Archive for the ‘IF Kids’ Category

Watercolor painting with Salt


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.


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


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 susan on 02/04/13 under children's art,IF Kids,Projects,Uncategorized
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Children’s Illustrator :: Mikela Prevost

Children's Illustrator :: Mikela Prevost

Children's Illustrator :: Mikela Prevost

Children's Illustrator :: Mikela Prevost

Mikela Prevost is an illustrator that gravitates toward that most interesting subject of all. Us. People. Be careful what you do in front of her, because she is discretely sketching it in her sketchbook where you will later find it translated into her latest illustration.

Mikela received her B.A. in Painting and Drawing from the University of Redlands and later went on to receive her M.F.A. in Illustration from Cal State Fullerton. While working on her degree, Mikela found the time to get married, and together they are raising their three very curious kids.

Find more of Prevost’s work on her website.

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


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.


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



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!
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.


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.


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,Projects
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Children’s Illustrator :: Constanze von Kitzing

Children's Illustrator :: Constanze von Kitzing << Illustration Friday Children's Illustrator :: Constanze von Kitzing << Illustration Friday Children's Illustrator :: Constanze von Kitzing << Illustration Friday Children's Illustrator :: Constanze von Kitzing << Illustration Friday

Constanze is an award-winning, German illustrator and author. She has a wide variety of clients in the illustration industry including publishing houses, magazines, newspapers and design companies.

I love her sweet scenes, bright colors and attention to detail!

View more of Constanze von Kitzing’s work on her website. (She has great editorial work there too.) And view more kids work on her Children’s Illustrators Portfolio.

Posted by Thomas James on 01/09/13 under children's art,children's illustrators
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IF Kids Project :: Collagraphy with File Folders


if kids collagraphy2

Collagraphy is a printmaking process.  There are a variety of ways to do it, but I love using the simple material of an old file folder for the print plate.  The image is from a art class I taught this summer and was made by a 9 year old. The results can be spectacular.

To get started you will need:
–   an old file folder
–   liquid glue (such as Elmer’s)
–   scissors
–   water-soluble printing ink
–   printing brayer
–   old plastic tray
–   paper for printing (Black construction paper was used in the example.)
–   paper for sketching
–   pencil
–   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.  Sketch out your idea.
Sketch out your idea on a sheet of paper the size of your file folder.  Do you want to create a clown? A landscape?  The trick to a great collagraph is to make the image with plenty of negative space.  To make this clown, each distinct feature of the face and costume were drawn, but not the base of the head.  There is space between the lips and the bow tie, the nose and the lips etc.  The second trick is to make your image big, bold and simplistic.  A tiny clown face with lots of details just won’t print as well.

3.  Make your printing plate.
Cut the file folder in half along the fold line.  Use one side as print base and the other to cut out your shapes.  Draw your shapes, cut them out and arrange them on the print base.  Once you have an image you like, glue the pieces into place. Make sure you get the edges of each piece!  You don’t want any to curl up when the glue has dried.  Allow the glue to thoroughly dry before proceeding.

4.   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.

5.   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.

6.   Make the print.
Center your paper over the printing plate and press into place.  Run your hands across the surface of the paper adding pressure.  If you have another brayer you can roll it over the surface or use the back of an old wooden spoon. Once you’ve pressed the paper all across the printing plate, peel it back to see your print.

if kids collagraphy

7.  Make several prints.
Use a paper towel to wipe off any globs of ink that remains on your print plate. You will be able to make 4-5 prints before the plate is worn out.  Let your prints dry and arrange them in a collage like this example or use them to make cards, posters or covers for your journal.

8.   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.


This project is suitable for ages 5 – 99.

Posted by Thomas James on 01/04/13 under Projects
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Children’s Illustrator :: Renata Liwska

Artist :: Renata Liwska << Illustration Friday

Artist :: Renata Liwska << Illustration Friday

Artist :: Renata Liwska << Illustration Friday

Artist :: Renata Liwska << Illustration Friday

The children’s artwork by Renata Liwska is as sweet as sugar. Her children’s books include The Quiet Book, The Loud Book!, and Little Panda.

See more of her lovely work on her website.

Posted by Thomas James on 01/02/13 under children's art,children's illustrators
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IF Kids Project :: Marbleizing Paper with Shaving Cream

photo 25

Marbleizing paper is a wonderful spontaneous combustion of paint, fluffy foamy cream and printmaking. It’s easy and all ages will enjoy the process. The results are astounding. The paper can be used for so many things: cards, gift tags, artwork, book arts, collage, backgrounds to ink drawings – the possibilities are endless! Here’s all you need to get started:

- Foamy shaving cream
- Liquid acrylics or watered down liquid acrylics
- Paintbrushes
- Cardboard
- Tray or pan to hold the shaving cream
- Hair pick or pencil for swirling paint
- Cardstock to print on

Let’s get started!

Step 1: fill a tray with shaving cream. Smooth it out with the cardboard. Apply your paints with a soft brush in the fashion you desire. There is no wrong way to do this! Drip or drop, make rainbows, or shapes.

photo 27

Step 2: Place your cardstock face down on the paint and smooth the back of the paper with your hands to make the paint stick to the paper. Don’t worry about the shaving cream! It comes off next…

photo 28

Step 3: Pull off your print and wait for a full minute. It’s hard to wait … I know!

photo 29

Step 4: Take a small piece of cardboard or credit card or squeegee if you have one and “shave off” the cream from the paper. Prepare to be amazed!

photo 33

Enjoy the fun results!

If you would like to post your photos of your scribbles, we would love to see them! Head over to the IF Kids Facebook page or the Art Labs Kids Facebook page to share them!

:: 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 susan on 12/18/12 under children's art,Projects
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Stippling with a Pencil Eraser


IF Kids stippling with an eraser

Everyone knows that you can use a pencil to draw a picture, but did you know that you can use your eraser for more than erasing?  Eraser tips make great rubber stamps.  Their small round circles are perfect for stippling.  Stippling is a pattern of dots which are concentrated to varying degrees in order to create value or a sense of light and dark.

You will need:
a pencil with an unused eraser tip
rubber stamp ink pad
drawing paper

Let’s create!

1.  Practice.   Draw 4 squares on your paper.  Make the first square look dark by stamping lots of dots.  In the next square, don’t add as many dots.  Spread them out a bit.  Your experiment should look lighter than the previous square.  Repeat this procedure in the last two squares, making each square lighter than the previous one.


**** Hint:  You will get a nice circular stamp by pressing straight up and down.  If you go too fast, you are likely to stamp from an angle with the result of an oval or half moon shape.****

2.  Create an image.  Draw your image lightly with your pencil.  Now add a sense of volume to your drawing by using your eraser stamp to stipple.

Let us see the art you’ve made using this technique! Post your photos on the IF Kids Facebook page .

Posted by Thomas James on 12/14/12 under Projects
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IF Kids Project :: Watercolor Pencils & a Cookie Cutter

Have you ever worked with watercolor pencils?  They combine the ease of drawing with a pencil combined with the fun of working with a brush.   Here is a simple experiment to get you started.

You will need:
watercolor pencils
watercolor paper
cookie cutter in a simple shape
watercolor brush with a round tip
water jar

Let’s create!

1.   Trace around your cookie cutter with a watercolor pencil. 

2.   Paint over your lines.  Dip your paintbrush into the water and trace over your lines.  See the line begin to dissolve into paint!  As you work, you can pull the color into the shape or outward.

3.   Allow your tracings to overlap each other.  By overlapping your shapes, you will be able to see colors blend as well as create depth within your work.  If your get too much water on your paper, blot up the excess with a paper towel. Allow your work to dry before moving it.

Let us see the art you’ve made using this technique! Post your photos on the IF Kids Facebook page .

Posted by Thomas James on 12/04/12 under Projects
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