Monday, November 20, 2017

Halloween ART!

HALLOWEEN is such a fun time of year - for art projects! 

This year we were ready with all sorts of fun Halloween-themed art projects for the kids to choose from and create!

We made a few 3-D projects, such as:  

silly Halloween blockheads, 

freaky fuzzy spiders,

movable mummies,

hanging bats,

and ghoulish gravestones.

I love how Halloween lets kids just be kids!

More Halloween Art!

Folk art Halloween cats! 

Moonlit graveyards!

Moonlit owls!

Spooky trees and moonlit bats!

Patterned Pumpkin Art

We created these bold patterned pumpkins in the style of Romero Britto

First we drew a pumpkin - LARGE!

Then we taped our paper down to a painting board and mixed several tints of orange tempera paint.

We filled in all of the sections of the pumpkin with different orange colors, then divided the background into four sections and painted each section a different color.

After drying, we filled in each painted section with a pattern of some kind. Dots, stripes, circles, zigzags, whatever we could think of. We used white tempera paint for many of these patterns.  

We used sponge stamps and other items to create some of our patterns (such as circles from a soda bottle lid), but many we just painted on with a brush. 

Aren't they spooktacular?

Witch's Legs!

Halloween art is great for mixed media! 

We created these Wacky Witch's legs using a tempera painted background. Then we added a cut paper collage and additional elements like ribbon, sequins, and rick rack.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

STEAM Challenge Champions!

Did you know? We have a S.T.E.A.M. MakerSpace at the Blackfoot ART Center!  STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, ART, and Math. Formally known as STEM, ART has been integrated because its importance to the creative, innovative, out-of-the-box thinking that is so vital to the process of conceptualizing, re-imagining, engineering, and inventive thinking in the 21st Century.

Our MakerSpace provides a place to create at will using whatever materials and supplies are on hand. Sometimes our makers create their own art or have a craft idea. Sometimes they look through our supplies and an idea pops up. Some dive right into the Challenge Card Box, select a challenge, and get to work! These girls successfully completed this balloon powered ZIP line Challenge. 

Leela built an igloo using only newspaper and masking tape. Oh, she was also required to make it large enough to fit inside. She went a step further... two people fit inside her igloo!
Jeanette and Mai had a 'tallest paper tower' building contest, each using only one sheet of paper and scotch tape (no scissors). Pretty impressive!

We also have a Perler Bead station in our MakerSpace. Makers can use the patterns provided (best for beginners) or can make up their own designs. This is a great project for younger kids to to work on their fine muscle skills -- and patience!

We will be posting pictures of more MakerSpace projects now and then so stay tuned!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Drawing Bugs!

Every so often we have a lesson in 'scientific illustration' to practice our drawing skills. This past week we illustrated insects and arachnids -- 
in other words, we drew BUGS! 

This is a great project for student artists of all ages to practice observation and drawing skills. They are also required to find and write the bugs' names next to each of their drawings, which even the youngest can do. 

 NOTE: Made up or 'composite' insects can be created -- and given appropriate names -- by their inventors. Example: a "horned aracnion" (scorpion-spider-mosquito) that Eli created, shown above. An interesting species!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Birch Trees!

As the summer ends, we've been painting birch trees. We're always inspired by these beautiful trees, as well as the quaking and weeping aspens that grow in our area. The white and black trunks are so lovely, especially with the fall colors coming in. They're wonderful subjects for our little landscapes! 

This project is a small 6 x 9 watercolor painting, great for anyone 8 (or so) and up.      Our featured artists are ages 8-12.

If you would like to try one, you'll find detailed directions at the bottom of this page.

Artwork Gallery:

How to paint your own watercolor Birch Trees: 

Tape your watercolor paper, smooth side up, to a heavy board so your paper won't curl. Then tear pieces of masking tape to fit from the bottom to the top of your paper to represent tree trunks. Use a variety of widths (we used 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch, and 94/100 inch). If you have only one size, you can cut or tear some pieces down the center to create various widths for your trees. Stick the tape down in a very unplanned, random way (this is hard for some student artists!) Trees should look like they are growing naturally, not perfectly vertical or  lined up like soldiers. Tear smaller, pointy pieces of tape and attach to trunks, pointing slightly upward, in various positions to look like branches and limbs. Now you are ready to paint!

Mix a thinned blue color for a nice, crisp, autumn-like sky and paint the top of the paper. Dab the paint on right over the tape, and leave a few white areas, for a painterly, even an impressionistic look. Use a bit of tissue to pull out some of the paint for puffy white clouds if desired. Mix a few autumn colors, beginning with yellow, yellow green, and yellow orange and dab these colors in as you work your way down, filling in some of the white areas you left in the sky. Try not to create obvious layers or lines of color from one to the next as you move down to the bottom of the painting. Distribute the colors here and there around the painting. Next add orange and red-orange near and down to the bottom, as well as some of your earlier colors mixed in. This might create a few browns, which are also great colors for this painting! When done, allow to dry, or use a blow dryer so you can move on right away.

Now it's time to remove the tape - trees only - not the tape along the paper's edge! Slowly pull off the tape at a slant from the direction of the tree trunk. Also keep the tape flat against the paper - don't pull straight up. This will minimize any paper tearing problems. If any of your paper does tear, don't panic! You can easily incorporate the "textured" paper into your trees during the next steps.

Now mix a watery grey on your palette using black watercolor and water only. Decide which will be the shadow side of the trees and paint each one grey along that edge, filling in at least one-half of the tree trunk. Make sure your grey is not too light; it needs to look like a distinct shadow - but not black! Add shadows to your limbs and branches as well. Tall branches will be shaded along the same edges as the trees. More horizontal branches and limbs will have shadows along the bottom edges.

Time to add the details! Using black paint (not the watery grey) with a detail brush, add twigs and smaller limbs to the upper areas of the trees, and a few poking out of the trunks. Also add a few tiny lines in the distance to represent saplings, partially hidden trees, and bushes. Add a few more in the foreground to look like fallen twigs, dried grasses, and other woody foliage. Now, add the "eyes" and other black details into the tree trunks. These can be horizontal lines, which are slightly curved to indicate the round shape of the trunk, as well as interesting dots and dashes. The most important thing is to make them randomly! Marks should be unevenly spaced, unplanned, some short, some long: as natural looking as possible. You can also "carve" a heart or your initials into a tree. In fact, some of our artists signed their paintings with initials hidden in the trees.

After the painting is dry, remove the tape by pulling it off slowly, away from the painting and flat against the board to avoid tearing the paper. You will have a lovely white border around your pretty little painting!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Marbled Paper!

This week we made marbled paper! Lots and lots of it! 

We used two different methods. The first involved shaving foam and food coloring.

Squirt the foam onto a tray to the size and shape of your paper.
Using droppers, add two or three food colors (or liquid watercolors, which we also used).

Swirl everything gently with a skewer, a comb, or a feather into gentle shapes - not just big circles. And try not to make mud! This is one of those things where 'less is more.'

Now lay the paper gently on top of the foam and pat down all over with the palm of your hand.

Lift the paper and gently scrape off the excess foam into a bowl with an old credit card. Allow to dry. Beautiful!

The second method involves liquid starch, alum, and acrylic paint. Needless to say, our older campers tackled this one - and loved the results! We used the instructions found here: 

You can use your marbled paper to make things like cards and covers or end papers for your own handmade books. Drew made these gorgeous book markers from both types of marbled paper.