This week will mark the 2 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of my studio opening it’s doors on a mission to nurture the oddball creative genius that lurks inside so many of us. From picnics under tables, to arty boot camp, from inventing new ways to use watercolours, to developing whole new worlds inside our minds, the mini-artists who have graced the studio with their imaginations so far have made my world shine!
Each mini-artist has a unique way of looking at life and art. I’ve watched so many mini-artists developing their own style over the last couple of years, taking the skills they learn in class and creating masterpieces that rival anything they have ever created before.
This term we will be concentrating on our relationships with others and our own selves. We will be exploring how to hold our own whilst still being a valuable collaborator on team project. Our team work project will involve all students, across every class, contributing their own little piece of individuality to a tiny clay world, a world where their quirkiness will be celebrated and their personal style loved as an important part of something bigger – a mash up of styles from all skill levels, and many different pools of imagination.
I’m trying my best to imagine what this world will look like… but your mini-artists surprise me so often I can’t even begin to guess what they will create.
Amongst all of this we will be playing with clay, acrylics, watercolours, pencils, paper and Christmas ideas. I’ll introduce the mini-artists to the odd artform of quilling, and experiment with many of the same media that mini-artists are already becoming familiar with in the studio.
So here’s to a whole new term of unicorns, making friends with monsters, working together and sending the occasional child home blue (or rainbow coloured, or painted like a lizard), here’s to opening the studio to new ideas, and turning every task into an opportunity to think outside the box or paint outside the lines.
I can’t wait!
This week in the studio we’ve had sketching art classes, Pop Art with homeschoolers, surrealism landscape painting, and our Wednesday Expression Session was all about painting on materials other than paper. We gave the students wood, bark, sticks, clay – an array of non paper materials, and the most popular material they found to paint on?? Themselves! Hair, hands and noses were a favourite. Check out Zale below, with his lizard skin hand!!
The Wednesday Expression Sessions have really turned into an inspiration finding journey for many of our students, and some of the creations that have come out of it have been amazing!! We are loving seeing how our mini-artists are able to interpret the techniques we show them and turn them into creations that speak volumes about who they are.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date with what’s happening in the studio on a regular basis. Competitions, monthly specials and links to blogs and competition will all happen in the newsletter.
Also if you have any of your own mini-artist work to share find us on facebook to be a part of the our art challenges and get tips to help your mini-artist in their creations.
Happy creating, beautiful souls.
I couldn’t find any videos that related to using scale in one point perspective, so stay tuned. I’ll create one!
For now, these are a few simple to follow videos and how-to art lessons:
This youtube video is a simple, non technical version of one point perspective. It shows an interior being drawn in one point perspective on a computer in less that 2 minutes, but the steps and concepts are exactly the same as if you were drawing it with pencil and ruler. You may need to pause the video to keep up!
A slightly longer (15 minute) video, which is a little more technical and shows the artist using his pencil (but still no ruler!) This is a great video to understand how perspective affects the visual size of buildings in a drawing.
This one is a written tutorial for those who don’t want to watch a video – this tutorial is quite in depth, although very easy to read and understand. I like this one because he uses a ruler. Hooray!
This one could be my favourite! This tutorial transfers all the knowledge into an really easy version of perspective that you can teach to 7-13 year olds.
I’m in the process of creating some videos that include scale in perspective with lots more ruler work.
If there are any questions or if there’s anything you’d like me to cover in my perspective video please feel free to email me.
I’ve been researching art competitions for my students, and came across this one – the Picasso Art Contest.
Entry is FREE to any 6 – 19 year olds from any country. Entry is open until 25th February 2016.
They accept nearly any kind of medium (except digital art) including
- Water Color
- Oil Color
- Colored Pencils
- Pen & Ink
- Ball Point Pen
- Mixed Media etc
Any subject, any size is acceptable (except adult themed works, or copyrighted material)
The BEST PART is you can enter online. These are the entry details:
Step ONE: Take a clear digital photo of your mini-artists artwork. IT MUST BE CLEARLY SIGNED with the artists full name in handwriting that is legible.
Step TWO: Send your mini-artists artwork to email@example.com include on the email your mini-artists NAME, DATE OF BIRTH, AGE, STATE, COUNTRY. The email subject should be: “Entry for Season 1”
Be aware! There are some reasons your mini-artist will be disqualified. These are:
- signature not clear on artwork
- artwork contains objectionable subject matter or copyrighted material
- Name, DOB, age, State, country information is not in the email
- online form not filled in
- image is not clear
- the artwork was sent many times
Entry is only open until 25th February 2016, so now is the time to start organising your mini-artist for their entry. I know many of my students already have pieces that would be fantastic entries into this competition.
Here’s the link to the website once more, just in case you missed it:
Happy entering and good luck!!
Time: approx. 5 minutes
½ can shaving cream
¾ cup corn flour
Mix together in a bowl with a spoon until all the cornflour is wet, then turn it out onto the bench and knead until soft.
I’ve used this two-ingredient cloud dough on many occasions as a fun science/art lesson and students love it. Both the process of making the dough, and the finished product are an adventure in texture and we have used it a few times as a form of sensory meditation.
For the simple version we just used cornflour and shaving cream. We used about half a can of shaving cream mixed with 3/4 cup cornflour. Depending on the environment you may need to add a little more of one or the other.
Use a spoon to mix shaving cream in, slowly! If you do this step fast you’ll end up with cornflour everywhere. Add a little more shaving cream if it’s not combining well, add more cornflour if it feels too sticky.
You will know it’s ready to turn out onto the bench by pressing the back of the spoon into the dough – if it sticks together well and doesn’t crumble you can put it on the bench and start working it with your hands. Press the dough as though you are trying to stick bits of playdough together rather than kneading it. It will take a few minutes but eventually you’ll end up with moldable dough that feels silky and smooth.
You’ll notice how different this dough is to normal playdough – as there is no cream of tartar in the mixture and so it doesn’t have the elasticity that playdough does.
Add a drop of food colouring to the dough once it is smooth and ready to be played with (this is a great opportunity to explore colour with your child, mix yellow and blue and watch it turn green)
Add glitter to make it fancy! Blue glitter in white dough for “Frozen” themed, purple glitter in green dough for monster cloud dough, silver glitter in dark blue dough for a night sky theme, gold glitter in yellow dough for sunshine theme.
Use cookie cutters to make shapes or toothpicks to draw on the dough.
In another bowl try mixing cornflour and cheap hair conditioner. Prompt your child to guess how it will turn out. Will it be softer? Harder? Stickier? Let them feel the texture of the ingredients before they are mixed. How does the shaving cream texture differ from the conditioner? Is this difference reflected in the different cloud dough?
Use this table to record your findings.
This report shows research that details how being exposed to the arts can affect your child in regards to learning, critical thinking and social engagement.
When I stumbled across this report I was researching creative education in children and how and encouraging creativity in our youngsters can affect their life in other areas. So I had to share it.
Although this research was done in America, it can really adapt itself to any country. Art is beautiful in any language and the underlying concept of the arts helping to increase capability in so many other areas is universal.
This is a very easy to read 5 page report which perhaps your kids will even understand if they care to read – although most kids I know are willing to create, just for the fun of creating.
You can read the report here and find out for yourself!!
Happy reading xx
I love this project as it’s a cross between science and art – and it fit in well with the Surrealism projects we had been doing this term. This is a version of automatic art – where the artist is not completely in control of the media used or the final result.
A forewarning – this project DOES involve hot wax, so there are some age groups that it won’t be suitable for. I would recommend it for 6 years and up. They are also a very fragile sculpture, so make sure you have something suitable for your students to carry them home in!
Here’s what you will need:
- About 3-4 tealights worth of wax for each sculpture – you can use old burned out candles, or new ones, or even just plain candle wax (if you can get it.)
- Foil Pie tins (I got 50 for $2 at the dollar shop)
- A deep bucket of icy water (I put 5kg ice into a bucket that was about 50cm deep)
- A jam jar or other glass jar (I used four in a one saucepan to melt the wax faster)
- A saucepan with about 4cm of water in it.
- A stove top.
Here’s how we did it:
Set the jam jars in the saucepan with water, and allow to boil until the wax melts. By setting it up like this (like a double boiler) you wont burn the wax, you reduce fire hazards and you save your saucepan from needing to be thrown out.
We tried candle wax and crayon wax – the crayon wax did not work well, it’s was too soft and didn’t hold the sculpture structure very well.
Once the wax is completely melted, use oven mitts to carry it outside to your bucket of iced water.
Let the child hold the pie dish over the water while an adult pours in wax to about half way full.
Immediately – but gently – plunge the pie dish and melted wax into the water. They might take a few sculptures to get this technique right, but I found if you make them count to five as they plunge the dish in, they get at about the right speed. The wax tries to float, but is solidified so quickly it cannot escape the pie dish and ends up in a spiky “King Triton’s Throne” shape.
When they get to the bottom, get them to hold the dish on the bottom for about 5 seconds to solidify the wax properly, then they can pull their sculpture out and empty off the water.
We tried to make some with less wax, and some with more wax – we found the results were much more striking for the ones with more wax, but that the wax was also more likely to touch the kids hands as it escapes the dish.
This project uses hot wax – I put some plastic gloves on my kids so if the wax did touch their hands underwater it wouldn’t stick to their skin. The icy water is cold enough that it protects them from the heat, but I didn’t want to damage their skin by trying to pick off wax!
Some pie dishes have little holes in the bottom – get the students to put some little bits of sticky tape over their holes first so the wax doesn’t just drip out.