Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Travel with Blue Dog!

Erica's Meditating Blue Dog
Carolyn's Abstract Blue Dog
This week we learned about George Rodrigue and his iconic Blue Dog! The original dog was a black and white terrier named Tiffany, but over the years, the now blue dog was placed in many different landscapes and situations. 

So, like the artist, we took Blue Dog wherever we wished (and dressed him accordingly). I have posted some of our Blue Dogs' predicaments.

This was a mixed media project on paper. We used tempera, watercolor, colored pencil, markers, and collage to complete our traveling Blue Dogs.

Taylor's On Top of the World Blue Dog
French Blue Dog
Kade's Moon Walking Blue Dog
Jared's "UP" Blue Dog
Joseph's Candy Land Blue Dog


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Aboriginal Artwork

Aboriginal art of Australia is the oldest art form still practiced today. It is very unusual compared to other art forms, and quite interesting to look at and learn about. Aboriginal art incorporates organic symbols, pointallism (dots - lots of dots!), and patterns with amazing and sometimes awe-inspiring results. 

We decided to try our hand at doing our own Aboriginal-inspired art. This lesson, prepared and lead by volunteer Erica, was fun, educational, and very successful! 

We learned what Aboriginal art is, why it is created, and how it is done. You can learn more at 10 Facts About Aboriginal Art, then try it for yourself! 

Monday, April 04, 2016

April Classes - Paint Your ART Out!

This month, our painting will take us abroad. Along the way, we will try new styles, techniques, and art media! Each week we will learn a unique art form from somewhere in the world, other than home. Check out our April schedule below... and if you would like to come along, you are welcome to join us!

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, printing, 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 $50 for the full month

April 7 

Australian Aboriginal Art - Lizards and Dots!

Learn to incorporate organic symbols, pointallism, and patterns to make your own Aboriginal art, which is the oldest art form still practiced today!

April 14

George Rodrigue - Travel with Blue Dog!

Learn to paint the world's landmarks as you travel with Rodrigue's Blue Dog to Paris, the pyramids, the Panama Canal, or wherever! Dress Blue Dog accordingly, and enjoy the trip!
April 21 - RESCHEDULED! This class has been moved to MAY 12!

David Hockney - Travel the English Countryside!

Learn to use perspective, patterns and colors in the (slightly skewed) style of David Hockney as you travel the English countrysides. This will be an acrylic painting on canvas.

April 28

Katsushika Hokusai - Japanese Mountains and Waves!

Learn to create a block print landscape (or seascape) in the style of this Japanese artist similar to his "36 Views of Mt. Fuji," created in the early 19th century.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Art in the Style of Wayne Thiebaud!

Yummy - yummy! We just finished creating some delicious Wayne Thiebaud (pronounced TEE-bow) treats and can't wait to share them!

Our's are made from oil pastel on black paper and are so realistic, your mouth will water!

Jeanette's "Stawberry Short Cake"

Oil pastel is always a hit at the art center, so this was a lot of fun to try. 
Carolyn's "Birthday Cake"

A simple drawing lesson comes first, then selecting one's color palette from the tray of pastels. 

The fun begins when the pastels take on the form of tasty treats - and it gets harder and harder to remember that this is NOT food!

Here are some samples of all of the deliciousness!

Corban's "Carrot Cake"

Joseph's "Strawberry Chocolate Cake"

Madi's "Pink Birthday Cake" collage
Sample cake

Art in the Style of Terence Clarke!

Terence Clarke is another contemporary UK artist who uses bold colors and and form without a lot of focus on accurate or literal reproduction of the world. He is concerned more with color relationships and light. His paintings are painterly and poetic and have a spontaneous feel to them. Perspective is skewed or nonexistent, which is purposeful and fun.

We created our own floral still life acrylic paintings in Clarke's style, focusing on bold colors and having fun! I displayed a wide variety of vases and silk flowers, which were used for inspiration. We used 11 x 14" canvas panels for this piece. 

Using our vine charcoal, we sketched in a square or a round table, without a thought about perspective. We added a cloth, and on top of that a vase full of flowers. We filled the background with patterns or additional props (window, a chair, whatever) and then we filled our palettes with color and just painted away! 

The nice thing about acrylic paint is it dries quickly, and if you make a mistake you can either wipe it away (if you do it quickly) or paint over it after it dries. We made sure to add tints and shades using broad, rich brush strokes, to indicate highlights and shadows.

Aren't these beautiful? 

Art in the Style of Andy Warhol!

Andy Warhol's name and Pop Art are synonymous, so we couldn't leave Warhol out of our look at contemporary artists, now could we? We decided that his 1980's computer-altered portraits of celebrities were particularly interesting, so we decided to create Warhol-style self-portraits. 

We started by uploading an ordinary "selfy" into FotoFlexer (a free online photo editor). We used the PopArt option to create a four-plex altered image of ourselves and printed it out in vibrant color!

We then collected the first letter of our name in as many colors and fonts as possible from magazines and also printed out a few from MS Word. Some artists also cut out a few additional elements for their artwork. 

Then we Mod Podged everything to a piece of crescent board (we learned that black works best). Once complete, the piece could be Mod Podged or sprayed with gloss acrylic overall for a beautiful shiny surface.

Our pop art really "pops," doesn't it?

Art in the Style of David Hockney!

David Hockney is a UK artist who likes CHAIRS...lots and lots of chairs! (Sometimes he paints dogs in chairs, such as this one.) Since chairs are a rather uncommon art subject, we decided to find out why he paints chairs. We discovered that chairs are literal pieces of art that we look at every day. They are designed not only for comfort (most of them) but also to look at. That's why there are so many shapes and styles and colors of chairs. 
To paint chairs, Hockney selects an interesting chair, then he distorts the shape to make it even more interesting. Then, he paints it, using rich, vibrant colors. What fun!!!

For our project, we found pictures of all different styles of chairs in magazines. Then we chose a chair and sketched it on watercolor paper, not worrying about perspective or perfection. This is no-stress drawing! 

Lastly, we painted our chairs and the background using thick tempera paint. 

These were so cool! We plan to try another David Hockney-style painting next month.

Art in the Style of Cezanne!

This week we learned about Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) and his importance in the modern art movement. 

His work was less structured and literal - he was more interested in form, shape, and color than he was in simply replicating life. He felt that cameras, as they were becoming more widely used, could take care of that. His work was somewhat distorted at times; tables seemed to be tilted, shapes a bit off kilter, and perspective not quite right. These style elements were purposeful; his intent was to create art, not simply to duplicate what he saw. Colors were adjusted, color relationships were intensified, and paint was applied liberally. Many 20th century artists have since reflected Cezanne's "new" way of thinking and painting in their own artwork.

We started with three different still life arrangements.                                                                         
We chose one and drew it loosely with vine charcoal on watercolor paper. Then we painted over the lines with thick black tempera paint, so that some of the outlines would show through after the color was added. 

After it dried, we painted in the colors (actual or made up) with thick tempera paint. It didn't matter if bowls were tilted or fruit was added, left out, or layered in weird ways. In one painting, apples became lemons, and it was okay! 

Then we walked away, took a few breaths, and stood back to evaluate our work. We wend back and added white highlights here and there and shades in the shadowy areas as needed. We did some tweaking as needed. 

The colors were so thick and rich... Aren't they beautiful?

Note: Using good quality tempera paint makes a huge difference! We always use RAS Tempera Color, which is very opaque and an excellent transition for older kids moving into acrylic painting. Also, it has real color names, such as pthalo blue and titanium white. We get ours from Jerry's Artarama.

3-D Flowers!

Our day campers made these 3-D flower vases using simple paper sculpture techniques. 

First we cut out and decorated our vases and glued down just one side. Then we cut and glue down our stems and leaves, being careful to keep the bottoms of the stems within the center of the black paper. Then we made each type of flower, using the paper sculpting techniques shown in the poster below.  Most of our flowers involved rolls, cones, curling, tabs, and fringes. We also added spirals inside the bluebells. 

We glued all of the flowers to the stems, then glued down the other side of the vase over the flower stems. Wa-laa! A lovely vase full of beautiful flowers!

Our 3-D wall poster shows all of the paper-sculpting techniques, which makes it super easy for kids to create their own paper relief projects. Here is our poster, if you would like to make one of your own for your children or classroom.