Sketching Daily Delights

We have sketched regularly with Barb’s Sketch Tuesday for years and years and I shared of the advantages of sketching regularly.

But this year I felt led to sketch more than once a week.  

Looking in Pinterest, I found a 30 Day Doodle Challenge,  made my own little sketchbook and started!

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I made no laws or rules … simply try sketch daily and use different media and methods now and then.

My pages are small, A5, and so the sketch should take 30 minutes or so.

I had a blast!

Some days I spent an hour or more totally absorbed.

Some days I just had to do another sketch …

and another …

My creativity levels just blossomed and bloomed.

I discovered the joy of new techniques, using water-soluble color pencils and my water-brush instead of my water paints.

 Sketching daily stimulated me!

I felt alive.

Somehow, I could calmly think, pray, plan and dream as I doodled.

It relaxed me.

This was “Mother Culture” … investing time in daily nurture and creativity.

It was delightful!

I’m off to start my next 30-day sketch challenge, and my youngest daughter has just made her own sketch book to join me.  We are going to have fun!

Will you also join us?

Blessings,

Alisa Burke Art Inspiration

Each month I try to introduce my children to a new contemporary artist for new ideas, new techniques or approaches to art.  (Pop over to my Art Page for all my art posts.)

Although I have recently shared about Jane Davenport and her “Beautiful Faces”, this post is about an artist I discovered last year and who profoundly influenced me …

Alisa Burke is an awesome contemporary artist!  Alisa Burke

She is a prolific artist, creating art and posting her sketchbook pages, her art processes and designs, studio updates, tips, fabulous tutorials and art ideas on her blog almost daily.

Anyone who knows me personally will have noticed the impact of her art, style and fashion in my life. In fact, I literally remodeled my wardrobe according to an “Alisa Burke Look”!  Here’s a page I put together from her Fashion Friday posts ~

Alisa Burke Fashion style

Clothes4I even figured out her style “formula” = Crisp white or black + geometric patterns / polka dots / stripes +  a pop of bold, clear color = I am a serious fan!

Of course, we have done quite a lot of Alisa Burke-inspired art here at home ~

collaboration

She and her hubby and little 3-year-old often do collaborative art, which is really amazing.

 

Kate recently created these painting based on Alisa’s and her hubby’s latest collaboration ~

Kate's art4

Face

And here’s Kate’s art inspired by Alisa’s beautiful portrait above ~

Kate's art3

 

 

Another stunning Alisa-inspired portrait done by Kate ~

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And here’s my doodle page of art inspired by Alisa Burke ~

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Expand your artistic wings and use some contemporary artist inspiration and fly!  It is wonderful to learn and experience art through someone else’s discoveries and creativity!

Blessings,

Reader’s Question ~ Art Appreciation with Boys?

This week I would like to share another interesting reader’s question.
She asks ~
What would you suggest I use as a start to art appreciation for my 6-year-old and 4-year-old sons?   I am not a natural artist and I was never really exposed to art, but I would love to share art with my boys. Are boys even interested in fine arts?
She also asked about purchasing art products, curriculums and art lesson books.
Here are some of my suggestions ~p1130060.jpg (1280×960)
  • It is really not necessary to buy any art formal curriculum at this stage. While packages, books and programs are often a great blessing to moms with little confidence or art experience, it is really not necessary to spend much/any money on your art appreciation lessons.
  • Pop over to my Art Appreciation pages for inspiration for art lessons, activities, links and outlines of famous artworks.
  • For free lessons, I highly recommend Patti’s “All Things Bright and Beautiful” because she prepares a weekly picture, classical music selection and poems with all the Internet links.  Subscribe to her blog and you will receive her emails each week.
  • Read Simply Charlotte Mason post Teaching Art Subject By Subject on how to do your picture study and teaching art expression.
  • Barb at Harmony Fine Art has Fine Art Plans to purchase, but she shares loads of free artist study ideas and lessons!
  • Jimmie of Jimmie’s Collage shares her free Charlotte Mason Artist Study lessons, ideas and links.
  • Use what you have or borrow books from the library and select an interesting artist and look at his work for a brief lesson once a week.
  • Don’t worry about being able to paint or do art either.  Simply enjoy the art activity with your kids. We LOVE doing Sketch Tuesday each week!
  • Find stuff that is fun and non-threatening for your kids and do it along with them!
  • There are tons of YouTube videos and blog with ideas and tutorials, but, again, keep things loose and informal and encourage participation without stressing about “doing it right”.
  • ALL children can enjoy art appreciation.  Some artists, topics or techniques lend themselves more to boys, while others, girls may find more interesting.  Select interesting art – especially the subject matter.  Vary the type of media or art studied.  It may be typical to assume that boys may enjoy the physical, messy art lessons, while girls may prefer “pretty” art.  I have found that everyone forms a personal reaction and response to art.  It is a subjective experience.  That is what makes it so special.
  • Art appreciation doesn’t mean that you or your kids have to “like” every art piece!  My youngest daughter hated  most of Picasso’s art!  But, she can recognize his works!  Ironically, her Guitar Collage art appreciation activity was chosen from an international search for a child’s art work for a poster!
Lastly, please may I encourage you not to KILL art and music appreciation!   I ruined my eldest daughters simple joy for art & music appreciation and nature study by trying to make every encounter a formal lesson with a notebook page, narration or activity to show how much she had learnt.  I came on too strong and too ‘teachy’.   have learnt my lesson!  Keep it really informal and relaxed.  If your child shows any real interest, then by all means, take your time to research, read references and look for other examples.  Even a very informal quick lesson has rich and lasting impacts on our children.
What other suggestions would you give this reader?  Please share in the comments below.
Blessings,
 

Beautiful Face Tutorial Inspiration

For our general weekly art lessons, I love to discover a new contemporary artist each month.

Studying their art, techniques, mediums and their personal artistic approaches inspires us to create too!

This week we looked at Jane Davenport and her “Beautiful Faces”

We watched her video tutorial and came away utterly inspired!

Jane Davenport video

Jane uses a face stencil to create an outline and then created a double-spread art journal page using a picture collage that she incorporated into her lady’s hair.  She uses her own range of art markers and paint pens.    She demonstrates and explains several techniques which include pencils, paints, overlaying pencil, face proportions, making an eye “sparkle” and her journaling experiences.  She made it seem to easy and creative!

Here are our “Beautiful Faces”

Beautiful faces

Kate created her collage background with stuff from her stash of pressed flowers, pictures and a handwritten poem that she tore into bits. She was completely focused and motivated!

kate's Beautiful Face

Kate’s “Beautiful Face”

Lara started with a burnt paper and created a lady with flaming hair

Lara started her collage with a burnt paper and created a lady with flaming hair.  She really enjoyed creating all the flowing bright colors and layers in the hair.  Then she wrote out 2 poems that she felt expressed something of her painting.  A few splatters of paint and she was happy!

Lara's Beautiful Face

Lara’s “Beautiful Face”

I found a soap advert that inspired me.  I loved the purple color and the rose in her hair.  I layered old sewing pattern paper on my background.  I realized that the pattern paper spoke of my constant "measuring up" and trying too hard ... and it seemed perfectly natural to surrender to the Lord and find peace ...

I found a magazine picture that inspired me. I loved the purple color and the rose in the sleeping lady’s hair. I layered old sewing pattern paper on my background. I realized that the pattern paper spoke of my constant “measuring up” and trying too hard … and it seemed perfectly natural to surrender to the Lord and find peace …  wonderful how art speaks to our souls … I wrote in a scripture that come to mind and finished my painting with some lace.

Nad's "Beautiful Face"

Nad’s “Beautiful Face”

Despite living on an extremely remote farm, high up in the mountains, we are so grateful for our WiFi and our Internet connection to the world’s great artists and creative inspiration!

Why don’t you give this tutorial a try?

Blessings,

Sketch Tuesday ~ Kitchen Drawer

Sketch Tuesday is back!

This week’s theme is ~ Sketch something from your kitchen drawer.

Because we recently had such fun with wet-on-wet water paints, I suggested we experiment with water-color & salt on our paper to create an interesting background.  We taped our page on our boards, used big sponges to wet the entire page and then painted colors which we merged and blended together.

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For fun, I suggested that we sprinkle some salt here and there and create interesting patterns and texture.  (Salt placed on wet water paints “draws” some of the color onto the grain, creating tiny areas of intense color and areas of white around it.)

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Then I showed the girls some examples of contour drawing on Pinterest.  Contour drawing is basically drawing a continuous line without lifting your pencil and following the shapes and lines of the object without looking at your paper.  Scary for some, but I wanted the art to look loose and free.

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Next, we painted the object.  Loose and free, with a little blending, drying and adding details.

Finally we outlined with black pen, adding details and shading.  (I must add that I had my “artistic crisis” when I realized that my contour drawing was completely wonky and my corkscrew was very skew!  I chatted to the girls to discuss how I could “fix” it.  We came up with some ideas, but in the end the only thing that felt “right” for me was to chop up my painting so that it clearly didn’t align perfectly.  I’m okay with my final art piece!)

Sketch Tuesday is the perfect place to try different techniques, art mediums or even copy the style of other artists.

See you at the slide show!

Blessings,

Try wet-on-wet waterpaints!

For this week’s Fine Arts Friday art lesson, I used a simple wet-on-wet waterpaint tutorial I found on YouTube.

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Miss.K14

The artist’s wet-on-wet painting technique really inspired me because he demonstrated several “new” things I hadn’t ever tried with water paints, such as ~

  • If your paper is wet, the added wet paint flows out and spreads beautifully.  You can paint large areas this way without the dried ‘edges’ showing.
  • Wet paint of different colors can be blended together seamlessly on the paper.
  • Wet paint can be ‘lifted‘ off the paper with a clean wet brush if it is too dark or the wrong color effect.
  • Once dried (he uses a hairdryer) you can paint new water and/ or new paint over the dried paints and paint over them again and again, laying down new layers of color. This helps sharpen and deepen your painting.  You can keep re-painting, drying and then adding more detail and colors.  This is especially good when doing shadows or creating depth.
  • When you want to add deep color and fine details, you can paint denser paint on dry paper or dry paint.

We set up our own little rusty cup with a (struggling little) fern and painted our own rusty cups using these new wet-on-wet paint techniques.

We used ~

  1. 300gsm water-color paper
  2. water paints (We used water paints in tubes which have the ‘proper’ color names used by professional artists.  May I suggest that it is worth investing in quality products for art and train your children to work with them correctly and carefully.  We always share our art materials and they have lasted for years!)
  3. Quality paint brushes.  (Again, see #2 and invest in good brushes!)
  4. Boards and masking tape.  Tape your paper to the board to keep your sheet of paper flat.
  5. Hair dryer.  (Use a low air speed so that you don’t blow your wet paint around on your painting.)
  6. Jars of clean water and clean cloths or tissues to clean off brushes and spills.

As a mom, the tutorial gave me the confidence to try my hand at the new wet-on-wet painting techniques while ‘helping’ and encouraging my kids with their discoveries.  We all thoroughly enjoyed our art lesson!

Art rusty cup

Miss.L12 (She used a sponge with water to wet the large background areas)

Art rusty cup1

My rusty cup

You can find the “Watercolor demo painting a rusty jug” tutorials here on YouTube ~

Give this lesson a try!

Blessings,

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,