Scribbles

…..when a scribble is art

If you had told me a few years ago that scribbling is a viable art form I would have scoffed at you. Today, however, I have a new profound respect for the scribble. It started a few years ago when a well renowned artist introduced me to the art of scribbling. He thought that my students might like the activity. After trying it myself first and finding that it wasn’t as easy as it looked I put it aside and forgot about it.

Flash forward to the on-line year long art class that I’m taking right now. It started in  January and every day Carla Sonheim posts a video with a quote, interview, photo assignment or drawing assignment. Some of the videos are very short, only 30 seconds or less and others are a little more detailed with actual instructions.

On day 56 we were given as assignment to take a pen and start scribbling. It was very addictive. I loved it and want to do more. I tried it with pencil but it works much better with a pen or fine tip marker. Give it a try. Start with just a random scribble and see what you come up with and then darken areas with more scribble to bring out what you see. After that choose an object and try to copy it by scribbling.

IMG_1283IMG_1285IMG_1286

Geometric Fish

…..it’s easy to draw fish using geometric shapes like rectangles, squares and triangles

For a recent kindergarten art class I read a counting book that was illustrated with funny little fish that came in all shapes and sizes. The illustrator created simple fish shapes with ovals, triangles and square shapes. I demonstrated how to draw a fish using a combination of these shapes. A square, turned to look like a kite, for the body, triangles for the fins and tail and circles for the eyes.

Each student was give a sheet of watercolour paper and a variety of crayon colours and they were instructed to draw at least three fish and some seaweed. I also taught them the trick of making circles with white crayons that would appear magically when they added their watercolour paint.

On my second visit to the class I taught them how to water down the paint and do a wash across their picture. We also talked about using colours that would blend nicely if they wanted to use more than one colour for their background. Again they did a wonderful job. I’m always amazed at how uninhibited young children can be with a little instruction and encouragement from their instructor and peers.

In this class we learned about contour drawings using simple shapes, crayon resist using watercolours, blending colours and using space effectively.

IMG_1553IMG_1558

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Inspired by Van Gogh’s Sunflowers

…..the kindergarten classes that I teach art to created a garden of Van Gogh inspired sunflowers

Recently I read the book The Artist and Me by Shane Peacock to the entire school. The book is one of the Blue Spruce nominees for 2017. the-artist-and-me-by-shane-peacock

I liked this book for two reasons. Firstly, because it is written for young children and highlights how the famous artist Vincent Van Gogh was bullied by children and adults alike. It points out that even adults are bullied when they appear different or do things differently. In Van Gogh’s case he suffered from depression and his art was different from the classics that people had come to expect from artists. The students were surprised that such a famous artist was treated so badly. I explained to them that Van Gogh was one of several new artists that had grown tired of traditional painting and wanted to experiment with texture, colour and paint strokes. People had a hard time excepting this new way of painting and in his lifetime Van Gogh only sold one painting.

Secondly, I liked this book because the illustrator tried to use similar colours that Van Gogh used and he reproduced parts of Van Gogh’s work in his illustrations. For example there are a few illustrations of Van Gogh’s famous bedroom and an illustration of the wheat fields that he liked to paint.

I had other books that showed some of Van Gogh’s many paintings. I showed my kindergarten classes the sunflowers that Van Gogh became famous for after he died. In our art period I demonstrated how to paint simple sunflowers using round stamps. Some of the students used paintbrushes to create the petals of the sunflowers. We talked about the different varieties and colours of sunflowers and I gave them yellow, red, orange and white paint that they could mix if they wanted.

On the first day the students painted the centres and the petals of the flowers. On day two they added green leaves and stems. I also gave them the option of adding a blue sky in the background and I showed them how to paint around their flowers. Some of the students also added some ladybugs and other little critters.

IMG_1560IMG_1564

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

A Garden of Spring Flowers in Paint

….in this part of the world spring is not close at hand

Looking at blogs that originate in Ireland, the United Kingdom, parts of Europe and the west coast of North America I’m amazed to see so many gardens that are already in bloom with beautiful spring flowers. With some luck we may see our first daffodil in late April but most of our flowers won’t appear until May.

To get us in the spring mood I painted some simple made up flowers using watercolours and circle shapes. For the background I used a scraping technique that I learned from Carla Sonheim. Once the paint was dry I added more detail, sometimes with  more paint but mostly with black ink from a Sharpie. I liked the final product so much I adapted it for my students and when I return to school this week I will plaster the walls with their beautiful gardens of flowers. I will share their work with you later this week.

IMG_1259IMG_1261

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge -March 19, 2017

….thanks Cee for hosting Odd Ball Photo Challenge

In Carla Sonheim’s, Year Long Video a Day: 365, on-line class we were assigned a photo challenge. We had to stand in the middle of a room and with our eyes closed start shooting the space while turning around. Here are a few shots of my living room that were taken with my eyes closed.