Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Art for kids: Giraffe Art

This crazy giraffe project was inspired by the artist Jennifer Mercedes. The supplies needed are: tagboard, pencils, sharpies, pastels, crayons, and tempera paint.
1. I demo-ed this how to draw a giraffe in front of the class. Students drew with me on long pieces of tagboard using pencils.
2. After erasing any mistakes, I had them Sharpie over their pencil lines.
3. We used colored Sharpies to make the crazy patterns in the giraffe spots.
4. This was a two day project and on the second day we used Sharpies and rulers to break up the space behind the giraffes. Then, colored the spaces in with oil pastels.
5. For the giraffes head and neck we used the side of a white crayon but some students opted to go for crazy colors for the giraffe's ears and muzzle. (The next time I do this project I'll ask students not to color the ears crazy colors because they blend in too much with the background.)
6. Lastly, I had them use bright colors of tempera paint mixed with a little corn syrup to paint over and then rub back off with a rag or paper towel. The students that used the most colors and painted them on in patches, had the best results.

This project could easily be done on watercolor paper with watercolors instead of tempera and there would be no need to wipe off excess paint.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Art for Kids: Still Life Painting

We've been working on perspective this week in my Artist's Studio class, and one of the projects I thought turned out really well was this bottle still life. First, I  set a bunch of pop bottles down the center of the table and we did a practice run in our drawing journals. I talked about and demonstrated: elliptical shapes, shading, and shadow.

This project was more fun then when I've done it in the past because the students got to use more supplies: pencils, sharpies, pastels, & tempera paint.

1. I gave each student a piece of large tagboard and asked that they sketch at least two bottles from the table. One close to them and one further away.

2. When finished, I checked for lines running through each other (even though some students insisted on leaving these lines because the bottles were clear), elliptical shapes on the tops, and rounded bottoms. As soon as all major mistakes were erased, I gave them a Sharpie to go over their lines.

3. Then I gave out packs of pastels and the students used the pastels to shade the bottles and add shadows (the lights in our room are directly above so we faked this part). I let them choose any colors they wanted to use.

4. Lastly we painted. We used tempera paints, but some students needed a rag or paper towel on hand to wipe off excess paint. If the paint goes on too thick, you can't see the pastel beneath it (another way to avoid this is to make your paint a bit more translucent by adding corn syrup).

If you are wondering why they all used so much pink and blue, it's because I made them use up the left over paint from another project so it wouldn't be wasted. No one complained too much : )

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Art for Kids: Paint Like Monet

We've been learning about Claude Monet and the impressionist in my Artist Studio class this week, and I was super impressed with my student's sunset paintings. As you can see, we are trying to use the impressionist "dab" style of painting. Prior to this project we talked about how the impressionists were obsessed with the affects of light, colors, and water. 
All week I have been emphasizing avoiding "flat" colors and explained that Claude Monet never used black, but instead used purple, dark blues, or mixed contrasting colors to show shadow and dark spaces. 
The process was very simple:
  1. Prior to start, I mixed up a lot of paints to get a variety tins and hues. Students were asked to have only one color at their seat at a time, then bring it up and trade it for new color.
  2. I had students draw a horizon line using a ruler. Then add the sun. Some of the younger students decided to trace round objects from the classroom to avoid “lumpy” suns. 
  3. I demonstrated the “dab” style of painting and emphasized hiding our pencil lines with thick paint.
  4. I also emphasized layering colors on top of colors until all (or at least most) of the white was gone.

This project was done with tempera paints on tag board. I would love to do this project with an acrylic or heavier paint. As you can see below (in the sun) pencil lines kept popping though.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mixed Media Textures (Part 2): Gel Medium & Crackle Paste

Like I said in my last post, if you’re just getting started in mixed media, I suggest purchasing a gel medium first. My second favorite texture medium would be crackle paste (#6).

4) This texture was created by laying tissue paper down using acrylic paint, dragging pastels over the lines; and lastly, adding the messy dots with watercolors and a stamp. You must allow plenty of dry time between each layer.

5) The cross hatching in the corner is another example of gel medium with acrylic and pearl medium overtop. Lastly, I dry brushed over the lines with black acrylic paint to make the texture stand out. 

6) This is crackle the paste (DecoArt brand) painted over with blue watercolor. The right side is more gel medium. 

    Crackle paste is so easy to use; just spread it out with a palette knife (thick for big cracks, thinner for small "spiderweb" cracks), let it dry and paint over the top with acrylic or watercolors.

    Don't confuse crackle paste with distress crackle or crackle medium, which goes over the top of your paint to make it crack.

Below, you can see the crackle past in yellow.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Mixed Media Texture: Gel Medium

If you’re just getting started with mixed media, and don’t know where to begin when it comes to picking out supplies.  I suggest purchasing a gel medium first (especially if you’re working with acrylics). 

Gel medium works both as an adhesive and a texture medium (you can create impasto, relief, and sculptural effects). And in comes thick or thin, in gloss or matte. Gel medium is not porous. One dry it is a flexible  surface that feels a lot like plastic.

Here's a quick look at some of my favorite textures done (mostly) with Gel medium.

   1) This texture is gel medium and tissue paper painted over with acrylic paint and pearl medium (to make it shiny). The big circles are done by spreading gel medium through a stencil, as are the smaller dots beneath the tissue paper. 

   2) This one is tinfoil and gel medium. The tin foil is crushed folded against the canvas using the gel medium as an adhesive. The curving lines on the right were created by dragging a fork through a thin layer of gel medium. After painting over it with multiple layers of acrylic paint, I used pastels to bring out the lines.

   3) This is just straight gel medium spread onto canvas with a palate knife and then drawn into with a fork and the end of my paintbrush. I painted over it with acrylics and pearl medium and used the side of a white pastel to bring out the lines.

     You can also use gel medium to lay paper, attach small objects, and increase the volume of your paint. It can even be used for image transfers and decoupage!