Friday, January 27, 2023

Squirrel Appreciation Day

Fact: Squirrels are among the cutest creatures in existence. 

(Ask any child. They'll tell you.)

And did you know that January 21 is Squirrel Appreciation Day?

So, of course, we had no choice but to create these Little Squirrel  Portraits in celebration of our cute little squirrel friends.

We started by creating a background that shows the squirrel's tree home - from his point of view at the base of the tree. This was a great way to learn about perspective!

We also had to decide what kind of tree our squirrel lives in - is it an evergreen or a deciduous tree? The tree was drawn and completed with oil pastel.

Next, we needed to decide the season so that we could complete the sky and the background. Would we use warm summer colors or golden fall colors, or would the background be wintery and cold? The chosen colors were painted over the entire background with liquid watercolor.  If a snowy background was chosen, we also splattered it with thinned white tempera paint using a toothbrush.

We drew our little squirrel on a 1/2 sheet of brown construction paper (or sulfite paper).  The furry details and a cute little squirrel face were added with oil pastels, and the squirrel was cut out.

The tail was drawn on another 1/2 sheet of brown paper and lots of fur was added. It was cut out as well.

Then the squirrel was glued into the scene right over the tree, tail first. Note: As a fun option, you can glue a piece of foam (packing material?) between the squirrel's head and the background for 3D look!

"Tree Squirrel," by a teen artist
Acrylics on Canvas

These talented wildlife artists ranged in age from 6 to 13 years.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Winter Landscapes

These lovely winter landscapes are created in the style of of contemporary artist and illustrator Jen Aranyi. 

We love the crisp clean lines that so aptly depict these icy landscapes.  

The simple wet on wet watercolor in the sky adds just enough color to these majestic little works of art.

This artist worked out a few winter landscape ideas in her sketch journal before proceeding with her final artwork. 

Here is a full sketchbook page illustrating the usefulness of the sketchbook to develop and work out ideas before moving on to the final artwork. 

As an option, the artist could finish this sketchbook artwork in the future.

Hatching is used to add shadows when using ink, to depict volume and three dimensionality. Also, perspective is attained by varying the tree sizes to indicate distance, the midground, and the foreground. The trees are completely filled in to create a stark contrast with their icy surroundings.

This is a practice sketchbook scene created by one or our younger students. She is learning to work with ink to create hatching for shadows in the mountains and also learning to incorporate perspective into her drawing. 

Here is her final artwork.  

We mounted our geometrically shaped artwork on black sulfite paper to create a nice black border. 
NOTE: We have created artwork in Jen Aranyi's style before. Check out our previous weblog post, Jen Aranyi-Themed Painting to see more. 

Here's another little wintery scene, by a teen artist.  
Watercolor and Tempera on Paper