Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Songbird Portraits

Here is a Day Camp project we did during Spring Break.
These are recycled mixed media songbirds, and the process was super fun! This art project involves scientific research skill-building and fine art illustration techniques (but don't tell them that).

Here's how we did it:

Start with an 8 x 10" canvas panel or recycled cardboard. Our substrate was a piece of corrugated cardboard with a piece of smooth cardboard (like from the back of a drawing tablet) glued to the working side. We covered the good side with a piece of white copy paper (use spray glue or spread with thinned white glue) and we folded the edges over to the back and glued them down. No need to do this if your are using a canvas panel, but we liked the idea of a recycled substrate.

Find a good photo of a bird you like, and then Google it. Copy and paste a few facts about the bird to a Word doc and also print the name of the bird in a very large font. Or, you can photocopy all of this from a bird book. Cut the name and the facts into sections. Arrange them on the substrate background and glue down. We used gloss acrylic medium and a brush, but you could use Mod Podge or thinned white glue. The paper elements in the collage will wrinkle slightly, but no worries. Brush more medium over the top of the collage and smooth it out - a few wrinkles are just fine and add to the character of the process.

To see the entire process, including how to paint the bird over the collaged background, please see That Artist Woman's blog for a similar project, which shows how to paint a blue jay. We made our own stencils using our own bird choices. Other than that, the procedure is much the same.

When the painting is dry, brush over it with a layer of gloss medium or Mod Podge and glue a piece of paper over the back to cover the uneven copy paper edges and give it a nice finish.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

March Classes - Paint Your ART Out!

This month, we are going to try something just a little bit different. Each two-hour March class will focus on a popular contemporary artist! Each week, we will learn about a famous artist's imagery, media, and technique while creating a painting using that artist's method and style. Check out our schedule below... which artist's style would you like to try for yourself?

All projects are designed for ages 8 and up; no previous painting instruction or experience is required. We will be using temperas, acrylics, and/or watercolors. We may also incorporate collage, computer graphics, pastels, and other media into our work, depending upon the project.

Day: Thursdays
Time: 4:30-6:30 pm 
Ages: 8 and up - adults are welcome!
Fees: $15 per class or $60 for the full month (five class sessions this month)

March 3

Paul Cezanne - Fresh fruit, anyone?

Learn to create a simple still life using fruit plus at least one prop, Cezanne style!  We will work drawing with overlapping, tints and shades for highlights and shading, and use of strong, yet harmonious color. 

March 10

David Hockney - Where’s my chair?

Learn to pursue uncommon images for art using interesting viewpoints, distortion, color, and pattern to make a subject more energetic and expressive. Play with color and background!

March 17

Andy Warhol - Me, Myself, and I

Learn to create interesting altered images, and duplicate! Then use collage and layering techniques to create a unique self-portrait masterpiece in the style of this iconic pop artist!

March 24

Terence Clarke - Glorious spring flowers!

Learn to use patterns, shapes, and colors to create a striking floral still life. Practice laying and overlapping techniques, using harmonious color choices, and thick, strong painterly strokes just like this amazing artist

March 31

Wayne Thiebaud - Cake, cupcakes, & pie - oh my!

Learn basic geometric design while creating your dessert! Practice mixing and applying tints and shades to produce bulk, form, and realism to your tasty treat.

Very Special Zebras

This project involved observing and sketching a zebra face, and then, using watercolors, painting in the stripes straight from the color wheel. The last step is to erase all of the pencil marks after the paint is completely dry.

In the process, we learned about primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. The artists had to mix that last group of colors, by the way, which is one of the best things about painting!

On the right is our wonderful volunteer artist, Erica Baguley. Isn't her zebra gorgeous?

Joseph and Jeanette, your zebras are beautiful! We still need to get photos of the rest of our zebras, so plan to check back soon.


Our February Paint Your ART Out class projects were great fun! One of our projects involved candy, and the results were sweet!! 

Learning goals were to transform something very small to a larger format using freehand drawing perspective skills, and then to transform the wrapper or box and the candy into 3-D objects through the use of shades and highlights. 

This was also an exercise in advertising graphics and a bit of pop art on the side!

The photos to the top are my own sample artwork. The Gobstoppers are watercolor on paper, and the Reese's are colored pencil on crescent board. We also worked in temperas and acrylics.

This was such a fun project!