Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

Watercolor painting with Salt

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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 susan on 02/04/13 under children's art,IF Kids,Projects,Uncategorized
6 Comments

IF Kids Project :: Rubber Stamp Pointillism

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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,Projects
7 Comments

IF Kids Project :: Collagraphy with File Folders

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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.

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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
2 Comments

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
9 Comments

Stippling with a Pencil Eraser

 

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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.

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**** 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
4 Comments

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
water

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
6 Comments

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
20 Comments

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
8 Comments

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
8 Comments

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.)
scissors

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
3 Comments

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