Thursday, November 17, 2022

Thanksgiving Pop-Ups!

 We made Thanksgiving Pop-Up Turkey cards!
These pop-ups could be given as greeting cards or serve as perfect centerpieces for the big Thanksgiving feast!
          Check out smART Class: Pop Up Turkeys to learn how to            make your own!

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Magic Potions!

We artists love Halloween! So many spooky fun opportunities for art! 

This year I wanted to try something a little different: why not combine wizards and witches and mad scientists and alchemy and magic potions and moonlit nights and ghosts and spider webs all into one amazingly eerie painting?  

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Scientific Illustration

This month our teen artists have been working on their drawing and observation skills. They took on the role of naturalists and, through careful observation, drew detailed specimens such as those found in a field guide.                                                                      We decided to illustrate insects and bugs, since they are small, colorful, and have interesting shapes and designs. Also, we have plenty of resource photos of these little critters, so we didn't have to go out in search of them. Here are the how-to's:

First choose and study a resource photo of the subject to be drawn. We have a large file of old calendar photos (animals, insects, birds, fish, landscapes, you name it) as well as Zoo Books, reference books, and pictures found online. Use photos for your resource images, not paintings, drawings, or other artwork.

Using a drawing pencil, carefully sketch the shape and form of your subject on drawing paper. Do not make it too small! You want to make it large enough to add plenty of detail. 

Study the colors, including the highlights and shadows in the photo. 

Decide what art media you will use for this subject. Colored pencil works very well for scientific illustration. If you have large areas of color (such as the basic yellow of a tiger swallowtail butterfly) you might fill them first with soft pastel, then rubbed gently with a finger for a nice smooth background of color.

Select the colors and fill in your subject, layering colors as needed. 

Take your time. Start with larger shapes and distinctive markings first, then add smaller or darker details on top of them. You can also try using ultra fine Sharpies for the finer details and to define things like feathery antennae, hairy legs, transparent wings, and so forth.

Once the illustration is competed, be sure to label it with name of the specimen.

One student went further and completed this little fellow at home in graphite pencil. 

Please see our earlier weblog post, Drawing Bugs! for more about 
Scientific Illustration.