Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunday Sketch - May 24, 2015

I am constantly inspired by Stephanie Ackerman of Homegrown Hospitality. This Sunday Sketch was inspired by THIS POST on her blog. As was the drawing below which I did on a gift bag for a friend.

The bag seemed plain and boring so I just grabbed a Sharpie and had some fun. This way of doodling is fun and relaxing. I love it!!

Friday, May 1, 2015

First Friday Art Class for May 2015 - Paper Beads and Bows

Today we made 3D objects out of paper. We began by talking about several different types of paper. This is by no means an all inclusive list--there are so many types of paper out there. But this list is some we have worked with in the past and some we'd be working with today. I wanted the girls to start thinking about how to choose the best paper for the job.

Today we'll be folding and rolling paper to make bows and beads.

I made this little handout so they could not only see, but feel the papers I'd be talking about:
So let's talk about each one for a bit...

Copy/Printer Paper - this paper is ideal for photocopies and printers (of course), but it's also great for many paper folding projects. It's not too stiff yet holds its shape quite well. We used this to make the pink and blue bows pictured above.

Book Pages - book pages tend to be a bit thinner than copy paper so if you paint or use ink on them, you have to be careful. Book pages are readily available and can be used to create really lovely items. Book pages are also great for paper folding projects. We didn't make any bows with the book pages today, but if we had they would have been really pretty. Several of the girls did make beads with dictionary pages today.

Origami Paper - great for origami--obviously. The beauty of origami paper is that you can have one color on one side and another color (many times white) on the other and yet the paper is still very thin and pliable. A bit too thin and pliable for our use today.

Scrapbook Paper - called scrapbook paper yet used for SO many other things. I have a bit of a....obsession collection, shall we say, of scrapbook paper. It's about the same weight as copy paper though the weight does vary. For our purposes today we're using lots of scrapbook paper but making sure the weight is on par with copy paper. Notice the spotted paper to the right of the words "scrapbook paper". I tacked that little piece on so the girls could see and feel that some scrapbook paper is closer to card stock than copy paper in weight. That paper is double sided with a gorgeous aged purple on the back. Generally double sided scrapbook paper is rather thick and not good for paper folding projects.

Card Stock - We've used card stock a lot in the past. We drew our Koi Fish on card stock and then mounted them on a piece of colored card stock. We love card stock! But not for paper folding projects. It's just too stiff. It's hard to fold and can sometimes almost crack as you fold or roll it.

Watercolor Paper - this varies in weight considerably. Great for ink and watercolor. We loved it when we made our Inchies! Not great for folding and rolling. I wanted the girls to feel the thickness and talk about why paper that thick just wouldn't work for what we're doing today.

With that brief discussion of types of paper, we dove right in to our projects. I showed them both projects--the bows and the beads--from start to finish so they could then work (somewhat) independently and at their own pace. It was good to have the bows to work on while they waited for the Mod Podge to dry on their beads. Most of the girls took extra templates of the bows home to make more when they got home.

We made paper beads using this exact method from Kristy Neale found HERE. I had templates cut out for the girls to make things go a bit smoother. For wider beads they chose the 8" x 1-1/2" template. For beads that were a bit narrower they chose the 8" x 1-1/4" template. Once the beads were done, the girls painted a light coat of shiny Mod Podge on them. Then when that was dry they strung them on cotton string.
Here's one of the finished necklaces:
It was fun to watch the girls pouring over my scrap paper box putting different patterns and colors together to plan their scheme for their beads.

Our second project was paper bows. We used the template from How About Orange found HERE and also the template from Lia Griffith found HERE. I like the finished shape of the How About Orange template a bit better, but Lia Griffith's site has several different sizes on one page which is awesome.

We used the How About Orange template to make the plain pink, plain blue, and gold bows and the map bow. We used the Lia Griffith's template to make the pink polka dot bows. (The tiniest one is SO cute!)
A few tips on the can print the templates on regular copy paper, glue the WHOLE page down onto a sheet of card stock or a file folder, then cut out all the shapes. This gives you a template you can trace and use over and over. Or as in the pink polka dot bows, I printed the template on the back of a sheet of scrapbook paper and then just cut them all out.

We used clothes pins to hold the center while the glue dried and while we cut out the next piece. This will make your bow making much easier!!
These bows are very, very simple to make and the finished product is quite lovely. They'd be so pretty on top of a simply wrapped package.

Not a lot of "action shots" today as these were such hands-on projects. Most of the time I was helping to roll beads or string beads or choose paper with the girls.

We had a great time and it was a great way to end our 2014-2015 session of classes!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Line and Color Houses - the work of one of my art students

One of the darling girls from my First Friday Art Class came running out to the car to show me her drawing when I was dropping my daughter off at her house for a piano lesson.

She and I had discussed taking the line/color exercise further with other subjects. Well, she really went for it and look at this pretty drawing she did. I couldn't be more proud!

Sunday Sketch - 04/26/15

Friday, April 10, 2015

First Friday Art Class for April 2015 - Line and Color...and Koi Fish

The idea for this class came from the fact that these girls are nearing the end of the school year and they're doing a lot of testing and finals and such. So I wanted a project that could be a sort of Art Therapy relaxation experience.

Remember when you were little and you'd scribble all over the paper and then use different colors to fill in the spaces. That's what we did today...but with a twist.

We began by watching this wonderful video on the 7 Elements of Art.
This video is excellent and really breaks each element down into understandable chunks. Before we watched I told the girls to notice how they felt about the Herni Rousseau painting when it was first shown and how they felt about it after gaining some new insight into it--after the narrator explores the painting and points out all the elements. That's the beauty of Art History and Art Appreciation. Once you study a painting or a particular artist, you can gain such a better appreciation for their work!!
I knew our project would take our whole class time today so after the video and discussion, we jumped right in. I was completely inspired by THIS PAINTING BY SHARON CUMMINGS and THIS DRAWING FROM PAM S. ON BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD

Here are the steps for this Study in Line and Color Koi Fish drawing (as seen at the top of this post and down below):

1. First I had the girls trace a 4-1/2" x 7-1/2" template onto a 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" sheet of card stock. The reason I do this is so you have a bit of extra space around your edge to test out your colors and to extend your lines. This was done in pencil and then gone over with a Sharpie.

2. Draw your koi fish in pencil. They are basically an elongated teardrop with fins at the bottom and two small fins on each side. I suggested that the girls do 3 or 5 fish. Keeping in mind that the eye prefers odd numbers of items. It's also nice to have one or two elements going off the edge of the page. 

3. Add some lily pads--again in pencil. These are basically ovals with a small notch taken out of the side. 

4. Go over the fish and lily pads with pen (we are using Papermate Flairs--our GO TO art pens for this class). I suggest going over each element twice to emphasize them. You'll notice from my image at the top of the post that I don't try to follow the first line. I like the look of two lines--it seems sort of freer and more "scribbley" which is a look I really like. Erase any pencil lines that remain.

5. Now go over the whole page with free flowing organic, swirly lines. We went right in with our pen on this to make them more free and improvised. This is where you'll be glad your paper is a bit larger than your drawing space because you want the lines to flow all the way to the edges and beyond. Here you can add as many or as few lines as you wish. Channel your inner child and "scribble" on your paper!! *NOTE: the reason I suggest doing your pen lines on your fish and lily pads BEFORE this step is so it's not just one big swirly mess. This way the fish and lily pads are already very obvious and standing out. You'll see that after you do the swirly lines, the Koi and lily pads do fade a bit and you have to really watch where to add your color. 

6. And now the most fun and relaxing part--adding the color. Choose 3 shades of a color for your lily pads, 3-4 shades of a different color for you fish, and 4-5 shades of a third color for your water. And then just color in all the fun spaces you've created. I tried not to ever use the same color on spots right next to each other. But a few times it just happened and it's fine. That's the great thing about this project--it's really free and easy and yet the result is REALLY, REALLY pretty!

7. Cut around your Sharpie lines to clean up the edge of the paper. Mount on a 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" sheet of card stock.

Here are a few of the girls at work on their drawings. I think the steps above will make more sense when you see these Works In Progress.
 This wonderful artist started with the water which we all decided later was much harder than doing the koi and lily pads first. But it was fun for her to see her fish sort of POP out of the water as she colored because she was skeptical at first and the most hesitant to draw the scribbles on her drawing.

And here is her beautiful finished drawing:

 This artist chose really bright, fun colors for her fish so they almost glowed!
This artist is a bit older than the other girls in the class. :) She's a friend of mine that recently joined our class and all the girls were in awe of her wonderful drawing today. 

This is the finished drawing mounted on blue paper. Is this not gorgeous???

We talked about trying this same method with other subjects--not just fish. It would be so pretty with flowers or clouds or even a row of little houses set against a big sky, really so many things you could try. 

We had fun drawing Koi fish and snacking on Goldfish crackers and talking about art today! Next month will be our last class of this school year. Where has the time gone?? See you then!

4/14/15 EDITED TO ADD: A few of my students recently moved with their family to Oregon and we miss them dearly! I always send them the class re-caps so they can do the classes on their own at home. Well these little sweeties made it a family affair! For their Family Night the whole family did Koi Drawings. 

I got this message from their mom (and it totally made my day!!):
Camille finished her fish early so she experimented with bubbles in fall colors. We had a lot of fun. Thanks to your cool factor everyone was a willing participant in this great project. I am going to give Eric some colored pencils today and see what he comes up with. Instead, we just let him have his family home evening treat early while the rest of us colored last night. When people started to stray from your written instructions, Katie was quick to pipe up "There are no rules in [Tiffany]'s art classes!"

Here are their lovely drawings:

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Newest Name Sign

This name sign is for some dear friends that live way too far away. The colors were done to match some beautiful quilts my very talented friend made for Miss Madelyn's room.


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