose horses but a few choose other creatures with more suitable environments, such as this little goat under a canopy at the fair.  

We started by drawing our animal. I provided some simple drawing steps for the horses and a few other animals. Most of the kids drew them using their own style and drawing experience. 

Then we drew a horizon line and painted in our distant mountains along the line, using liquid temperas. 

We added the sky above the mountains the green pasture below it, leaving the animal unpainted. 

Both the mountains and pasture required a lot of color mixing to achieve these beautiful tints and hues. (We almost never use the colors straight from the jar or pan.)

Then we painted a dark green tree line along the horizon line that overlapped the pasture and the mountains to show distance.

This artist chose a dessert home for his camel, so he mixed all his own colors for this arid landscape.

At last, we painted in our animals. Those painting horses looked at a variety of horse breeds and colors before deciding which one to paint. 

We focused carefully on details because the animal is the center of focus for this painting. 

Here is an appaloosa. 

Even our youngest artists could successfully create this painting!


A camel in the dessert.

Notice the other horses in the distance. 

Another appaloosa, and lots of color mixing!

A bunny family! Notice the lovely clouds between the mountains.