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Archive for the ‘IF Kids’ Category

Watercolor painting with Salt

Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at thomasjamesillustration.com.
Thomas James

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Want to make beautiful stars in your night sky painting or add a special sparkle to your painting of a dress?  It is so easy with these three materials:

– Water
– Watercolor paints
– Table salt

First make a painting of your choice – using deep dark colors for night skies or vivid colors for other subject matter. This process works for any sort of painting, even abstract.

While the painting is still very wet, add a sprinkle or pinch of salt to the wet paint.

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Let the painting dry throughly. Then rub off the salt with your fingers!

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The background of this collage is an example of a watercolor/salt painting. The salt pushes the pigment away from the paper and adds a beautiful visual texture. Now go try your own!

Posted by Thomas James on 02/04/13 under children's art,IF Kids
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IF Kids :: Thinking Outside the Crayon Box

Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at thomasjamesillustration.com.
Thomas James

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carved crayons by peter goldlust

Don’t you love opening a fresh box of crayons! Oh, the many possibilities! For Peter Goldlust they are the base material for his miniature sculptures, each one meticulously hand-carved into abstract forms.

Christian Faur casts his own “pixels of wax” to create the necessary palette for his hauntingly beautiful pointillist images, such as “Mortgage on the Future.” The dashes of color are coded to an alphabet and if you know the key, the image may be read.

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Posted by Thomas James on 01/31/13 under IF Kids
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IF Kids Project :: Rubber Stamp Pointillism

Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at thomasjamesillustration.com.
Thomas James

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Pointillism is a way of creating an image by building up dots of color.  George Seurat is perhaps the most famous of painters to use this technique.  Rather than use oil paint, I like to teach the concept with rubber stamp pads in assorted colors and some brand new pencils.  The eraser tips make beautiful dots and little fingers stay clean!

To get started you will need:
–   rubber stamp pads (Many companies are making them with three colors to a pad.)
–   brand new pencils, one for each color to be used
–   a sharpened pencil for sketching
–   white paper (Computer paper is fine.)

Let’s create!
1.   
Sketch out your idea.
With a sharpened pencil, sketch out your idea.  Do you want to make a picture of your house or your garden?  You decide.  Draw lightly.  You don’t want your pencil marks to be obvious in your finished illustration.

2.  Fill in you first layer of colors.
Press your eraser into the stamp pad and make a mark on your paper.  To achieve a clear, perfect dot press firmly while holding the pencil perpendicular to the paper.  If you hold the pencil at an angle  you are likely to make a half moon shape.  You will notice that you will need to reink your eraser often if you want darker dots.  If you want lighter dots, keep stamping until the ink runs out before reinking your eraser.

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3.  Add your second and third layers of color.
Your image may be too faint, so you need to add another layer.  Experiment.  What happens when you add dark blue dots on top of green dots?  Keep adding dots and switching colors until you achieve an image you like.  Remember to not mix your colors!  Use a separate pencil eraser for each color.  Allow your image to dry.

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Show us what you created!   We would love to see them!  Head over to the IF Kids Facebook page or my Facebook page to share them!

Posted by Thomas James on 01/22/13 under IF Kids
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Oil pastel and watercolor fun!

Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at thomasjamesillustration.com.
Thomas James

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Hello all you budding artists! Here’s a mixed media project that is fun for all ages! All you need to get started is:

1. Oil pastels (crayons can work well too!)
2. Watercolor paint, brushes and water
3. Heavyweight paper (card stock, watercolor, oaktag, etc)

First draw your subject matter on the paper with the oil pastels. If you are using crayons, press hard! Take your time drawing and think about leaving some of the white paper showing. There is no limit to subject matter used for this lesson. Abstract scribbles are just as interesting as complex drawings sometimes! White oil pastel or white crayon will show up white when painted over – with lovely effects.

When you are happy with your drawing begin painting over the whole paper with one or many colors of the watercolor paint. Make sure your brush is very wet. The oil from the pastels or wax from the crayons resist the watercolor paint and fill in the background beautifully.

Try using black or deep blue or purple for a dramatic or night time effect. You can cut these up into interesting collage pieces too!

When you’re done, we want to see it!! Post your photos of your paintings on the IF Kids Facebook page and the Art Labs Kids Facebook page to share them!

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This post is brought you by Illustration Friday Contributor Susan Schwake. Susan is co-owner and curator of Artstream LLC and though the gallery runs an independent art school serving people of all ages and abilities. She is also the author of Art Lab for Kids: 52 projects in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Paper and Mixed Media by Quarry Books.

Posted by Thomas James on 11/29/12 under IF Kids
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IF Kids :: Monoprinting with Beans

Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at thomasjamesillustration.com.
Thomas James

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I love to cook, so my art is often inspired by what I find in the kitchen.  Monoprinting is a fun process with a bit of serendipity.  You think you know what the results will be, but there is always an element of surprise.  I used dried beans (kidney beans to be exact) to create this texture study, but dried pasta also works well.  Linguine makes lovely broken straight lines!

To get started you will need:
–   dried beans
–   cardboard (I used an old box.)
–   liquid glue (such as Elmer’s)
–   scissors
–   water-soluble printing ink (2-3)
–   printing brayer (2-3, or be prepared to wash and dry)
–   old plastic tray (2-3)
–   paper for printing
–   paper (brown paper, newspaper) to cover work table
–   apron

Let’s create!

1.   Prepare your work surface.
Cover your table with newspaper or brown paper to protect it.  This process is slightly messy, so it’s always better to err on the side of caution.  Don’t forget to put on your apron!

2.  Make your printing plate.
Cut out a piece of cardboard from an old box.  The size will be determined by the size of your printing paper.  Arrange your beans on the plate in a pattern of your choice.  Glue them into place.
3.   Ink your tray.
Squeeze a small amount of ink onto the center of the plastic tray.  Smooth out the ink with a brayer.  Don’t have too much fun squishing it around!  The ink dries quickly.
4.   Ink your printing plate.
Roll the ink across the surface of your printing plate.  Move your brayer in different directions to get the best coverage possible.
5.   Make your first print.
Center your paper over the printing plate and press into place.  Run your hands across the surface of the paper adding light pressure.  Once you’ve pressed the paper all across the printing plate, peel it back to see your first print.
6.   Make your second print.
Roll the second color across the surface of the plate while the ink on the plate is still wet.  This will allow the colors to mix slightly when you make the second print.  Remember to use a clean tray and brayer or the colors will mix too much.

Stick to an analogous color scheme unless you want to see how brown is made, then use a complementary color scheme such as red / green, blue / orange or purple / yellow.
If you don’t want any mixing to occur, wipe off the ink from the first print and allow the plate and print to dry before proceeding to make the second print.
  
7.   Clean up.
Place your art aside to dry.  Use warm, sudsy water to wash your tray and brayer.  Allow to air dry.  Recycle the newsprint.

Use your print as the base for a mixed media artwork or use it in a collage.  This project is suitable for ages 5 on up, though only adults should cut the cardboard base from a box.

Posted by Thomas James on 11/26/12 under IF Kids
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IF Kids Project :: Illustrated Wish List

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Here’s a fun project for Black Friday, birthdays, and holidays; try drawing your wishlist instead of writing it. Kids get to meditate on the things they really want. If it’s not worth drawing, it’s probably not worth having after all. Parents get a peek at what their children are craving. And Santa -ahem- gets a collectible hand-drawn record of it all.

All you have to do is scour the internet for pictures of things you might want. Draw those objects the best you can. Make notes about sizes, colors, styles, and details. Fit it all on one page if possible. Make a copy for grandma. Send the original to the North Pole?

Posted by Rama on 11/23/12 under IF Kids
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Children’s Illustrator :: Melanie Mikecz

Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at thomasjamesillustration.com.
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I’ve talked about Melanie Mikecz’s abstract artworks before, but little did I know that she has work for sale on Oopsy Daisy. According to their site: Melanie Mikecz specializes in a charming, mixed-media style. Originally from Wisconsin, she earned a BFA from the Washington University School of Art in St. Louis. Melanie has worked as an illustrator and designer in Boston, London, and San Francisco, absorbing cultural and artistic influences from each of these places. Although her main artistic endeavor is illustration, she also enjoys painting in her spare time, which pushes her talent to new areas of exploration.

See more: Oopsy Daisy

Posted by Thomas James on 11/19/12 under children's art,IF Kids
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IF Kids Project :: Circle Collage

Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at thomasjamesillustration.com.
Thomas James

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In this project, color and shape take center stage.  Use construction paper or mix it up with old photos, newsprint and pages torn from magazines.

To get started you will need:
construction paper – an assortment of colors
paper punch – I used a 1″ and a 2″ circle punch, but you could have just as much fun with a square one.
glue stick
scissors

Let’s create!

1.  Punch circles.  Turn on your favorite music and have fun punching!  Begin at the bottom and work your way around all four edges of the paper.  Trim off the paper’s punched edges and start again.  Continue working in this fashion until you have a desirable assortment.

2.  Arrange your composition.  Layer the circles on top of each other, line them up, or overlap like scales of a snake. You may be as elaborate as you wish.

3.  Glue down your composition.  Once you’ve settled on an arrangement, glue the circles in place using a glue stick.

Posted by Thomas James on 11/06/12 under IF Kids
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IF Kids Project :: Crayon Scratchboard

Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at thomasjamesillustration.com.
Thomas James

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Scratchboards are fun to use and easy to make.  This is a basic version using nothing more than a box of crayons, paper and a pencil.  What’s better, if you make a mistake in your drawing, you can “erase” it!

To get started you will need:
crayons
plain white paper
dull pencil
newsprint or brown paper to protect work surface

Let’s create!

1. Protect your work surface.
If you don’t have a designated art table, protect your surface with some newsprint or brown paper.  You could also use a smooth placemat with a hard surface that can be easily cleaned when crayon marks go astray.

2. Make stripes of color.
Use your crayons to cover the paper with colorful stripes. Choose a color palette.  You could create a rainbow of stripes or work with just warm (yellow, orange, red) colors for high contrast.  You are the artist, you decide.  You will want to press hard and cover all the white spaces.

3. Cover the entire surface with black crayon.
Pressing hard with your black crayon, cover the entire surface of your paper so the colors are barely if at all visible.  Your crayon may break from the pressure, that’s okay, keep going.  If you are doing a large piece , you may run out of black, so mix it up with some navy blue.

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 4. Doodle, draw, illustrate!
Your scratchboard is ready for your ideas.  Use a dull pencil to scratch the surface and reveal the lovely colors below the black.  If you make a mistake, cover it up with more black crayon.

Once finished, frame your creation, add it to the growing collection on the fridge or paste it into your journal as an illustration to your latest poem.

* * * This post is by IF Kids Contributor Lindsay Obermeyer. Lindsay is an artist, designer and author with a passion for textiles, color and chocolate. She views her role as artist to be synonymous with that of an educator and as such has always included teaching as part of her art practice. She’s never sure who learns more, her or her students.  

Posted by Thomas James on 10/17/12 under IF Kids
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IF Kids Project :: Six Word Memoir

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Hey kids! You are invited to contribute to Smith Magazine’s 6 Word Memoir Project. The magazine has invited students from grade school to grad school to describe their lives in six words and to illustrate those mini-memoirs. A selection of the illustrations will be included in a forthcoming ebook published by TED Books! CLICK HERE for all the details.

Posted by Rama on 10/16/12 under IF Kids
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