Introducing HelloArtsy

Recently I discovered an artist John and his website, HelloArtsy.

John is a drawing and painting instructor and his website is full of wonderful tutorials, videos, art “how-to’s” and lessons.

I checked out his step-by-step 2-Point Perspective tutorial and his simple guidelines and clear images seemed so “do-able” that he convinced me to try my hand at some 2-point perspective sketches!

The image below looks complicated, right?  But if you sit with pencil and ruler and a scrap of paper and work along with him step-by-step, you will arrive at quite amazing results!

Two Point perspective Drawing: How To Guide - Step 16

I encourage you to bookmark this website and work through some of John’s art tips and tutorials during your Fine Arts sessions with your children in this new year.

Blessings, Nadene

Creative Crafts ~ Morse Code Bracelets

Nadene creates2I found this really cute idea on HonestlyWTF.  Erika uses embroidery floss and sliding beads to expand and fit her bracelets.  She explains in an excellent tutorial ~

“You’ll pick 4 colors for each bracelet. A base color, a color for the dots, a color for the dashes and a color separating the dots and dashes.”

Morse code braclets

image from HonestlyWTF

But after experimenting, I found the embroidery floss difficult to thread through my smallest seed beads.  I also struggled to find the right bead for both ends to slide through snug enough to “fit” the bracelet, and so I decided to simply use basic beading elastic.

Using this online Morse Code Translator and a Morse Code Translator app on my smart phone, I wrote out the codes for some messages I wanted to create in some gift bracelets.

Morse code words

Most my gift bracelets had 3 short words or one simple word.  I used the person’s favorite color for base color.   I attached the gift bracelets to some cardstock and wrote out the message with its Morse Code.  Most folk simply loved the bracelets, but they were really touched by the message when I explained how it worked.

It is a lovely way for your kids to learn and practice Morse Code.  Have fun creating!

Blessings

 

Creative Crafts ~ Bleach Painting

 Cheap, instant, magical … bleach painting adds a stunning creative touch to clothes!Kate's art2 Nadene Oct

Some bleach painting tips:

  • Always test on a scrap of similar fabric or on a part of the garment where the bleach effect can be tested but not seen (like inside a seam or on a hem).  Most dyes leave a trace color after the bleach has worked.  Some fabrics are extremely color-fast and do not bleach out.
  • Work on a plastic sheet and newsprint.  I bleached my skirt over a covered ironing board.  Place a plastic sheet or plastic packet inside a shirt so that the bleach doesn’t bleed through to the other side.
  • You can use basic domestic liquid bleach and a waterpaint paint brush.  You can also use water brushes and even simple ear buds/ Q-tips!
  • You can paint bleach on to stamps and press the stamp onto the fabric.
  • Plan your design on your garment with a chalk pencil or fading fabric markers.
  • I found great simple designs on Pinterest.
  • Stencil designs work well too!
  • Note – the bleach is invisible at first, but within a moment or two begins to fade the fabric.  If you paint over a bleached area after it has dried it may go even lighter!  I loved the magical appearance of the design a few seconds later!
  • Caution – some fabrics become fragile under bleach.  Hand wash carefully.
  • Caution 2 – wear protective clothing when working with bleach.
  • This is an excellent activity for middle-school children and teens.  Ask them to bring an old colored T-shirt to class and provide small cups of bleach and Q-tips for them to paint and design patterns and images on their shirts.
  • You can spray bleach with a fine misting bottle over a stencil or design pasted onto the material.  Some folks use freezer paper.  Lettering or a simple cut out design works well.

Bleach painting is addictive!  You may find good reasons or no reasons at all to bleach paint a huge number of your clothes!  Stop before your wardrobe looks like it fell into a bleach fountain!

Have some creative fun this festive season!

Blessings

Creative Crafts ~ French Patio Ideas

I recently created some wonderful crafty decor for our patio in French Provence style.

Bunting always creates a festive atmosphere!

Using unbleached calico I made some French Style Bunting with fabric painted details ~ use the free stencil download below for ideas).  Baste the triangle pieces edge-to-edge on wide ribbon and then fold the ribbon over and serpentine stitch the ribbon to cover the top of the bunting.  (Remember to add at least 1m of ribbon to either end of your bunting to use to knot over poles or around trees.)

French patio1

My daughter and I created a Printed Table Runner.  Pop over to my Project Page for the tutorial.

French patio

I painted some patio cushion covers for my bench and wicker chairs.

French patio2

Lastly I hung a few lanterns on blue ribbon over the table for some ambient light and intimacy.

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A week of creative fun transformed my patio into a festive French-styled outdoor area.

For some French Provence stencil ideas here is a free download ~ Provence patio stencil ideas

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.

Art rusty cup2

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,

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,

New chalk pastels!

Last week we did our first chalk pastel tutorial

and I realized our pastel set was under-stocked and inadequate.

So I splurged on 2 sets –

a 24 set of chalk pastels

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& my waited-so-long-on-my-wish-list set of pastel pencils!

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When I put both sets out

and opened a new Hodgepodge chalk tutorial ~

Wind in the Tree

EVERYONE joined!

My older girls seldom do art with us,

but the new array of beautiful colors drew them closer …

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and we all enjoyed a relaxing time with our pastels.

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(The pastel drawings done from top to bottom by 10-year-old, 13-year-old, 18-year-old and me.)  

Several of us did a 2nd pastel picture not shown here.

Thanks Tricia for making our first lessons so easy!

Here are some pros and cons of chalk pastels ~

Pros ~

  • bright colors
  • covers a large area with very little effort or work
  • layers of colors can cover up ‘mistakes’ or smudges
  • limited colors layered on each other produces new shades and tones
  • blending with finger or paper nub makes beautiful shading
  • quick lessons because you can’t ‘work it too much’

Cons ~

  • smudges easily
  • lack of fine detail frustrate some kids
  • can become messy if not careful
  • chalk pieces break very easily
  • some popular colors are often finished before most the other colors

Even if you only have a small set, or limited time, go ahead and try a chalk tutorial!

Blessings,