Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Cars!

This idea, from Deep Space Sparkle, is a perfect introduction to illustration art. The artwork is not intended to be realistic or painterly, but more like an illustration in a children's book.                                                      Kids often try so hard to make things look 'real,' especially middle schoolers and up. This project offers a great opportunity for them to loosen up and draw something a bit less perfect, even cartoonish and silly, while illustrating a rather quaint and old fashioned subject. 

The kids (ages 10 to 15) were a bit hesitant about it at first, but loved the Christmas Car once we got going! Corban (our only male artist) painted Christmas Humvee driven by Slenderman in a potato storm. 

Well, alrighty then! 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Glimmering Trees!

This is such a fun winter project! 

Great for all ages too, especially because of the surprise painting technique using bleeding tissue paper. (A 4-year-old created the trees on the bottom left.)

Also, kids love to use metallic Sharpies, so you can't go wrong. 

We've created glittering trees many times, always with beautiful results. 

If you would like to try this project, you can find out more at

Friday, December 22, 2017

Just Let 'Em Paint!

Sometimes you just gotta paint! 

"Free-painting" is an integral part of our art program. No rules. No instruction. Just paper, brushes, palettes, water, and paint. Then let them go to it! Often, amazing things happen. 

Okay, I admit I encourage the kids to mix their own colors. I might even show them how to do it. (That's what the palettes are for.) And if they ask for help, I'm there. 

It's important for young artists to take art classes and attempt directed art projects. They will learn new art processes, how to use new materials, and try new subjects and ideas. 

However, it's equally important - for the sake of creativity - to let young artists go their own way and paint at will! 

Friday, December 01, 2017

Beautiful Autumn Leaves!

Our young artists drew these autumn leaves with black Sharpies. Then they added details and outlines in crayon, focusing on repetition and patterns. 

Finally, they used watercolor to paint over the entire composition while enjoying the amazing wax resist effects as the colors 'popped' through the paint!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Mixed Media Scarecrows

We love seasonal art projects! Scarecrows are an awesome autumn subject, so our young artists made these mixed media scarecrows using crayons and watercolor to create a wax resist painting. After the artwork dried, we added details using 3-D elements, such as straw, feathers, flowers, and buttons. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

More Autumn Home School Art!

Another autumn project we created was a lovely path called "A Fall Walk Through the Woods." 

This is done with soft pastels, a medium we try to practice using now and then. 

This was a good project for learning how and when to layer and smudge the pastel colors while creating various textures and atmosphere.

We also learned a little more about one-point perspective, which everyone seemed to have successful with.

Our artists used a variety of colors for their pathways, including a very dark night scene.   


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Autumn Home School Art!

Autumn offers so many wonderful opportunities for art-making! I just have to share more of our Home School Art Club's creative work.

These first pieces are mixed media leaf rubbings. The students first make simple leaf rubbings using cheap white copy paper and a black crayon laying on its side, pressing hard.

They then paint the leaves using two or three colors on each leaf. 

After the leaves are dry, they cut out the leaves and glue them to a piece of colored card stock. 

Now they will draw a series of lines from top to bottom of the paper. The lines move and swirl around the shapes of the leaves, an art technique that portrays movement. They should start with black Sharpies to create their basic line patterns, then use two more colors using oil pastels (or metallic Sharpies, which was their idea), to fill in between the black lines. The goal was to not touch any other lines and to let the paper show between the lines. 

They look just like leaves tumbling down from the trees, don't they?

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Home School OWL ART!

Our Home School Art Club has been super busy, as always! 

In October they worked on this amazing OWL ART.

These were done using oil pastels on black paper. 

Each student selected a photo of an owl to paint from our resource files. 

Then they transferred the image in pencil to their black paper and selected a 'palette' of colors to use for their painting - which simply means matching each color in the photo to an oil pastel stick, which is then kept separated from the set until the project is done.  Students learned to press lightly, heavily, or to layer colors to get desired colors, textures, and other effects.