Friday, May 31, 2019

More Lions!

Some of our young artists created these amazing 3-D lions for our last spring art class project.

The kids were so excited to make this cool mixed media Lion!

First we painted the mane. We painted square sheet of craft paper with tempera paint, like the rays of the sun. Then we painted rainbow stripes across another sheet of paper and let them dry. 

Meanwhile we created the face of our lion on a sheet of brown construction paper using oil pastels, and we cut it out.

Then we cut up our striped paper, glued it to the Kraft paper, and glued the face over everything. The last step was to curl each section of the mane using a marker or a pencil.

All done and so beautiful!!


For our last week of spring session art classes, we created LIONS!

For those artists acquainted with the Chronicles of Narnia, our goal was create Aslan, the wise talking lion. 

These lions were rendered with soft pastels and charcoal pencils on tan sulphite paper.

First we carefully observed resource photos of lions and lion art, especially the art of LeRoy Nieman, whose lions and other animals are painted in a rainbow of colors!

Then we lightly sketched the shape of the lion's face, making sure it was not too small. We placed the facial features and began the process of filling in the face using natural "lion colors" such as brown, tan, sepia, gold, white, yellow. 

We blended and shaded using our fingers, then we used a charcoal pencil to add black details to the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Now it was time to add the mane. We started with some of the same natural colors, laying in wavy lines of each color and smoothing it into the paper with our finger before going on the the next color. (Hint: keep a rag nearby to clean your fingers when changing colors!)

Next we added a few unexpected colors such as blue, violet, green, turquoise and pink, and finally white for added sparkle! 

Now our lions were getting really interesting!

At this stage we sprayed the artwork with workable fixative so that we wouldn't smear them while adding the final details.

Now it was time to add details using our soft charcoal pencil.

This included additional lines in the mane for shadows, furry edges around the face and ears, and of course, the whiskers!

Each lion has a unique look and personality that reflects the artistic style of its artist.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

See It! Paint It!

As in our older classes, our Little Artists have had their eyes on a few of the paintings displayed around the studio this year and have requested to paint their favorites. Our first inclination might be to try to dissuade them or move them in another direction.

However, these are my thoughts: if they want to paint the sea turtle, let them paint the sea turtle! Young as they are, I know that if you give them a chance, along with the right materials and tools, preschoolers are very capable! 

Obviously, to create this sea turtle they would not be painting with acrylic paint on a 16" x 20" canvas. I altered the project just for 4- and 5-year-olds. 

The turtle was a painted paper collage cutout that would be attached to their sunlit painted ocean. That way they were able to paint the starburst shape that is so prominent in the painting (this step was important to them) as well as create a unique sea turtle painting that was super FUN! 

We decided these paintings were even more awesome than the original canvas painting!
We also tried a few more requests. This is Georgie's version of our Little Squirrel Portrait. He needed no help, just a big piece of paper, liquid temperas, and a few brushes. I pulled the original artwork down from the wall and placed it on an easel in front of him to help him see it better.

This is Elijah's version of the Dog in Autumn. He had been planning in his head how to do this painting since last week. Again, I simply placed the original on an easel in front of him and let him go to town!

Here he is attaching a few leaf rubbings to his finished artwork.

Notes about copying art: We always encourage kids to draw what they see in their world, which is why all children create personal symbols for common subjects such as houses, trees, faces, hands, etc. It's easier than recreating these things in a new way every time we draw them. However, when kids want to draw or paint from artwork, they abandon their symbols and attempt to create "real" art in the artist's style or in their own style. This is how the Masters studied art; by studying and re-creating the masterpieces (they spent a lot of time in art museums). I think re-creating artwork is a valuable art experience for both children and adults, and I plan to offer this activity as a Painting Challenge in Summer Art Camp 2019, Session 1. Interested? The "Art Challenge" ART Camp starts June 24!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Insect Studies

This week we created quick insect studies. 

Our subjects were very colorful and interesting beetles and other types of bugs.

We studied several resource photos of beetles and beetle-type bugs, as well as other flying insects.

Our goals were to:

- fit the insect into the formatted paper size of 4-1/2" x 6."

- use pencil, black Sharpie, and watercolor as our art media.

- draw the insect directly from above for a symmetrical view.

- produce two insect studies if time. 

We started by choosing an interesting beetle or insect from a resource photo. It was okay to make changes to it and to name it ourselves.

We drew a light pencil line down the center of the watercolor paper card. We drew in the eye circles and the antennae, continuing down the body to create the rest of the insect shape. The center line helped us sketch the insect symmetrically. 

Next we went over our pencil sketch with fine tipped and extra-fine tipped Sharpies. Then we painted the insect in watercolor, quickly filling in the colors and using thinned paint for lighter colors and highlights. The Sharpie does not run, bleed, or smear.

Finally, we used larger brushes to quickly paint in an uneven, blurry background.

Then, we did it again! This artwork was done by students ages 8 through adult. 





Sample 2
Sample 1

This was a Families Create! collaborative art class, where kids and parents make art together. Request your own family art class anytime!