Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Adult Painting Workshop

This spring I held my first ever "Adult Painting Workshop". The workshop was 4 weeks long and taught everything one needs to know to get started painting with acrylics. I tried to cover it all, from brushes, products, styles of painting, mixed medium, special effects, texture to getting your painting started, values, perspective, color mixing, inspiration and top coats. Painters created one abstract of their choice, and then they all painted a still life together. Here's some of the beautiful paintings.

This one's not quite finished.

I had five very talented ladies!

Here was our still life set up

Friday, July 15, 2011

Floral Still Lifes Make Me Smile

These paintings are my all time favorites from a workshop. Just love the colors...love how they each turned out so different...but all sooo beautiful!

Here was our set up...


Sketching out our design-shapes only, not detail.

Baby wipes work well for mess ups.

Next step...add color

Now the fun part-details and flair!

Drum roll please...

This (above) was painted by a 6-year old...should have seen her sweet smile!

I love the color combos so much I was inspired to paint one myself.

This is in acrylic on a 16 x 20 canvas. If you are interested in purchasing it just email me.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Art and Literature-Splat the Cat

Thought you might want a break from painting workshops. I've been trying to go through some past lessons. Here's a great lesson combining Art and Literature.

I've posted once before on a lesson (see post HERE) I purchased from  Deep Space Sparkle Last spring I ordered one of Patty's Art and Literature PDF lesson plans for just $5.00. I was totally impressed with the lessons, and the results! It was well worth the $5.00. The lessons are perfect for younger children; they have easy to follow directions and templates; and they incorporate great, age appropriate books. I did these with my daughter's kindergarten class this year. She had a blast making her Splat the Cat. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Follow Me on Facebook

I finally figured out how to get this Facebook button on my blog (to your right) so you can keep up with recent posts and extra pictures through your Facebook. If you have one, I'd love to follow you too! Just click the "like" this page and you will become a fan and receive updates.

If you don't currently follow my blog, please be one of my followers! I love to see that I have an audience and who they are and I soooo appreciate of all my followers! I love reading your comments and sharing ideas. You can follow me through google, subscribe to my feeds or follow via email. You can find all your options in the right side bar of my blog-you may have to scroll down a ways to see them all. If you have an art blog with lesson ideas, and aren't already showing up on my left side bar, leave a comment with your link and I'll get you added. I'd love to be added you your blog too!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tips for Painting with Kids

I've been doing painting workshops with elementary kids all summer long, and I'm learning many things along the way that can help kids create beautiful paintings, especially in a 2-1/2 hour time frame. I'm doing three workshops this week- peacocks, pears and a floral still life. I always teach in acrylics and students use a 16 x 20 canvas.

1) Always practice first-break painting down in to basic shapes and practice on a sheet of paper. I emphasize that it's about shapes, form and beautiful color, and not to worry about making it look "perfect". I want them to enjoy the process.

2)Sketch out under painting in watered down paint. Use baby wipes to erase mistakes.

3) Use premixed, inexpensive paints-when I do a 12-week session, I always let students mix their own colors, but during my workshops I just use a variety of colors in the inexpensive acrylic craft paints. There's always a lot of waste so I spend the extra on a canvas and use the less expensive paints.

4) Use big paint brushes-Kid's always default to the small skinny brush, even when painting big areas. I give the brushes to them as we paint, that way they are always using the correct brush. We save the little brushes for the details in the end.

5) Mix on canvas-Especially when painting backgrounds, give kids three similar hues, or even a white to mix in. It creates a more interesting background and shows the brush strokes.

6) Give step by step instructions for the basic painting-each painting will still look unique. Let them add their own creative flair at the end.

7) Signature at bottom-Before letting students sign their painting, but sure and explain the signatures are not to take away from your art or be the focal point. I always have one who signs their name top center in black-ugh!

8) Paint the edges-Let them have fun decorating the edges for their own creative frame.

9) Take breaks- I always let them have a snack and short play break. 2-1/2 hours in a long time to stay focused on one thing.

10) Step back from painting or move on to something else-If a student is frustrated with a particular part of their painting I encourage them to just leave it and move on to something else. When they come back to it later they usually have a better perspective.

11) Use tabletop easels-Kids think it's so cool to have their own easel!

12) Have water, rags and wipes in reach.

13) Remind them to keep brush "clean" while painting next to darker/lighter colors-wipe brush often.

14) Use paper plates for paint palette.

15) Paint big and focus more on shapes, form, value and color rather than detail.

  In my workshops there is never time to apply a top coat, so I always recommend that parents apply a clear varnish after the painting is completely dry. I usually use the Delta line and just brush on one coat.

I'll be posting this weeks lessons soon!


Monday, July 4, 2011

A painting lesson on Van Gogh landscapes

Ideally, I would love to take students outside to do a lesson on Van Gogh landscapes, but considering it's about 100 degrees here right now, I decided to teach in the air conditioned studio. I love to talk about the passion, movement and texture in Van Gogh's art. His landscapes are my favorite-so simple, yet so intriguing. Student's had 2-1/2 hours to complete this lesson. We used acrylic paints and gel medium for the texture. Students loved trying out the palette knives. In class, I just have a plastic set for students to use and they work out great for first time users. Here's a snap shot of our lesson. Students chose Van Gogh's Wheat Field with Cypresses (above) as their inspiration piece.

First, we identified the horizon line, foreground, middle ground and background and focal point. 

We talked about the movement in the painting and texture. Students laid in base colors first and then had fun using the gel medium and gloss medium to create a textured layer on top. Since we had limited time, students had to simplify the brush strokes and get the textured effect with the gel medium and palette knife.

The students who did these paintings ranged in age from 3rd grade to 6th grade.

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