Thursday, May 25, 2023

More Dragon Eyes!

Red Dragon Eye
9" x 12" watercolor on paper, artist age 14

Dragons are a popular subject for many of our young artists, so this week we decided to create dragon eyes!

Artists could use any art medium for their dragon eye artwork. 

Our goal was to create an awesomely believable dragon eye surrounded by amazing textures, such as the sharp scales and boney details of the dragon's face above. Shadows and highlights were crucial!

This dragon eye incorporates the violet color of the paper while depicting overlapping and layering of the scales using drawing media such as pastels, charcoal pencil, and Sharpies. 

Green Dragon Eye
9" x 12" pastel, charcoal, ink on paper, artist age 11

The artist decided that the artwork needed something more, so she added some metallic highlights and additional detail within in the eye itself. 

Yellow Dragon Eye
9" x 12" mixed media, artist age 14

This is a mixed media version of a dragon eye, using a beautiful color combination of blues, pinks, and a yellow-green eye!

Flying Dragons
12" x 12" acrylic on canvas, artist age 14

For more about Dragon Eye art, see our previous post: Dragon Eyes!

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Giant Designer Feathers

We've been working on Bird Portraits, so why not design our own bird feathers too? 

These very large, unique feathers were painted with temperas in large sections around the center quills. They were then stamped with smaller and still smaller details as desired, while working somewhat symmetrically around the quill (unless not) to create a cohesive design.

Once dry, the feather is cut out with 'V' shaped notches like real feathers. Then we added a few fuzzy feathers at the bottom of the feathers and glued them to a piece of black poster board. 

It was fun to imagine what type of bird (or other flying creature) these feathers could have fallen from!

We made these Giant Designer Feathers in our Friday Art Adventures class.  You can also see more Designer Feathers in our previous post right here

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Backyard Bird Portraits

Northern Flicker, artist age 11

Since becoming an official "bird watcher" (Project FeederWatch), I have found that birds are much more than just these chirping feathered critters you see flying around in the yard. I enjoy identifying them, learning about them, and watching their behaviors. (There can be a lot of bird-drama in your own backyard if you pay close attention!) 

I have also found that the kiddos who come to our art classes are equally enthusiastic about birds!

So, as an ongoing project, we decided to paint Backyard Bird Portraits. 

Our goal is to paint portraits of local birds; that is, birds that frequent our area here in southeastern Idaho. That doesn't mean that we won't paint other birds too.  Sometimes you've just gotta paint a favorite bird, no matter where you might actually find it.

Blue Jay, artist age 14

This student has a special affinity for Blue Jays. She has included the Blue Jay in several different works of art, so this piece was a natural for her!

I've not personally observed any Blue Jays in our area, but they are listed on the eBird Field Checklist for our County. Have I seen Scrub Jays? Yes I have.

Anna's Hummingbird, artist age 11

This artist is a hummingbird lover.  She  painted Anna's Hummingbird, which is found along the Pacific Coast and year-round along the Oregon coastal areas.

Well. That's not so far from our neck of the woods. 

American Robin, artist age 11

Here we have (likely) the most recognizable bird in North America: the American Robin. In fact, when describing the size of a particular bird, it is generally compared to this red-breasted fellow: "Is it larger or smaller than a Robin?" 

This is such a fun project; I have painted a few of my own, the latest of which is this Black-billed Magpie. Big boisterous squawkers they are, but also spectacular, iridescent, and surprisingly graceful.

We're not done yet! Future Backyard Bird Portraits will be posted 
as they are completed.

Saturday, May 06, 2023

What is Impressionism?

Over the last couple of weeks we have been painting flowers as some of the Impressionists did, such as floral bouquets in the style of French Impressionist Berte Morisot and the cherry blossoms of Natalia Goncharova.  

I decided it was time for our artists to get to know the predecessor of modern Impressionism, Claude Monet and how he painted his impression of the form, light, and color of a scene. Artists would then create their own personal version of his famous Water-Lily Garden. 

These artists decided to include the Monet's famous Japanese footbridge in their paintings.  They began by drawing in details such as water-lilies, surrounding foliage, and the bridge. 

Then they painted over all using a wet-on-wet watercolor technique and added sprinkle of salt to the water.  After the paint dried, they brushed off the salt, which made shiny sparkles in the pond! Then they added a bit more oil pastel detail.

Aren't they beautiful?

These paintings were created by our Friday Art Adventurers.