Travel Art Set

Since I love sketching regularly, I wanted a nice, simple watercolor art travel set.Collages4

Using a Bible Cover, I made inserts to hold my water brushes, pens, pencils and normal brushes, and another to hold my set of watercolor pencils.

I have seen dozens of Altoids tin water sets and homemade sets on Pinterest.  Someone suggested using a cheap cosmetic set.  Here’s a little tutorial of how I used a little eye-shadow set one of my daughters no longer wanted.

Min watercolor set

  1. Clean the cosmetic holder well.
  2. Fill  with 9 watercolors. (I had to select from my set of 12 watercolors.)20150803_203436
  3. Use a toothpick to swirl the paints and fill the corners.
  4. Leave open to dry overnight.
  5. Cut a piece of highly absorbent cloth or sponge to fit in the brush space .20150805_104440
  6. Because the lid has little convex (wish it was concave) spaces (which works well to mix small amounts of paints) I added an extra mixing tray with a piece of plastic lid duct-taped to the box.  An elastic band holds it tucked under when stored.

Brush, pen and pencil holders

  1. I recycled old flexi-plastic cutting boards I had previously used cut to fit into the side fold of the Bible cover.
  2. Trace around the plastic on some black fabric.  Cut 2 for each holder.
  3. Laying the pens, pencils and brushes on the fabric, mark the spacing with a white tailors’ pencil.
  4. To sew the elastic with custom spacing,  measure each pen or brush under the elastic to fit snug before sewing the second side down.  Continue measuring each pen and brush to the end.20150805_104504
  5. To create an elastic net pocket to hold a sharpener, eraser and small sponge cloth, use a piece of netting slightly wider than the fabric width and pleat the bottom.  Cut the top elastic a few centimeters shorter than the fabric width to hold the pocket snug.  Sew the elastic onto the netting.  Sew a few catch stitches to hold the elastic to the seam allowance on each side.
  6. To join the water pencil holder together with the brush and pen holder,  use a narrow strip of velcro.  Sew this along the one side of the each of the backing fabric.20150805_104529
  7. With right sides facing together, sew the 2 fabrics around, leaving the top open to insert the plastic.
  8. Clip the corners.  Turn the fabric right sides out and push all the seams and corners firmly.  Insert the plastic, turn the top raw edges in and top stitch closed.

It works wonderfully!  It makes being spontaneously creative so much better!  Have you got your art set ready on hand?

With blessings,

Summer Art ~ Mondrian

Barb’s Summer Art plans for this week’s Sketch Tuesday covers ~

Mondrian

composition-with-large-red-plane-yellow-black-gray-and-blue-1921.jpg!Blog

His art is so utterly ‘simple’!  Simple black vertical and horizontal lines and red, blue and yellow blocks of color.

Even very young kids can do this!  Here is a very simple YouTube video lesson.

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But if you read the evolution of Mondrian’s art, you’ll understand how his abstraction developed.

Mondrian

The Summer Art focus art piece “Broadway Boogie Woogie” is a very interesting artwork to discuss:

broadway-boogie-woogie-1943.jpg!Blog

  • No black lines
  • Balance of white space
  • Lines of color interspersed with color
  • Does this look like an aerial image of Broadway?
  • Do the little blocks of color remind you of the neon lights of Broadway?

So, maybe because his art is so simple, so easy to copy, it is no wonder that designers use Mondrian’s art style in countless objects, clothes and architecture!

Mondrian1 
Maybe high schoolers could paint some sneakers, or a T-shirt, or design a piece of furniture, or decorate and fire ceramics in Mondrian-style?

Here’s our Mondrian art:

Mondrian 001

Mondrian 002

I encourage you to join you child and do a Mondrian-inspired art work today!

Blessings,

Summer Art ~ Miro

Barb has created Summer Art plans for Sketch Tuesday covering several famous artists.

She explains on Harmony Fine Arts,

“Each week I will be posting a sketch idea based on a great piece of artwork from a famous artist. I will give you a link to look at the painting online, a link to a biography or video, and a simple idea for your family to complete and then send in for the art show.”

We joined this week’s artist ~

Miro

Barb suggested,

Create your own Miro inspired artwork by either copying the painting in this week’s lesson 

figures-and-dog-in-front-of-the-sun-wikiart-669x1024

Figures and dog in front of the sun – Wikiart

or using the Roll a Miro activity in this pin on Pinterest: Roll a Miro


Summer Art Miro 002

We both enjoyed the Roll-a-Miro dice fun!  Our outlines were completely unplanned and spontaneous.  But, when Lara completed coloring her picture, she came to my table quite unimpressed,

“It looks a 3-year-old did this, mom.”Summer Art Miro 001

When I completed my coloring in, I must admit that also felt a disappointment in how it looked.  Well, at least the art process was fun!  And sometimes the end-product is nothing like we expect.

Well, I think sometimes surrealistic, abstract, or modern art is like that.  I remember similar thoughts when I stood looking at original Picasso drawings hanging in a famous art museum!  How childish!  How can this be real art?

“Be silent, you inner critic!”

Join us in these Summer Art Plans!

Blessings,

New Music and Art Timeline

I created a new Music and Art Timeline.  Music & Art Timeline Cover This is a helpful Fine Arts tool, identifying both famous musicians and their music styles, as well as famous artists and their masterpieces displayed in parallel.

How to use the timeline:

  • Print out and bind as is, or add to a Book of Centuries.
  • Cut and paste the pages side-by-side/ under each other as a visual Fine Arts timeline.
  • Add art work thumbnails to a timeline on a wall.
  • Cut the art works and paste them on cards and let children match the artists to the eras.

You will find your free download on my Free Page ~ Art Era Timeline, fresh and newly updated!

Recently Homeschool Freebies of the Day featured my Art Era Timelines to email subscribers.  Subscribers often get links to special freebies that you will not find openly on Internet, so it is worth joining their subscription list!

Blessings,

 

 

Organizing Art Stuff

My kids have enjoyed arts and crafts since they were little, and as they have become teens, our art and craft materials has grown in quantity.

Here are some practical tips of how we organize and store our art stuff conveniently on our little arts and crafts bookshelf.

Practical Tip 1   Everything has its place and a place for everything

Homeschool 20154

Our stationary tray filled with little boxes has worked excellently over the years.  Each little square box stores the different types of pens, crayons, fiber-tipped pens, and colored pencils.

Practical Tip 2  Buy quality art materials & let everyone share

When someone needs, say, the gel pens, they simply take out the box out of the tray and use them at their table.  Once finished, they quickly pop the box back in the tray.  We all share the same pencils and pens.

Very little kids may need their own chubby art crayons and basic paint sets, but as soon as they are able to correctly use the basic stationary, I train them and let them share with the older kids.

Here are some of my most important rules:

  1. Clean your paint brush and tray before it dries.
  2. Pack your things away where it belongs.
  3. Work with a little and add more later, rather than pour too much and waste.
  4. Do NOT drop the pencils!

I like to purchase lovely, big sets of art materials, 24 colors or more, and we all enjoy the full range.  Rather than spending money on each child’s own set, one really large quality set shared by all is just as economical.

Practical Tip 3   Store all the paints, brushes and mixing trays in a “painting box”Art Supplies

When we paint, we take out the painting box and everything is on hand.  Before, I had paints in one box, trays in another and brushes in another, but, with a little re-organization, we fitted everything into a large, shallow box.

I painted the lids of all the acrylic paint bottles so that we can easily find the color we need.

The brushes are all stored bristlesup in the bottle and they dry perfectly.

Practical Tip 4  Plastic suitcases to store craft supplies 1-P1160658-001

We have used these small plastic suitcases to store our craft supplies for years. These suitcases have lasted for over 15 years!  Standing upright on the bottom shelf, we can easily pull out the case we need for our craft activity.

We store craft items in Ziplock bags.  If we purchase or receive craft materials in boxes, I cut the box lid flat, leaving off the sides, and store it inside the Ziplock bag, along with any instruction pamphlet, for slim, space-saving storage.

Each child has their own little suitcase for their own stickers, craft papers, and bits and bobs.  We tie labels on the suitcase handle.

Practical Tip 5  Store paper and cardstock in clear shelving 1-P1160657

We have used these clear, plastic drawers for years, too.  A simple plan makes habit training simple.

Once again, Ziplock bags save us from chaos!  Any paper or card that has a piece cut off must go into a large Ziplock bag in the drawer.  This keeps full paper or card sheets separate from any slightly used sheets.  Kids waste less if they know that they must find some bits or smaller pieces in a Ziplock bag, rather than cut off a small section from a full-page.

With a little training and some gentle reminders, my children have learnt to use, enjoy, clean up & pack away after their art and craft activities and creative endeavors, and our art stuff is ready for the next lesson.

What practical tips do you find works in your home?  Please share with us in the comments.

Blessings,

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 ~ Something Begins with A

Here are our Sketch Tuesday sketches for this week’s theme ~

Sketch “something that begins with A”

Sketch Tuesday A 001 Sketch Tuesday A 002

See you at the slide show!

Blessings,