Archive for the ‘IF Kids’ Category

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

IF Kids Project :: Marbleizing Paper with Shaving Cream

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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.

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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…

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

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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!

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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

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

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

Oil pastel and watercolor fun!

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!


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 11/29/12 under IF Kids,Projects
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IF Kids :: Monoprinting with Beans

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,Projects,Uncategorized

IF Kids Project :: Illustrated Wish List

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,Projects,Uncategorized

Children’s Illustrator :: Melanie Mikecz

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 art for sale,children's art,children's illustrators,IF Kids

IF Kids Project :: Single Sheet of Paper Sketchbooks

Children are wowed by this simple book.  All it takes is one sheet of paper, a pair of scissors and some folding know-how. They are great little journals.  I have all the ones my daughter made.   They are treasured records of her childhood.  Adults also love them. They may be pre-printed as interactive brochures or tucked in one’s pocket for recording grocery lists.

To get started you will need:
one piece of paper  (You choose the size.)

Let’s  create!

1.  Fold the paper in half lengthwise (though children often refer to it as folding “hot dog” style).

*Hint – Once you have aligned the corners, crease the fold moving from the center to the outer edges.  This minimizes the possibility of folding the paper crooked.

2.  Fold the paper in half again, this time horizontally or “hamburger” style.

3.  Now fold one edge toward the center crease.

4.  Flip the paper over and do it again.

5.  Make snips at the outer creases along the center vertical crease.

6.  Open up the paper and cut along the vertical crease from snip point to snip point.

7. Now for the tricky part.  Fold the paper back in half along the vertical crease. Pull on the center shorter creases so that the paper folds outward creating “pages.”

8.  The outer left crease is folded over the others to make the front cover of the book.

9.  Warning – this process is addictive!  You will soon rummage through your paper stash to
make books of all sizes.


Posted by Thomas James on 11/15/12 under Projects
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IF Kids Project :: Circle Collage

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

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,Projects


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