Gong Hei Fat Choy

….two days late but celebrations are taking place all week

It’s the Year of the Pig on the Chinese calendar and celebrations are in full swing all over the world where Chinese communities exist. To honour the Earth Pig I decided to create a collage over a quick sketch of a pig I had done last year. I actually love drawing pigs and this one was one of my practice pigs. There are actually other ‘pig parts’ on this page as well but I chose to cover them with some printed transparency film.

Gong Hei Fat Choy to all my colleagues and friends who celebrate Chinese New Year.IMG-0939

Chicken – 365 Days of Art

….day 144

The assignment from Carla Sonheim this week was to find a photograph of a chicken  and draw the outline with a black Sharpie and then with a finer marker make some detail marks and lastly take a pencil and add some shading. It was optional to add colour with some light coloured markers.


I think I will try this again but use lighter markers or no colour at all.

365 Days of Art – Seuss-like Little Girl

…..day 61

I’ve started trying to create my own Seuss-like characters and started with trying to create a little girl around my granddaughter’s age. My husband thinks our granddaughter is too photogenic to be made into a cartoon figure. I have an idea of creating a scene where the little girl is holding a gigantic Easter egg while a giant rabbit looks down on her. Here are the first three sketches of the little girl.


365 Days of Art – Pigs Three Ways

….day 41

I love art work with pigs. I don’t know why but I’m drawn to pigs. I enjoyed the blind contour drawings of the cows so much that I decided to do some with pigs. Rather than show you all my weird blind contours I’ll show you the rough copy of a pig I did for scraping technique with acrylics.


I found that the scraping technique this time around lost a lot of the detail of the pigs.

With the middle one I went back over some of the lines with a light green marker. I then decided to take a chance with a black micron pen I added some more detail to all three pieces. Should I have left them as they were? What do you think? I know how I feel about it but I wouldn’t mind your input.


“Thinking is the Enemy of Creativity”

…the kids loved this quote by Ray Bradbury

For the last two weeks we have been discussing the concept of creativity in our art classes. Once we established that having artistic ability and creativity didn’t necessarily go hand in hand I shared some quotes from a few famous people.

“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on!” – Albert Einstein

“Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.” – Pablo Picasso

“Creativity takes courage.” Henri Matisse

“Great art picks up where nature ends.” Marc Chagall

“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.” Salvador Dali

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” Scott Adams

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Pablo Picasso

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try” – Dr. Seuss

The students were then directed to print their favourite quote or part of it onto a white sheet of drawing paper with pencil. Then they were to turn it upside down and start drawing by extending the lines in the quote. Once the page was full they could outline the whole piece in black Sharpie and add some colour.

At this point the quote is almost unrecognizable so to remind us how the art started the child was directed to rewrite the quote somewhere on the paper where there was open space. The grade 3s really got into this assignment. A few forgot to turn the quote upside down. The first photo is the sample that I created so that the students would have a visual when I explained the process. I would encourage any of you to choose a quote from the ones I’ve posted or come up with your own and get CREATIVE. I would love to see what you come up with.


Thanks to Carla Sonheim for the idea of gathering quotes about creativity and Stefanie von Hoesslin for the drawing activity using the quotes.

Tissue Collage Landscape

….I introduced four different art projects this week

I had to think quickly this week as to what I was going to teach in art. I ordered some supplies before Christmas and they hadn’t come in yet so I scrambled to find a project(s) that required the materials I had on hand. Of all the projects that I assigned I think the one I introduced to my grade 3 class is my favourite so far.

We talked about landscapes and reviewed the components: foreground, background and horizon line. I demonstrated how to tear the tissue and overlap the colours to give the picture more depth. I then explained that once the tissue layer was complete we were going to cut out shapes from construction paper, magazines and art papers that we had created last year to create a foreground of flowers.

In the first class most of the students only finished gluing down the tissue paper. In the next class they will cut out their shapes from different materials, glue them into place and then using a fine tip black marker they will add detail to their cut outs and add some line drawings behind their collaged flowers.

I had lots of art books and posters to demonstrate the technique and show a variety of flowers that they could draw. I didn’t want everyone to gravitate to the blue tissue for their sky so I read them Peter Reynolds new book Sky Colour. It’s a wonderful book that every teacher who teaches art should have in their library.  All my classes loved the book and took the message to heart. Very few chose a solid blue for their sky colour.

I started a sample with the children as they worked so that they could visualize what I had in mind. I think that the process is more important than the product and I find giving them a sample to look at helps them better understand the process. No two pictures are ever the same.

Today I finished my sample at home. The first picture shows the tissue in the background and the simple cut outs that are glued on top. In the second picture you can see a close-up of the detail that I drew in after with a fine tip black Sharpie and the third picture is the entire finished piece.

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I’m looking forward to seeing what my grade 3s come up with.