Sketch Tuesday ~ Picasso Guitars

Summer Art

instead of Sketch Tuesday.

Barb of Harmony Fine Arts has focused a summer art study of Pablo Picasso.  This week her theme is “Picasso’s 3 Musicians“.

Pop over to her post to follow all her Picasso guitar links and instructions.

Miss.L12 and I fondly remembered our study of Picasso’s three “Musicians with Masks“, and we recalled Miss.L12 Picasso-inspired cubist guitar collage that became a famous poster and program cover!

This week we really enjoyed the “Partition, Bottle of Port, Guitar, Playing Cards” and I tweaked our art lesson using this painting as our main inspiration.

partition-bottle-of-port-guitar-playing-cards-1917

  1. Draw a guitar outline on an A4 page so that it almost touches all the sides.
  2. Place the guitar outline page inside a large A3 page and fold the pages in half and then continue to fold the pages randomly, creating creases through both pages.
  3. Unfold and flatten the pages.  These creases will form lines which we will use to change colors.
  4. Cut out the guitar shape and glue it onto the large page.
  5. Draw the objects and background shapes.
  6. Paint the background and objects, the guitar and details in Picasso-style.

Art Picasso guitars1

Art Picasso guitarsThere’s still time to do art this weekend and send it in for the slide show … or just for fun!  Thanks, Barb, for your amazing art inspiration!

See you at the slide show!

Blessings,

Sketch Tuesday ~ Picasso Profiles

Summer Art

instead of Sketch Tuesday.

Barb of Harmony Fine Arts has launched a July study of Pablo Picasso with “Summer Art – Picasso Profile”. Pop over to her website to follow all her links and instructions.

We watched the video lesson and viewed some of Picasso’s portraits, looking especially for his profiles placed in full face portraits.

For our art assignment, we drew a life-sized oval and drew around each other’s profiles on the paper, which did tickle!  We took out our paints and went all-out colorful!  Such fun!

Here are our Picasso Profile Portraits ~

Picasso Portraits 001 Picasso Portraits 002

There’s still time to do art this weekend and send it in for the slide show … or just for fun!

See you at the slide show!

Blessings,

More Art Fun!

This past week we have thoroughly enjoyed more art fun with our

Usborne Activities 365 Things to Draw and Paint by Fiona Watt.

The art ideas in this book are pretty fool-proof, so diverting slightly from the lesson is not that risky.  I tell my children to feel free to tweak the ideas in each activity.

Last week we all did “Decorated Elephants“.  Each of us produced a slight variation on the art activity in the book.  I love this kind of originality!

Art elephants

My 14-year-old daughter did “Mixing Paints” lessons with her water colors and enjoyed the art activity so much that she prepared some planks of wood and created 2 versions with acrylic paints.  They came out so well!  Such happy-looking poppies!  She hammered picture hanging hooks to the back of each plank and has dedicated the one as a wonderful gift!

Art fun poppies

Mid-week, my youngest and I did “Patterned Park” with pastel pencils on colored sugar paper.  When one works with patterns, it becomes such a relaxing, right-brain activity.  I also was determined to stay away from real, representational colors and enjoyed playing with colors that ‘pop’ and contrast.  Fun and simple!

Art pattern park

This weekend my 12-year-old and I had fun working through the “Simple Faces” lesson.  Here is Miss. L12′s painting.  She is happy with her painting and I love the bright clear colors!

Art simple faces

Waking from an inspirational dream, I wanted to work with masking fluid and represent one of my favorite photos in this simplified, stylized manner.

Art simple faces1

Here’s a simple tutorial:

  1. I used water-color paper, art masking fluid and on old, but very thin paintbrush.  Masking fluid can ruin paintbrushes if it dries in the bristles, so wash the brush in warm soapy water as soon as you are done.
  2. After I penciled in the outlines, I painted the designs in masking fluid.  This stuff is creamy white and dries to become fairly transparent and yellowish.
  3. With fairly wet paints I washed my background with a broad brush. The paint will not penetrate the masking design and those areas will remain white.
  4. Next I painted in the details and left the page to dry well.
  5. The next stage was such fun!  I gently pulled off the masking fluid which pulls off easily in long sticky strings.  You can rub it off too,  It rolls into balls which you can pull off and throw away.
  6. Finally I added silver and black outlines.  Lovely finished product and such an enjoyable activity.

Go ahead and have some art fun this week!

Blessings,

Sketch Tuesday ~ Something Hot

This past week’s Sketch Tuesday theme ~

Something Hot!

Something Hot 001 (2) Something Hot 001

Here, during our chilly South African winters, we enjoy all the heat and warmth we can find … hot chocolate, warm, fluffy slippers and cuddly blankets … and a fire burning in the living room.

And in my farm kitchen, I love my AGA stove which burns day and night, always ready,  with its ovens cooking slow soups and stews, its heat generating hot water in our geyser, and we keep the kettle just off simmer, ready for some hot tea!

Strangely, there has been no snow on our mountains yet, despite several bitter cold fronts.  Gale force winds have blown for days and our sheds and our roofs have taken a pounding.

It is good to sit indoors and keep ourselves warm.  And we do our art together. Lovely!

See you at the slide show!

Blessings,

New Fun Art!

For a while my 12-year-old has avoided been reluctant about her art.  So sad. Somehow, her perfectionism got in the way of her creativity.  And, perhaps I focused too seriously on Charlotte Mason art appreciation lessons rather than presenting her simple art fun.

I was delighted when I came across this book at our local library ~

A Usborne Activities 365 Things to Draw and Paint  by Fiona Watt

(ISBN 978-1-86806-319-2)

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According to the title, this book offers amazing art activities for every day for a whole year!  Actually, each double page layout presents several interconnected ideas, and so you have about 126 lessons here instead of 365.

Much to my delight, Miss.L12 immediately tagged about 30 pages and we decided to try to do one a day!

Here is how fabulous Miss.L12 felt about her first art lesson!

Art fun

And I’m smiling too!

What I like about these art activities is the simplicity of the lesson combined with an exploration of different creative techniques such as printing, rubbings, splatters, cutting out, doodles … superb creative fun!

Here is our “Laboratory Experiments” activity with blowing, splatter and print art elements ~

Art fun1

And here is our “Printed Fruit & Vegetables” with finger painting, print techniques and rubbings for the fruit crates.  Again, huge success!

Art fun2

I’m doing these art activities along with my daughter and we are having such a lovely creative time!

I guess that I am going to renew this library book several times! [smiles]

Blessings,

 

Sketch Tuesday ~ Tools & Crazy Fruit

Here are our sketches from the past 2 weeks …

Crazy Fruit ~ Prickly Pears

Crazy Fruit 001

Fix-It Tools

Tools 001 Tools 002

Barb of Harmony Fine Arts at Home says ~

This week’s assignment is due Monday, March 3, 2014.

Sketch something that starts with the letter L.

“All sketchers are welcome and there is no need to sign up. Send in your sketches in jpg format and mail them to: sketchtuesday@yahoo.com by Monday, March 3, 2014 and I will include them in Tuesday’s slideshow. Complete instructions are found by clicking the Sketch Tuesday tab at the top of my blog.”

See you at the slideshow!

Blessings,

Fabulous Fine Arts Fridays

Another What Works! post …

Looking back over the 14-odd years of homeschooling from preschool to high school graduation I want to share what was successful in our home …

Fine Arts is rich, rewarding & relaxing!

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We set aside most our Fridays for Fine Arts - art, music, and poetry, and sometimes some Shakespeare.  The simplest way to do this was to plan the “extras” in our Theme of the Day. It is my kids favourite day of the week!

My older children still ask for art lessons once a week. Despite the textbook-based high school curriculum I used for my eldest daughter, these fine art Fridays were the saving grace of our homeschooling journey. In many ways they are the “soul” days of homeschooling.

My kids considered Fridays as free days because we set aside normal seat work and written assignments.  Despite its seeming “frivolous” nature, where fine arts is often considered an “optional extra”, this aspect of education is the most inspiring and rewarding.  At times our Fridays were the only happy days of our week.  Homeschooling can be tough!  Making time to relax and enjoy fine arts is a relief!

Art started with art appreciation lessons, Charlotte Mason-style.  I sometimes added simple art activities to some of these lessons. We discovered famous artists and their masterpieces, observed different art styles over the centuries recording these on my Art Era Timeline, and we tried a variety of art mediums.  The 3D Seurat model is one of my younger girls’ favourite and unusual art activities!  Sometimes someone wept and left the room due to a “flop” lesson, but mostly we admired and encouraged each other as we gazed at our ‘gallery’ … we were enriched!  Importantly, we each have amazing internal, mental art galleries of famous art that we will carry all our lives!

Sketch Tuesday remains a regular constant art activity, which we continue even when we have stopped our formal schooling for school breaks.  It is such a simple, quick session, often with no discussions, research or planning, but Sketch Tuesday has had an enormous impact on our art!  The simple act of regularly looking and sketching develops ones confidence and approach to other more formal art activities.

Classical Music was not always requested. In fact, my older children have an incredible eclectic collection of their own music which plays as we work and do chores, but we streamed or listened to classical music as we did our art. I abandoned planned formal music appreciation lessons as my children grew older, but it somehow has developed naturally into an appreciation and my kids often recognize classical music played in movie soundtracks..

Poetry has been a hit-and-miss affair, where I sometimes do formal poetry lessons with my younger children on our “Tea, Poetry and Shakespeare” afternoons.  We studied some poets through the year and we all found our poetry readings relaxing and inspiring.  My kids never really learnt any poems by heart, but some poems were inspiration for art or illustrations.  Our most exciting poem-inspired activity my girls did when they were younger was The Lady of Shallot with a Lego diorama.

I recently discovered that my junior high daughter is writing her own poems to express her photo collage creations she makes on Polyvore. Her poems are amazing!  When I read them I am utterly stunned with the images and feelings that her words evoke. So, deep down, despite doing poetry informally, poetry struck a special chord in her life.

Our Fine Arts sessions have enriched our relationships.  Somehow, when  we paint or sketch together, or when we lie under the tree talking about a poem, or when we listen to and describe images and feelings that classical music evokes, we share time and experiences that are deep and personal. These are intimate times that make homeschooling special.

My advice to moms who want to “do it right” is to keep it simple and fairly informal.  In my early years of zeal and idealism I came on too hard and my kids almost dreaded the lessons.  I almost lost them to my teacherly-don’t-miss-the-moment approach.  They did my Famous Artist and Famous Composer biography notebook pages, filled in timelines and narrated their observations.  We used my wall charts, but the best lessons were those where we each connected individually and personally to the art.

Now, I am convinced that regular yet informal exposure is better than formal, structured lessons.

Schedule time in your week and just do it!

Don’t worry if you don’t have anything to “show” for your Fine Arts lessons.  It doesn’t have to be recorded or written or filed.  Just talk with your children and listen to their interpretations, encourage their creativity and personal connections.  Look for ways to for them to “make it their own”.

Charlotte Mason’s approach to Fine Arts has been an amazing, rich and rewarding = fabulous Fine Art Fridays!

May you find the approach that works for your family!

Blessings,

Sketch Tuesday Updates

Here are some of our Sketch Tuesday sketches we have done over the past month or so …

Something to clean your teeth:

Clean Teeth 001 Clean Teeth 002

Something from France:

Sketch Tuesday France 001

Zippers:

Zipper 002 Zipper 001

Something Cold:

Something Cold 002 Something Cold 001

Something that begins with C:

Something with C

Some weeks I don’t make the time and sit for 20 minutes or so to take part, but every time I do, I am reminded of the joy of creative time as a busy mom.

Charlotte Mason encourages moms to enjoy the benefits of “Mother Culture” and take part in our children’s nature walks, make time to note, draw and sketch and to appreciate poetry, music and art.  Homeschooling that includes these “extras” is rich and deep and rewarding.  Often it is the soul of our education, fulfilling our deepest needs for beauty and culture.

I encourage moms (and note to myself … smiles) to slow down, put the schedules aside, lay down all those high ideals and expectations and simply take part … draw, paint, sketch, be creative … and be refreshed!

Blessings,

Pastel Landscapes

This week we decided to do a pastel landscape.  Using my old, old art book Painting the Four Seasons by Carl Stricker that I bought at a 2nd bookshop years ago, we selected 2 landscapes.

Miss. T18 and I did this lovely rural farm scene:

Art landscapes Art landscapes1

And Miss.K14 chose the stormy, rainy landscape.Art landscapes2

We all loved using our chalk pastels.  Despite “loosing” colour or details now and then as we worked, and having to layer the colours back over again, we all thoroughly enjoyed our art lesson …

All except Miss.L11 who wanted to paint her landscape and couldn’t mix the ‘right’ colours and disliked her painting … leaving the room upset when she was finished.  I love her painting!

Art landscapes3

I realized that 2 factors are contributing to her unhappiness:

  • She’s finding the reality and accuracy she wants to create versus her artistic ability frustrating which is quite common in children between 9 and 11 years old …
  • I am too involved with everyone else and my own work to help her before her frustration kicks in.
  • Note to self: Select an “easier” topic and a manageable medium and focus on helping and being available to her.

Simple tutorials are so easy to follow.  If you find some on the internet I suggest that you print out nice clear prints and hang them up or prop the images up on an easel nearby to copy.  The final picture is very important, so make a larger colour copy.  Also, most paint tutorials can easily be done with chalk pastels, so select one with broad features rather than a picture with intricate details.

Go ahead and try a pastel landscape!

Blessings,

Albert Bierstadt landscapes in Chalk Pastels

This month’s famous artist in our homeschool is Albert Bierstadt.

I have always loved the misty luminance of his landscapes.

My older daughters both wanted to do art with Miss.L11.  After reading a brief biography, we looked at some examples of his works and sat chatting about his paintings.  Each of us connected with a  different painting, so rather than focus on just one piece for the day, I let each choose a painting.

Using our chalk pastels, we covered the backgrounds, filled in dark area and then worked to add focus and detail.  All the while our Famous Composer ~ Chopin’s music quietly filled the room.

My youngest two chose The Golden Gate.

Miss.K14 said that it reminded her of a scene from The Dawn Treader by CS Lewis.

Art Albert Bierstadt2

My youngest preferred to paint her picture. Art Albert Bierstadt3

She is in a “realism” stage and becomes discouraged when her art doesn’t ‘look right’.  She walked away when her smudgy painting was done.  I gently encouraged her to try some chalk pencil details once her painting was dry.  Amazingly, she found that she could pull out the details, smudge white chalk pencil to create the glow the Bierstadt masters in his work, and she and I were very happy with her painting when it was done.

Miss.T18 and I chose The Giant Redwoods Trees of California.  She and I loved the faded mystical quality of the distant trees.

While you can’t see the difference, Miss.T18′s picture is a ‘small’ A4 page, while the rest of us worked on nice large A3 pages. Art Albert Bierstadt1

Bierstadt’s paintings are very big, so it seemed right to paint ours large too! This is my pastel painting~

Art Albert Bierstadt

Here are all our paintings on our school room gallery door ~

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Blessings,